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JHCIRP: 25 Years

Celebrating Silver,
Reaching for Gold:
25 Years of Injury
Research and Policy

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Center News Archive

Accolades at National Conference

The Center was twice honored at the 2013 National Meeting of the Safe States Alliance and SAVIR (Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research). The Center was given the 2013 "Ellen R. Schmidt Award in honor of the vision and outstanding contributions of Safe States Alliance¹s first President". This award recognizes a member who has made a significant contribution to the field of injury and violence prevention in one of two ways: (1) by developing and/or implementing an outstanding statewide injury and violence prevention program, or (2) by providing outstanding service to the Safe States Alliance. The award was given to our Summer Institute on Principles and Practice of Injury Prevention and to "particularly recognize the work of Sue Baker, co-founder of the Institute, Dr. Andrea Gielen, Director of the Center for Injury Research & Policy, and Dr. Carolyn Cumpsty Fowler, Academic Director of the Summer Institute". And, Dr. Gielen received SAVIR's President's Award "in honor of outstanding service and dedication to SAVIR and the field of violence and injury research."

Center Hosts Successful National Conference

Earlier this summer, the Center was delighted to host the 2013 National Meeting of the Safe States Alliance and SAVIR (Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research). The record number of attendees  -- more than 400 -- were local, national and international health practitioners and injury and violence researchers. Our local host partners included the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and from Johns Hopkins, the Pediatric and Adult Trauma Services, and the International Injury Research Unit.

The National Meeting's theme, "Safe Today, Safer Tomorrow," celebrated past accomplishments and challenged us to achieve more in the future through continued reseaerch-practice collaboration. The meeting covered a range of timely and important topics such as sports concussions and traumatic brain injury, opioids and prescription drugs, motor vehicle policy, preventing injuries to older adults, and a public health approach to preventing community violence, among others. Many Center faculty and students presented their work at the conference, and plenary speakers included Sue Baker, Daniel Webster, and Keshia Pollack. Shannon Frattaroli and Molly Simmons hosted a SAVIR-sponsored
training and advocacy day in Washington, D.C. as a pre-conference activity that drew participants from around the country. Jon Vernick and partners from the Maryland Network for Public Health Law held a well attended concurrent session on injury prevention policy for children.

We were honored that Dean Klag shared welcoming remarks at the conference, along with Dr. Josh Sharfstein, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Baltimore City Commissioner of Health; and Mr. Robert Maloney, Baltimore City Office of the Mayor.  Conference participants particularly enjoyed hearing from Baltimore's own Singing Sensations Youth Choir and seeing the harbor from aboard the Spirit of Baltimore. We also thank the School, the Department of Health Policy and
Management
, the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, and the Johns Hopkins Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety and Health for their sponsorships.

For more information on the Safe States/SAVIR 2013 National Meeting, including abstracts and pictures, please visit https://m360.safestates.org/event.aspx?eventID=56

New Center Research Finds Home Hot Water Temperatures Remain a Burn Hazard for Young and Elderly

Home hot water heater temperatures are too high, warns a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Despite the adoption of voluntary standards by manufacturers to preset hot water heater temperature settings below the recommended safety standard of 120°F, temperatures remain dangerously high for a significant proportion of homes, presenting a scald hazard for young children and the elderly. The report is published in the March 2013 issue of Journal Of Burn Care Research.

In the U.S., tap water burns cause an estimated 1,500 hospital admissions and 100 deaths per year and the economic burden stemming from these burns is tremendous. According to the researchers, human exposure to hot water at 140°F can lead to a serious burn within 3 seconds, and at 120oF a serious burn can occur in about 10 minutes. Young children and older adults have thinner skin which burns more quickly putting them at increased risk.

“Hot water temperatures above the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recommended 120° F were observed in 41 percent of homes we surveyed, including 27 percent of homes with temperatures at or above 130°F. We also found renters were less likely to have safe hot water temperature than homeowners,” said Wendy Shields, MPH, lead author of the study and an assistant scientist with the Injury Center. “Delivering hot water at a consistent temperature is difficult. As a hot water tank is depleted, replenished and reheated, water temperature will not be constant throughout the tank. In addition, water heater thermostats are not designed to provide precise estimates of water temperatures, making it difficult for residents to assess the exact temperature.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Reception Held to Launch The Susan P. Baker Scholarship in Injury Prevention and Control and Celebrate Center’s 25th Anniversary

Leaders in injury prevention research gathered on Monday, November 12 to celebrate the official launch of the Susan P. Baker Scholarship in Injury Prevention and Control, and the 25th anniversary of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Graduates of the Injury Center, mentees of Professor Baker, school faculty, administration, staff, and current students were all in attendance. Dr. Leon S. Robertson, a long-time supporter of the Injury Center and colleague of Professor Baker joined via a pre-recorded message, which can be viewed here.

