The Center for Health and Safety Culture is hosting a 2.5 day Positive Culture Framework training December 7th-9th in sunny San Diego, CA. Learn how to cultivate change in your community while escaping the cold this December!

Please visit our Training page   to find out more or if you're ready to go, click above to register now!

Who We Are

Dr. Kari Finley is a Senior Research Scientist for the Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Services and a Master’s degree in Social Work. Key roles at the Center include experimental design, research and scientific writing, research project oversight, publishing and presenting at conferences.

Her areas of interest are in substance abuse prevention and intervention, self-efficacy development, and the formation of attachment in children and adults. Dr. Finley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds certification as a Substance Abuse Professional. She has worked in the mental health and addiction fields for the past 11 years. She currently lives in Wyoming with her husband, Brian, and son, Jax.

Erica Burrell is the Office Manager for the Center.  She received her certification as an Administrative Business Assistant in 1999. She has 17 years of administrative and web and graphic design experience and 5 years in the University environment at Texas Tech University.

For the Center, Erica provides mid to high level support and serves as the point of contact for all Center correspondence. She also provides web and graphic design for the Center as needed.   

Where We Have Been

The Center staff provides onsite trainings and presentations across the country. Here is a look at where we have been in the last three months.

A highlight from this past quarter:
Jay Otto, principal research scientist, presented at the National Prevention Network conference in Buffalo, NY in September. He provided breakout sessions to over 200 people at this year’s conference. The first session was about understanding the culture of driving under the influence of cannabis which highlighted the Center’s recent research findings. He will provide a free webinar on this topic in December. The second session Jay presented at was about enhancing prevention effectiveness through guided support. This highlighted the community based prevention work the Center does. 

Interested in a presentation or training?  Please contact us or visit our Training page to learn more.

The Center offers a series of free webinars designed to support your efforts to improve health and safety. For more information or to register for any event listed below, please visit our Webinars page.  

Upcoming Topics

December 1, 2016 - Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis
11 am PT / noon MT / 1 pm CT / 2pm ET

As more states decriminalize and even legalize medical and recreational use of cannabis (marijuana), traffic safety leaders and public health advocates have growing concerns about driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC).  How do we understand the culture of cannabis use and DUIC?  How do these cultural factors increase DUIC risk?  What policy changes and strategies can support a culture that sustains safe and sober driving? Please join us for a 2 hour webinar on three recent projects studying DUIC. 

January 26, 2017 - Free DFC Proposal Writing Seminar
11 am PT / noon MT / 1 pm CT / 2pm ET
Applying for a Fiscal Year 2017 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant?  Join us to explore how to structure your application and organize your efforts to accomplish the two DFC program goals of establishing and strengthening collaboration around prevention and reducing substance use among youth.  This webinar will highlight how the Positive Culture Framework can be utilized to organize your application, meet the requirements of DFC Support Program, and enhance your coalition's efforts.

Thursday, February 16th - Traffic Safety Citizenship
11 am PT / noon MT / 1 pm CT / 2pm ET
Traffic safety citizenship is a novel approach to empower the vast majority of safe road users to engage in prosocial behaviors to impact the smaller group engaging in risky behaviors. Are you interested in learning more about this approach and strategies that you can use increase traffic safety citizenship? Join us for a 1-hour webinar on a recent project studying traffic safety citizenship.

The Challenges of Fear Based Appeals

At the Center, we believe in focusing on the positive attitudes and behaviors that we are seeking to grow in our communities that increase health and safety. For many reasons, the positive that exists in our communities may go unrecognized. It may be lost in our culture because of the tendency to focus on the negative.

Too often, efforts to improve health and safety focus on harms or unhealthy outcomes. Naturally, we want individuals to understand risk and the negative outcomes of engaging in risky behaviors. However, sometimes the focus on risk leads us to an approach that says “if people only knew how dangerous this is, they would not do it.” This strategy is the basis of fear appeals – strategies that seek to influence people’s behaviors by scaring them.

While fear-based strategies may be effective for some people, they can have unintended negative consequences. They can increase misperceptions about the prevalence of behaviors (and thereby “normalize” what may be rare behaviors), stigmatize individuals within our communities, reduce trust in our messaging when the message does not match someone’s personal experiences, and can even inadvertently promote unhealthy behavior.

Watch the Center’s brief webinar discussing the challenges of fear based appeals.