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Bull recognized as a White House Transportation Champion of Change

IU School of Medicine • 10/12/15

INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the White House, in conjunction with the United States Department of Transportation, will recognize Marilyn Bull, M.D., along with 10 others from across the country as Transportation Champions of Change.

Dr. Bull is the Morris Green Professor of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. She is a published writer and has spoken internationally on pediatric issues, specifically in the transportation safety arena. Among child transportation safety advocates nationwide, she is known for her work in improving transportation safety for children with special health care needs.

With Dr. Bull’s support and guidance, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and the IU School of Medicine sponsor the Automotive Safety for Children program and the Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Health Care Needs. These programs provide a resource for special needs children and their families to travel safer, and aim to reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes.

Dr. Bull and the other honorees were selected by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the White House for their achievements.

“This year’s nominees are a truly gifted group of individuals who have exceptional vision and foresight when it comes to the issues we are dealing with in transportation,” said Secretary Foxx.  “Their exemplary leadership is charting the course for our 21st century needs. I applaud them and I hope to see others follow their lead.”

Dr. Bull is committed to child safety, and has worked with entrepreneurs and manufacturers to develop products to help children with special health care needs travel safely. She and her team created the curriculum on “Safe Travel for All Children,” which is used nationally and internationally for training.

“Success in promoting child passenger safety – and especially safe transportation for children with special needs, has come from working with amazing colleagues at the Automotive Safety Program at Riley Hospital, the NHTSA, American Academy of Pediatrics, Safe Kids Worldwide, engineers, manufacturers and regulatory and legislative partners,” Dr. Bull said.

“Many challenges remain, as we must globally address an ever-increasing rate of highway deaths and solve the unresolved issues facing children with special vulnerabilities. Teamwork is the key to achieving these goals. Every pediatrician, child passenger safety technician and law enforcement and administrative colleagues are our real Champions for Change for saving lives one carseat at a time.”

Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation issued a draft report, “Beyond Traffic,” which examines the trends and choices facing America’s transportation infrastructure over the next three decades. These include 70 million more people by 2045, a 45 percent increase in freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system facing more frequent extreme weather events.

The report predicts increased gridlock nationwide unless changes are made in the near-term. This Champions of Change event will honor people who recognize these challenges in transportation and endeavor to solve them.

This year’s theme, Beyond Traffic: Innovators in Transportation for the Future, honors a select group of individuals for exceptional service and leadership for the country’s future transportation needs. Innovators were considered in one of four categories: How We Move, How We Move Things, How We Move Better or How We Adapt.

Dr. Bull will attend a recognition ceremony at the White House on Oct. 13, followed by a West Wing tour. The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

The event will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 1:30 pm ET. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.