Safe Communities America, Inc. is the
non-profit, coordinating and accrediting
organization for Safe Communities in
the United States.


The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) operates what is currently the sole International Safe Communities Support Center in North America.  KIPRC does not receive dedicated funding to operate the support center so all support center staff also have other, primary assignments.  The current support center staff includes: 


Ashley Bush, DrPH  

Ashley Bush, DrPH, is a senior data management specialist at KIPRC.  In addition to serving as the principal investigator and epidemiologist for the Kentucky Violence and Injury Prevention Project (KVIPP), where she handles surveillance for a wide range of injury areas, she is also actively involved in Kentucky's public health-based drug overdose prevention and substance use reduction projects.  She provides technical assistance and advice to current and applicant Safe Communities on the selection of appropriate data sources and on data analysis to identify injury issues and to evaluate prevention projects. 

Dr. Bush holds a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences and Health Services Management, as well as a Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology and Health Management and Policy from the University of Kentucky.

Ashley Bush, DrPH    
Injury Data and Evaluation Support    
Nick Guerra  

Nick Guerra is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at the University of Kentucky.  Nick assists communities in preparing applications for accreditation and handles social media communication for the Safe Communities Support Center.

Nick completed his undergraduate studies at Carson-Newman University.  He also serves as a First Lieutenant in the US Army Reserve, where he serves as a Health Services Administration Officer.  Additionally, Nick is a marathon runner and former collegiate Cross Country and Track and Field athlete.

Nick Guerra    
Application Support and Communication    
Robert McCool    

Robert McCool, MS is a program manager at KIPRC.  He has more than 25 years of experience in public health injury prevention with a focus on planning, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of prevention projects.  He has worked in traffic safety (including child passenger safety and pedestrian safety), residential fire prevention and preparedness, outdoor recreational safety, drug overdose prevention and response, and other areas of injury prevention.  He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.  He has completed doctoral coursework at the University of Kentucky. 

In addition to his work at KIPRC, Robert works as a municipal police officer.  He is also the assistant chief of a volunteer fire department and training officer for a volunteer rescue squad.  He is certified as a peace officer, emergency medical technician, firefighter, police instructor, health and safety instructor, and search and rescue instructor. 

In his support center role Robert provides advice and recommendations on developing, deploying, and evaluating injury prevention projects.  He also provides recommendations for communication between public health organizations, safety advocates, and public safety agencies as well as assistance in integrating public safety agencies into a Safe Community coalition.  He is also the primary developer for the Safe Communities America website. 

Robert McCool, MS    
Public Safety Involvement and
Prevention Project Support
Genia McKee  

Genia McKee is the coordinator for the Kentucky Drug Overdose Prevention Program (KYDOP). Genia has held various other positions within KIPRC including Kentucky Safe Communities Coordinator, Occupational Fatality Database Coordinator, and Outreach Coordinator for, Kentucky’s near real-time substance use treatment locator website.  She is a graduate of Berea College.

Prior to her work at KIPRC, Genia was a community organizer working in agriculture and community development finance.  She has extensive experience in community organization, coalition building, and partnership development.  She also co-owns and operates a successful farm. 

Genia serves as the coordinator for the Safe Communities Support Center.  In addition to providing advice on coalition building and methods to foster community involvement, Genia offers guidance on developing and implementing drug overdose prevention projects. 

Genia McKee    
Coalition Development and Planning Support    
Steve Sparrow  

Steve Sparrow is the program manager of the Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program at KIPRC.  He also serves as coordinator for the Kentucky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network (KSPAN). Steve graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a BS degree in Biology/Chemistry.

Steve previously worked for the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program for 28 years as an industrial hygienist and served as the Director of Compliance from 2003 to 2007. Steve works in promoting and supporting the Safe Communities America program as a community program to build capacity for violence and injury prevention. 

Steve provides guidance and works with communities interested in preventing injuries and death in their communities.  Steve has also served as a Safe Communities reviewer for both Safe Communities America and the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network.  He is available to provide advice on developing a successful Safe Community application. 

Steve Sparrow    
Accreditation Support and
Partnership Development