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November 1, 2010

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health International Injury Research Unit Named WHO Collaborating Center

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health today announced that its Department of International Health and International Injury Research Unit have been designated a “collaborating center” by the World Health Organization. The new WHO Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention is only the third collaborating center in the United States to focus on injury prevention and joins a network of more than 800 WHO Collaborating Centers in more than 80 countries.

Housed within the Department of International Health, the International Injury Research Unit conducts research and training to identify effective solutions to the growing burden of injuries in low- and middle-income populations, influence public policy and practice, and advance the field of injury prevention throughout the world. Injuries cause more than five million deaths every year, resulting in high economic and social costs for communities around the globe, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where public health systems have yet to prioritize injuries as a major health concern.

Adnan A. Hyder, MD, MPH, PhD, associate professor with the Department of International Health and director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, will be the director of the new collaborating center.

“Selection as a WHO Collaborating Center is great recognition that our work on international injuries here at Johns Hopkins already aligns with the global and strategic vision of WHO,” said Hyder. “We look forward to continuing this partnership as we work together toward the prevention and reduction of violence and injuries around the world.”

“Collaborating Centers are designated by WHO to support its strategic objectives at both the regional and global levels, enhancing the scientific validity of WHO’s global health work, and strengthening its capacity on the ground,” said Etienne Krug, MD, MPH, director of the WHO Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention in Geneva. “We are very pleased that our long and productive relationship with Dr. Hyder and his team at Johns Hopkins can now be strengthened through this new designation.”

As a Collaborating Center, the Department of International Health and the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit will conduct research and evaluation for WHO programs related to the prevention of violence and injuries; provide training and capacity development support for WHO sites; assist in priority setting for injury prevention research; and continue to monitor the road safety programs of the Road Safety in 10 Countries project.

“The formal designation from WHO is welcome, yet not entirely surprising,” said Robert E. Black, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of International Health. “The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit has played a significant role in several projects pertaining to WHO’s strategic goals including its current work with the large-scale Bloomberg Road Safety in 10 Countries initiative, which aims to reduce road traffic injuries in 10 low- and middle-income countries.”

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Bloomberg School, added, “WHO’s strong endorsement of the injury prevention work being done in low and middle-income countries by the International Injury Research Unit is a source of pride for all of us in the field. Together, we can have an even greater impact on injury prevention around the globe.”

About the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit:
The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit was established within the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of International Health as a way to respond to the growing burden of injuries worldwide. Through research, collaboration and training, the International Injury Research Unit strives to identify effective solutions to the growing burden of injuries in low- and middle-income populations, influence public policy and practice, and advance the field of injury prevention throughout the world. For more information about the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, please visit www.jhsph.edu/IIRU.

Public Affairs media contact: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu.