Fall 2020
Quarterly Newsletter
ParentingMontana.org Is Relaunching With New and Improved Tools for Parents of Infants to Teens, Podcasts, and Audio Files

The Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University, in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, is updating its successful parenting website – ParentingMontana.org - for a broader audience and with a wealth of new and improved content. 

Now, Montana parents and those in a parenting role of infants and early childhood (ages 0 – 4), children in foster care, and children and teens (up to age 19) can find tools and information for a wide range of parenting issues. The addition of audio tools and podcasts make the website content more accessible for busy parents and families.
The above photos show the podcasts in production (pictured: Annmarie McMahill, M.S., (CHSC), Jennifer Miller (author Confident Parents, Confident Kids: Raising Emotional Intelligence in Ourselves and Our Kids — From Toddlers to Teenagers), and Dr. Shannon Wanless (Applied Developmental Psychologist and the Director for the Office of Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education).
Research shows the mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) development of children directly impacts their academic and health-related outcomes in childhood and adulthood. ParentingMontana.org is structured around a parenting process that equips parents with the skills to build and strengthen their children’s social and emotional development. Parents sharpen their skills as they cultivate and grow their children’s skills, and in the process, a stronger and more intentional relationship is formed between parent (or someone in a parenting role) and child. 

The ParentingMontana.org project is one of the Center’s most exciting research / applied endeavors. The opportunity to incorporate the highly researched efficacy of social and emotional learning and development for children into tools and a process for parents has invigorated the Center staff, as well as staff at MT DPHHS, to investigate branching out into other issues and sectors.  

Contact CHSC if you are interested in examining how social and emotional development affects the risk and protective factors of health and safety behaviors you are working to improve or if you are interested in developing resources similar to ParentingMontana.org in your area.
Researching Protective Behaviors Surrounding COVID-19

Perhaps our most timely task is the preliminary pilot study of beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors regarding COVID-19 that we’ve just completed in preparation for a more determinant study next month. Results are showing opportunities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by growing protective beliefs, bolstering perceived norms, growing perception of support, and correcting misperceptions. 

The information we are gathering will help guide decisions about what beliefs are best to focus on and grow as we seek to increase protective behaviors in our communities, as well as what crucial misperceptions need to be corrected. Our study concentrates on which sources of information are considered trusted, so that when a vaccine is available, we know how to message effectively. 

Preliminary results already show opportunities to grow protective behaviors around always wearing a mask to prevent COVID-19 and growing the protective behavior of getting an FDA-approved vaccination (once it is available) to prevent COVID-19. This information may be valuable to state and local public health officials, and anyone, tasked with COVID-19 response efforts. 

Contact CHSC if you are interested in partnering on efforts to understand and shift beliefs and behaviors affecting prevention efforts regarding COVID-19, to grow protective and reduce risky behaviors to prevent COVID-19, or other endeavors to examine the culture surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Article “Effectively Engaging Stakeholders in a Safe Systems Approach to Improve Traffic Safety Culture” Was Published in the Safety Compass (Fall 2020, Vol 14, Issue 3). 
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s quarterly newsletter, Safety Compass, included our recent article “Effectively Engaging Stakeholders in a Safe Systems Approach to Improve Traffic Safety Culture” in their fall edition.  

This article explores insights about ways to bolster sustained engagement in growing a community's positive traffic safety culture. Recommendations note that a coalition that prioritizes traffic safety and includes stakeholders across the social environment has the potential to be an effective change agent. This article identifies coalition characteristics necessary to bolster cooperation among community stakeholders. 

See the full article in the latest edition of Safety Compass 

Center Bulletin Board
Dr. Nic Ward, Director of the Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC), presented at a virtual event about the importance of traffic safety in rural America. The event was hosted by the USDOT and included speakers from NHTSA and WTI. Dr. Ward gave a presentation about the role of traffic safety culture and driver behaviors that can increase crash fatalities in rural communities. He discussed the work CHSC is doing with Utah to increase seat belt use (togetherforlife.org).

Kari Finley, Ph.D., LCSW, and Annmarie McMahill, M.S., were accepted into the Leadership MSU class of 2021, where they will serve among other faculty, staff, and administration to work together and network effectively across departments to strengthen the university and aid in carrying out its mission.

Katie Dively, M.S., CHES, and Annmarie McMahill, M.S., attended the World Premiere Inquiry Facilitator Training, offered by the Center for Appreciative Inquiry. This intensive two-week virtual certification program enables Katie and Annmarie to facilitate AI sessions on a range of topics focused on human systems change.

Our Services
The Center for Health and Safety Culture is an interdisciplinary center serving communities and organizations through research, training, and support services to cultivate healthy and safe cultures. We are dedicated to applying research to develop sustainable solutions to complex social problems. Our research focuses on understanding how culture impacts behavior – especially behavior associated with health and safety. Other than Guide Service and Training, our other services include:
  • Conducting, Exchanging, and Applying Research
  • Cultural Assessments, Surveys, and Evaluation
For more information on our services or if you’re interested in partnering with us on a research project, visit www.CHSCulture.org or contact us at mail@CHSCulture.org
Spotlights and Webinar Archives
Many online trainings and webinars are available on our website and YouTube channel. Our Spotlight videos provide brief training for individuals seeking to make a difference. In each Spotlight video, Center staff address key topics on a variety of public health and safety issues and provide practical tips and ideas for practitioners. The topics include:
  • Applying Motivational Interviewing to Advocate for the Positive
  • Meetings 101
  • Medication Assisted Treatment
  • Networks and Buy-Ins
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Stigma Training Series (six videos) 
Watch and share the Spotlights to grow your skills, build your capacity, and expand your knowledge. Click to view brief spotlight videos or go to chsculture.org/trainings/brief-spotlight-videos/. You can also find them on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLefHXZ_EU1nMiu6vhlvJVhKjMjFh_QvV5.

We record all our webinars and post them on our website and YouTube channel for individuals seeking to watch, re-watch, or share them with others. Our Webinar Archives include recordings of topics on:
  • Applying Traffic Safety Culture – Sharing Survey Data About the Culture of Impaired Driving in Park Rapids, Minnesota
  • Traffic Safety Culture and Its Relationship to Vision Zero
  • Proactive Traffic Safety – Communication Tools to Reach Our Shared Vision of Zero Deaths and Serious Injuries
  • Key Information for Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis (DUIC) Policy
  • Reducing Problem Gambling in Oregon
  • What is the Positive Culture Framework for Improving Health and Safety?
  • And many more!
We are seeking a Senior Level Researcher/ScientistInterested in joining our highly motivated and collaborative center to improve health and safety in communities and organizations? See https://jobs.montana.edu/postings/21744 for details.
Center for Health and Safety Culture | www.CHSCulture.org