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DaimlerChrysler/UofW partnership leads to national health award

November 22, 2006

Source: University of Windsor!OpenDocument

Dr. John Mann, DaimlerChrysler Canada Director of Engineering and Regulatory Affairs and Dr. Anne Snowdon, University of Windsor Nursing Professor and AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence Coordinator, Health, Safety and Injury Prevention, will receive a prestigious award for their efforts to increase knowledge of effective child safety system use in vehicles.

The innovative partnership between industry and academe is part of an AUTO21 research project, Enhanced Child Safety in Automobiles. The initiative merged Dr. Snowdonís expertise in family research and population health and that of her team of researchers at nine other universities with industry experts in safety system design, crash avoidance strategies and government regulations led by Dr. Mann. The initiative was aimed at improving understanding of the choices that parents and caregivers make when they use child safety seats in order to develop more effective education program to significantly improve accurate use of child safety seats in vehicles. DaimlerChrysler Canada, under the leadership of Drs. Mann and Snowdon, entered into a unique and innovative partnership to help Canadian families keep their children safer in cars.

"This unique and innovative partnership under the joint leadership of Dr. John L. Mann of DaimlerChrysler Canada and Anne W. Snowdon of the University of Windsor will help Canadian families keep their children safer in cars. About three classrooms worth of elementary school children die in road crashes in Canada every year," said Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of CIHR. "This partnership between industry and academia should reduce the number of child fatalities and is an important example of health research that will benefit many Canadians. Drs. Mann and Snowdon truly merit this yearís CIHR Partnership Award."

"This award demonstrates the quality of research and collaboration with industry happening through AUTO21," said Dr. Peter Frise, Scientific Director and CEO, AUTO21. "We are very proud of Dr. Snowdon and Dr. Mannís work and leadership on this project."

"I consider passenger safety to be the most important work I do at DaimlerChrysler Canada and it is a special honour to work in a company and with colleagues that support our efforts to improve the health and safety of Canadaís youngest citizens," said Mann. "It's also very rewarding to work within this unique partnership that has proven over time to be a formula for great success."

The project resulted in Bobby Shooster Rides Safely in His Booster, a multi-media education program, which targets all members of the car seat-using Canadian family. The pair will accept the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Partnership Award for bringing health-care communities together to create new approaches to research issues; developing research agendas that are responsive to the health needs, concerns and priorities of Canadians, and for accelerating the translation of knowledge to benefit Canadians.

Bobby Shooster Rides Safely in His Booster, when tested in Ontario, led to a significant increase in parentsí knowledge of accurate use of safety seats for children. The program is now being tested in six Canadian provinces, with further support from AUTO21 and DaimlerChrysler Canada. Additionally, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has endorsed the program.

"This is a fabulous example of university/industrial partnerships and multidisciplinarity at its best," said University of Windsor President, Ross Paul. "The leadership of Dr. Snowdon and Dr. Mann has shown the impact of applying the knowledge and resources of the two institutions to an important challenge, and we can only applaud DaimlerChrysler Canada's investment in protecting the safety of Canadian children."
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Lori Koutros
Manager, News Services
University of Windsor
(519) 973-7001 / Cell: (519) 564-9908

Zoja Holman
Acting Communications Manager
AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence
(519) 253-3000, ext. 4128

Ed Saenz
Manager, Corporate Communications
DaimlerChrysler Canada
(519) 561-9571 / Cell: (519) 981-1362



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