Being a leader isn’t as much about power as it is influencing others for Pam Holt, who says she developed, planned and implemented the hospital-based St. John’s Injury Prevention Center without the title of manager or director.
Simply put, her focus is on keeping people safe.
“The Injury Prevention Center is a data-driven unintentional injury education center that focuses on the leading causes of injury to our community,” says Holt, who joined St. John’s in 1996 and has been coordinator of the center’s injury prevention program since 2000.
Through her work, Holt says she’s able to influence behavior changes that promote safety and save lives, and to provide face-to-face safety education for more than 60,000 people in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.
“Using local injury data, I develop comprehensive programs and prevention strategies to target high-risk groups,” she says.
Holt is passionate about keeping kids safe in cars. In 2006, she wrote a bill that became Missouri’s child passenger safety, or booster seat, law.
She says the law mandates that children ride in belt-positioning booster seats until they reach one of three milestones: 8 years of age, 80 pounds or 4 feet, 9 inches in height. Passage of the law made Missouri eligible for highway safety incentive funding to promote car seat education and distribute car seats to low-income families. Most importantly, though, it prevented children between the ages of 4 years and 8 years from riding in adult seatbelts.
“This has serious consequences if (these children were) involved in a motor vehicle crash because they would suffer a combination of injuries known as seat-belt syndrome, (which) is often fatal,” Holt says. “If not, it leaves the child with life-long, disabling injuries.”
Armed with a grant from Kohl’s Department Stores and the Kohl’s Cares for Kids Foundation, Holt recently launched what she says is Missouri’s first hospital-based driving education program, which to date has taught nearly 160 students how to drive.
“Teen drivers and their passengers involved in motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of trauma admission to St. John’s,” Holt says, noting that many schools have cut funding for driver’s education. “I was able to hire certified driving instructors and develop a curriculum for behind-the-wheel driving lessons.”
Holt, a registered nurse, also teaches the Young Traffic Offenders Program at St. John’s, for 16-to-24-year-olds who are ordered by the court to participate after repeat violations. She has helped the city of Nixa pass and implement a seatbelt ordinance, and she volunteers as a nurse with Camp Barnabas and at North Point Church for summer camps and group outings.
She was honored in 2009 as the St. John’s Foundation for Community Health’s Volunteer of the Year, and she is one of Springfield Business Journal’s 2010 Health Care Champions in the community educator category.Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.