Published June 20, 2016
FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO — Eve’s Fund, a reservation-based, non-profit organization that promotes literacy, injury prevention and education to Navajo youth has announced the selection of Jodee Dennison, MPH to direct its injury prevention program—ThinkFirst Navajo.
Jodee comes to Eve’s Fund with a 21-year background working in injury prevention with the Indian Health Service. She retired at the rank of commander in 2013 from the United States Public Health Commissioned Corps. Jodee received her Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
“We are very pleased to announce this appointment and feel fortunate that Jodee has joined ThinkFirst Navajo in a leadership role, ” said Barbara Crowell Roy, president of Eve’s Fund. “Jodee brings a unique combination of knowledge, skills and experience to our program as well a commitment to improving the health and well being of young Navajo people.
Jodee is a member of the Navajo Tribe and resides in Gallup, New Mexico. She is originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico.
“I have been in the field of injury prevention my entire career and it is my passion,” said Dennison.
I am excited and looking forward to working with the award-winning ThinkFirst Navajo Program that offers free injury prevention presentations at schools, community chapter houses, and other venues across the Navajo Nation. Our kids are at extremely high risk for brain and spinal cord injuries from vehicular crashes, violence, drugs and alcohol, recreation and other unintentional trauma. The good news is that most of these injuries are preventable through the evidence-based education offered by ThinkFirst Navajo,” Dennison noted.
ThinkFirst Navajo is the only chapter that operates exclusively on a federally recognized Native American Indian reservation, an area where injury rates are three times the national average.
Last year, out of 200 chapters, ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation named ThinkFirst Navajo “Chapter of the Year” for its efforts in preventing brain, spinal cord, and other traumatic injuries through education, research, and advocacy across the Navajo Nation.
ThinkFirst Navajo is one of the most active ThinkFirst chapters in the country. The chapter got its start thanks to Eve’s Fund in late 2005. Especially unique are the team of Voices for Injury Prevention (VIP) program speakers — all adult Navajos with paraplegia — who have educated more than 40,000 Navajo school children and young adults on the Navajo Nation about injury prevention and distributed hundreds of safety helmets.