Dr England is currently Professor and Interim Director of the Pediatrics Division of Community Health and Research at Eastern Virginia Medical School in the United States. She is creator and lead investigator of the “Boost ‘em in the Back Seat” program. This program, originally funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the mid-2000s with continued support from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles since then, is an efficacy-based intervention designed to persuade parents and caregivers to use booster seats for children 4 – 8 years old.
The intervention is web-based, and can be deployed via multiple social media platforms. The latest, updated version of the program was launched in November 2017, and within one year it had been viewed by numerous stakeholders living in more than 130 countries. US local and national news in particular ran pieces on the intervention, as did popular parent blogs. More than 20,000,000 viewers have witnessed the intervention, with the companion website receiving more than 100,000 views as well. Besides demonstrating increases in booster seat use which was the most important goal of the project (an early set of results were published in Accident Analysis and Prevention in 2009), the intervention medium itself has received numerous awards, including the Governor’s Transportation Safety Award in Occupant Protection and the Telly Award (a type of Emmy for promotional videos), among others.
Dr England has earned an international reputation for rigorous scientific research on best practices for persuading parents and guardians to take action, and respect by those studying and testing health behavior models. It is with great honor that her nomination is put forward as a leader for road safety.