March 1, 2012
HCL Awards 2012: Community Outreach, Ruth Rimmer, PhD
Ruth Rimmer, PhD
Maricopa Integrated Health SystemRuth Rimmer, director of psychosocial and prevention research for the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center, has developed evidence-based prevention programs designed to improve delivery of scald, burn prevention, and fire safety education to children and families in Arizona. She has made a major contribution to the literature available regarding psychosocial problems that are related to burn injuries. She has written five fire prevention books and provided more than 80,000 books and fire safety flash cards in both English and Spanish to children and their families, reaching from Flagstaff to Nogales.
When Rimmer’s research revealed that 65 percent of the children admitted to the burn center were Hispanic, she conducted early morning, evening and weekend focus groups in Hispanic neighborhoods to gain a better understanding of the problem. She then incorporated her findings into prevention strategies.
Rimmer also volunteered to develop a comprehensive classroom burn prevention and fire safety course that meets Arizona standards. The curriculum – a 70-page program that Rimmer distributes to teachers on a CD during training – allows teachers to instruct students about life-saving injury prevention, while still meeting their classroom goals.