The Susan P. Baker Scholarship was endowed to ensure that Professor Baker’s legacy of pioneering research in injury epidemiology will continue for generations to come. Currently, the scholarship will cover tuition for one doctoral student per year, and up to three as the endowment grows. “My work as a mentor has been as important to me as my work in epidemiology,” said Professor Baker. “As a mentor to new injury students I have been fortunate to grow the field of injury research. Through the endowment of this scholarship, we are doing even more to ensure that the field of injury research will continue to grow for years to come.”

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Started in 1987 by Susan Baker, the Injury Center was the first of its kind in the country and spawned the National Center for Injury Prevention Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current Center director, Andrea Gielen, ScD, was on hand to celebrate the Center’s success and look forward to the future. “Like so many of us in the field, I am also here in part because of the work of Sue Baker,” said Center Director Andrea Gielen, ScD. “It is truly an honor to celebrate the start of the Susan P. Baker Scholarship and the 25th anniversary of the Injury Center. We look forward to the next 25 years of injury prevention research at Johns Hopkins University.”

New Center Research Finds Rate of Suicide by Hanging/Suffocation Doubles in Middle-Aged Men and Women

A new report from Professor Susan Baker and colleagues finds the majority of the previously reported increase in suicide in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010 is attributable to an increase in hanging/suffocation, which increased from 19 percent of all suicides in 2000 to 26 percent of all suicides in 2010. The largest increase in hanging/suffocation occurred among those aged 45-59 years (104 percent increase). The results are published in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It is the first paper to examine changes in the method of suicide committed in the U.S. over the past decade.

“Suicide recently exceeded motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in the U.S; this report is the first to examine changes in the method of suicide, particularly by demographics such as age,” said lead study author Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “While suicide by firearm remains the predominant method in the U.S., the increase in hanging and suffocation particularly in middle-aged adults warrants immediate attention.”

Baker and colleagues used data from the CDC’s Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) to determine the characteristics of the changes in suicide rates between 2000 and 2010. The increase in suicide overall in the U.S. was first reported earlier in 2012, and is thought to be related in part to the effects of the economic recession.

“Recognition of the changes in suicide methods is a critical precursor to developing prevention programs and services,” concluded Baker. “Strategies that have demonstrated efficacy in inpatient settings such as installing break-away closet bars, lowering the height of anchor points and increasing awareness of risk indicators should be given greater attention for their potential to reduce suicide in other settings.”

Please click here to access the complete press release.

New Center Research Finds Housing Quality Associated with Children’s Burn Injury Risk

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds many children may be at heightened risk for fire and scald burns by virtue of living in substandard housing. Researchers surveyed the homes of 246 low-income families in Baltimore with at least one young child, and found homes with more housing quality code violations were less likely to have a working smoke alarm and safe hot water temperatures. The report is published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics

"The effect of substandard housing on children’s risk of diseases such as asthma is well-known, however little was known about how it affects injury risk,” said lead study author Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “The results of this study clearly demonstrate that substandard housing is also related to home injury risks. Even more disturbing is the finding that virtually all of the children in our urban sample were living in substandard housing.”

The study does not address why families in poor quality housing would be less likely to have working smoke alarms and safe hot water temperatures, but Gielen suggests there’s likely a constellation of factors associated with being able to implement safety behaviors and home modifications, including access to resources and information.

“The complexity of the relationship between housing quality and safety behaviors underscores the need for stronger collaboration between housing, health care, and injury prevention professionals,” concluded Gielen. “By maximizing the policy opportunities available to improve home safety, we can reduce injuries and save lives.”

Please click here to access the press release.

Injury Center Founding Director Profiled in the New York Times Magazine

The career of Susan Baker, MPH, ScD (Hon), the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, is the subject of an article in the October 28th edition of the New York Times Magazine. “Safety Lessons from the Morgue” details the events that led Professor Baker to become a pioneer of injury research, and eventually to found the Center for Injury Research at Johns Hopkins.

 “When I started, injury was not an area that most public health researchers were concerned with,” said Professor Baker. “I was appalled at the number of preventable deaths I saw during my time in the medical examiner’s office, and tried to do something about it. I have not stopped.”

Professor Baker started teaching the first course on injury at Johns Hopkins in 1973 and founded the Center in 1987. Through her teaching and mentoring she has influenced hundreds of people who have become leaders in injury prevention themselves. To read the full article from the New York Times website, please click here.

Injury Center Alum Recognized with Outstanding Recent Graduate Award from Johns Hopkins

Lara McKenzie, PhD ’03 was recently recognized for her work in the field of public health with the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. This award recognizes graduates of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health within 10 years of graduation for outstanding achievement or service in their professional or volunteer life. Dr. McKenzie is now a principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine and the Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health at the Ohio State University. Her research focuses on developing innovative, theory-based communication programs to help parents adopt safety behaviors like using child safety seats and installing carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was Dr. McKenzie’s PhD advisor. “Lara’s early career has been notable with many research contributions to child injury prevention, her commitment to widely disseminating the injury prevention message, and her service to our profession. We are proud to count her among our very distinguished alumni and congratulate her on this well deserved award.” You can learn more about the School of Public Health and our graduates by clicking here.

