Thrive by IU Health

July 22, 2021

Teresa the Trauma Outreach Coordinator

IU Health Arnett Hospital

Teresa the Trauma Outreach Coordinator

Teresa Williams is someone that takes “using our heads'' to the next level. Not only is she a registered nurse at IU Health, she is also known as Teresa the Trauma Outreach Coordinator.

In 2014, Williams created her new position by proposing a funding plan to purchase bicycle and equestrian helmets for educational outreach programs across the state of Indiana. Her goal was to spread awareness surrounding helmet safety and teach precautionary steps in order to prevent head injuries. Soon after, the IU Health Arnett Foundation approved funding and her real work began.

Teresa Williams

“I had to create programs from zero because there weren’t any at the time,” Williams explained.

Thus, her programs developed. Williams’ “Stepping On” program consists of a seven-week workshop instructed by a health professional and peer leader. Each session aims to inform and help folks learn the best strategies and exercises for fall prevention.

The “Stop the Bleed” program is one that breaks down the safety precautions one should take if there is someone suffering from a bleeding injury. Williams also incorporates information from her Traumatic Brain Injury Education and Prevention program. From schools, to workplaces and organizations, she has done a variety of presentation methods, including demonstrations of how to best stop someone from bleeding out if there were an active shooter present in a building.

Something she found applicable to her programs is the National Trauma Database, which includes every recorded trauma patient. This is so she can track how many head injuries there are, as well as other broken limbs, car accidents, etc. Therefore, this data was exactly what Williams needed in order to assess what topics she wanted to educate the public about.

Fast forward to 2020, Williams’ trauma outreach programs were unfortunately limited and most often canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stepping On and Stop the Bleed require mostly hands-on activities such as helmet fittings, therefore, she found it difficult to transition these workshops from in-person to online.

Now that the world is slowly making its way out of the trenches, Williams shared how much she is looking forward to getting her programs back up and running by early 2022.

Teresa Williams collage

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