Playing It Safe
Barbara Barlow '60, M.D., founded the Harlem Hospital Injury Prevention Program to address the alarming numbers of children sustaining preventable injuries because they had no safe place to play and no after-school activities. She undertook rebuilding Harlem's playgrounds, creating free or lowcost activities, sponsoring Little League teams, and other programs. H.H.I.P.P. orchestrated the building of more than 40 school playgrounds and coordinated a district-wide Bike Smart initiative, teaching all third graders in the public school system street and bike safety. The result was a 48% decrease in major injury hospital visits by Harlem children. Barlow's program was so successful that it inspired a national coalition, the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. With H.H.I.P.P. as the model and Barlow serving as executive director for the national program, injury prevention programs are now in place in 40 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.
VQ Spring 1993
Photo credit: Larry Ford/NYT Pictures