Twenty-three years ago, we began working with burn survivors, advocating for flame resistant sleepwear. We will always include the survivors of injuries in our work. They are the ones who bring about change. In 1973, Andrew McGuire, Executive Director of the Trauma Foundation, and his wife, Kae, attended a meeting in Boston of a new non-profit organization, formed solely to advocate for state and federal flame resistant safety standards for children's sleepwear. Attending this first meeting of Action for the Prevention of Burn Injuries to Children (APBIC) were the parents of children who had been severely burned when the pajamas they were wearing caught fire. Andrew's interest in attending the meeting stemmed from his own childhood burn injury, sustained after his flammable pajamas were ignited. Elizabeth McLoughlin, Associate Director of the Trauma Foundation, also attended the same meeting as the first Director of Burn Prevention at the Boston Shriners Burns Institute. Within a few months, Andrew became the Executive Director of APBIC and successfully led efforts to involve survivors of burn injuries in burn prevention initiatives. Andrew and Kae returned to their home in California, in 1975, to create a similar non-profit organization on the West Coast. Dr. Donald D. Trunkey, Director of the Burn Center at San Francisco General Hospital, offered an office and support for the newly created Burn Council. Six years later, at the suggestion of Dr. Trunkey, the Burn Council expanded its mission to include the prevention of all injuries and was renamed the Trauma Foundation. The guiding principle for the work of all three organizations has been to involve survivors of traumatic injuries in prevention advocacy work. A small number of people who survive the traumatic loss of a loved one channel the force of their grief and shock into preventive action--they become "survivor advocates," working to save others from having to experience a similar loss and trauma. Survivor advocates have been central to some of the major advances in the prevention of injury. The Trauma Foundation has worked with injury survivors to advocate for the prevention of injuries for 28 years. Working with those who wish to bring meaning to their painful experiences, the Trauma Foundation has become recognized as a national leader in injury prevention.

The Trauma Foundation received grants from The Goldman Fund in 1998 and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation in the year 1999 to create The Bell Campaign, the mission of which was to prevent gun death and injury, and to support victims of gun trauma. In mid-June of 2000, The Bell Campaign's Board of Directors voted to change the official name of the organization to the Million Mom March Foundation and later created the Million Mom March. For nearly three years the Trauma Foundation served as the incubator for The Bell Campaign/Million Mom March and developed its program to serve the needs of survivor advocates. National staff responsible for the creation of the program for survivor advocates are working at the Trauma Foundation to develop a more inclusive and comprehensive program for survivors of all injuries.

Today, Andrew, Kae and Liz, together with their colleagues at the Trauma Foundation, continue to work on a wide range of injury and violence prevention issues, including fire safe cigarettes, automobile safety, gun control, survivor advocacy, and alcohol policy.

Trauma Foundation
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