The U.S. lacks a comprehensive surveillance system for non-fatal, hospitalized, and fatal agricultural injuries.  The goal of this project is to develop and validate a regional agricultural injury surveillance system within a large rural healthcare system using electronic health records (EHR) and linked State-level registries.  This Surveillance system will track both time and risk and capture injuries treated in primary and tertiary care environments.  We will then estimate 20-year trends in incident agricultural injuries in children and adolescents who live on farms in north-central Wisconsin.  In addition, high-risk subgroups (e.g., age, gender) will be identified where injury risk trends may be increasing most.  Our project is focused on the industry sector of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AgFF) and the cross-sector of Traumatic Injury.  Our proposal will contribute to these specified priorities by exploring a more comprehensive model of childhood agricultural injury surveillance based in a large healthcare system.  Specific aims include:

1.) Establish a surveillance system of confirmed, medically attended agricultural injuries among children and adolescents who reside on farms.

2.) Estimate 20-year epidemiologic trends in medically attended agricultural injuries in farm children and adolescents.

3.) Identify population subgroups at increasingly high risk for agricultural injury.

This project will develop a regional platform for agricultural injury surveillance in farm children and adolescents.  Study findings will identify the strengths and limitations of using combined data from teh EHR and State registries for regional surveillance, and lessons can be applied to future research designed to build a model of childhood agricultural injury surveillance that can be replicated and scaled across other large healthcare systems and linked in a national surveillance network.  Such a resource will help direct agricultural injury prevention initiatives in the U.S. toward farm families and young workers who are most apt to benefit.

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey VanWormer

Bio: Dr. VanWormer is an epidemiologist with research interests in the prevention of injuries and chronic diseases, community risk factor surveillance, and lifestyle interventions. He is a Research Scientist in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health, and has led several evidence-based medicine and health disparities projects focused on rural injuries, obesity, oral hygiene, and vaccinations, among other topics. Dr. VanWormer is also an investigator member of the National Health Care Systems Research Network and the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Senior Key Personnel:

Bryan Weichelt, Ph.D.: Co-Investigator
Richard Berg, MS: Co-Investigator
Katherine Barnes, MS, MPH: Project Manager