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09/25/2013
UCHealth injury prevention expert named Colorado's 2013 Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor of the Year

For immediate release: Sept. 25, 2013

Nicole Caputo, 970.237.7112, nicole.caputo@uchealth.org 

UCHealth injury prevention expert named Colorado's 2013 Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor of the Year

Janet Werst, injury prevention coordinator, UCHealth
 
Werst: Why I volunteer for the American Red Cross.
From bike helmets to seat buckles, Janet Werst is on a mission to keep children safe in northern Colorado.

On Friday, the Colorado Child Passenger Safety program recognized Werst's dedication by naming her the 2013 Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor of the Year.

Werst, the injury prevention coordinator at University of Colorado Health, has an unparalleled passion for serving others through child passenger safety, Laura Richardson said in a letter nominating Werst for the award.

"She inspires her students by serving as a role model on how to successfully connect with the families we serve," Richardson said.

Over the past eight years, Werst has grown Larimer County's Child Passenger Safety program in a number of ways:

  • Increased the number of community based fit stations from four to 10 active stations.
  • Increased the number of community car seat class from one to four per month.
  • Increased the number of families in the community served by more than 150 percent.
  • Secured funding for a hospital fit station at Poudre Valley Hospital, the largest birthing center in northern Colorado.
  • Sought and received funding for the special needs Child Passenger Safety program based at PVH.
  • Mentors, encourages and leads a full team of technicians within the PVH fit station and dozens more in the community as leader of Safe Kids Larimer County.

In addition, Werst serves on the Child Passenger Safety Regional Advisory Board, works with other local communities by providing guidance on how to fund, staff, structure and model a Child Passenger Safety program.

"I'm honored to be chosen as instructor of the year. I love what I do and go to work every day with a smile and a large sense of gratitude. It's humbling. I don't expect additional recognition, the desire to keep people safe is in my blood," said Werst.

Colorado has more than 1,000 technicians and 38 instructors across the state and approximately 140 designated inspection stations, where parents can go to make sure their car seat is properly installed by a certified technician or instructor.

Parents can find an inspection station near them by visiting CarSeatsColorado.com.

SPECIAL NOTE: Werst was volunteering as government liaison for the American Red Cross at the time the award was presented. She took a few minutes to talk about the importance of volunteering to aid flood victims.

 

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