National Child Passenger Safety Board named Mark Van Horn Instructor of the Year and Patricia Corwin Technician of the Year for 2016. The NCPSB also thanks AAA for awarding each honoree $500 in support of child passenger safety at the Lifesavers Conference April 2 in California.
Instructor of the Year: Mark Van Horn
Mark Van Horn is a retired Nebraska state trooper and one of the first child passenger instructors certified in 1997.
“The most notable evidence of our work in this field is reduction of traffic fatality numbers seen over the decades, particularly involving children,” Van Horn said. “My most significant experiences regarding child passenger safety were participating in investigations of vehicle crashes involving young children who were ejected from the vehicles due to inappropriate installations of their child safety seats. (While) the children survived, neither would have been ejected if their child restraints were correct.”
These crashes helped establish and expand the Child Passenger Safety Certification program in Nebraska, which Van Horn led for almost 20 years. He remains a passionate traffic safety advocate and is employed by the Nebraska Safety Council and Traffic Safety Plus.
Technician of the Year: Patricia Corwin
Patricia Corwin is operations manager at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and program coordinator for the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies, a National Science Foundation Industry and University Cooperative Research Center. Corwin researches the causes and mechanisms of injury to advance safety for children and young adults. The findings create public education programs, including the CPS program at Wexner Medical Center.
“Coming from a molecular genetics and microbiology background, I literally focused on the small picture, examining various ways people can be kept safe from things they can’t see,” Corwin said. “Upon joining the IBRC and CChIPS, I didn’t immediately have an appreciation for things that were researched on a macroscopic scale. However, after seeing the research and the impact it had on child passenger safety, my interest was piqued. I sought out ways to make a difference.
“When I became a mother in 2014, being a technician gave me peace of mind, knowing I was keeping my son as safe as possible in the car. My son is my biggest motivation to educate other caregivers.”
Corwin led the charge to create the
Buckle Up with Brutus website to compliment the medical center’s CPS program. She helped create a
video demonstrating the benefits of rear-facing car seats, which was viewed more than 13,000 times by child passenger safety technicians in the U.S. and Canada.
NCPSB is pleased to honor Van Horn and Corwin for their work, said Audrey Eagle, NCPSB chairman.
“Their efforts are an outstanding example of the important education and training child passenger safety technicians and instructors provide all across the country,” she said.
The National Child Passenger Safety Board, a program managed by the National Safety Council, seeks to maintain the quality and integrity of the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program, which is used to train and certify child passenger safety technicians and instructors. For more information, visit