Center Director Andrea Gielen Presents at the National Institutes of Health Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Seminar Series

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy presented a seminar at the National Institutes of Health on the science of injury prevention research. Her hour long talk provided an overview of the field of injury prevention, a brief history of the accomplishments and prevention victories, and a look at areas for future research that would be consistent with the NIH mission and priorities.

“Part of our mission at the Injury Center is to get the message out to the broader prevention research community that injury research and its application to practice can promote the health of populations and reduce health care costs” explained Dr. Gielen. “I greatly appreciated the opportunity to share information about the value of injury research and discuss how our priorities fit within NIH’s mission.”

The NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Seminar Series is organized by the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Interest Group to provide opportunities for collaboration and exchanges of ideas. To view the schedule of upcoming seminars, please click here, to view a recording of the presentation please click here.


Center Founder and Former Director Releases her Fifty Favorite Peer-Reviewed Papers

Susan P. Baker, MPH, ScD (Hon.), professor and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, has compiled abstracts of her fifty favorite peer-reviewed articles, along with her reflections on each article. The compilation spans her impressive career, starting with the very first article she published in 1954, all the way to 2011. Articles included embrace the injury prevention gamut - from motor vehicle, driver, and aviation safety to drowning, poisoning, homicide and suicide. In addition to peer-reviewed articles, two examples of congressional testimony and William Haddon’s forward to her Injury Fact Book are included.

“The hard part of developing this collection was narrowing the selection down to 50 – from over 200 to choose from”, said Professor Baker. “The delightful part of this endeavor has been contacting old friends and colleagues and reminiscing about “the old days” when many of these papers were written.”

Professor Baker founded the nation’s first Injury Control Research center in 1987, now known as the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. She is a pioneer in the field of injury prevention, having helped to redefine injury as a pressing public health problem. Professor Baker is still making important scientific contributions and, most importantly, continues to mentor, train, and inspire tomorrow’s leaders in the field of injury prevention.

An electronic copy of the collection is available here. For more information about the Susan P. Baker Scholarship in Injury Prevention and Control, click here.


Safety Pioneer Joan Claybrook Receives 2012 Community Hero Award

Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen and former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has received the 2012 Community Hero award from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. The Community Hero Award was created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to recognize distinguished injury prevention leaders and exemplary programs that contribute to improving safety in our communities.

In 1966, Claybrook teamed up with Public Citizen founder Ralph Nader to successfully lobby for passage of the nation’s first auto safety laws. As administrator of NHTSA under President Jimmy Carter, she issued the first standards requiring air bags in all passenger vehicles and the first fuel-economy laws. These acts empowered government to establish safety standards for new vehicles and issue recalls for defective vehicles and parts.  She went on to serve as president of Public Citizen from 1982 until 2009.

“Motor vehicle safety is recognized by the CDC as one of the top ten public health success stories of the last century, and much of this success is attributable to the work of Joan Claybrook,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We in the field of injury prevention are indebted to Joan’s tireless service, advocacy and leadership.”

While at the Bloomberg School to accept her award, Claybrook spoke on “The Politics of Safety” at the annual Daniel J. Raskin Memorial Symposium on Injury Prevention. She shared her thoughts on how research and data favoring safety initiatives often conflict with political pressures on policymakers and administrative agencies, and offered her recommendations on what can be done to facilitate progress in safety programs.

To view the full presentation, please click here. To access the press release, please click here.

Award Established in Honor of Founding Director and Professor Susan P. Baker

The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) has established an award in honor of Susan P. Baker, MPH, ScD (Hon), founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and professor of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.   The award, named the Susan P. Baker Public Health Impact Award, recognizes a paper or poster that demonstrates the greatest potential for public health impact, and will be given for the first time during the 2012 NAME meeting.  

Dr. Baker’s renowned injury prevention career began at the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, under Dr. Russell S. Fisher.  Through this experience reviewing trauma deaths, Professor Baker gained appreciation for the public health impact of injury and the value of the data generated by death investigation for prevention and public health policy.

The inaugural award will be presented on October 9, 2012 at the annual meeting of the country’s medical examiners in Baltimore.    The award is sponsored by the Maryland Medical Legal Foundation. 


Center Faculty Authors of New Report on Incorporating Safety into Urban and Building Design

Designing or modifying buildings and communities to facilitate physical activity must include strategies to maximize safety. A new report released today, Active Design Supplement: Promoting Safety, by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene’s Built Environment and Healthy Housing Program, and the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) provides explicit guidelines for urban planners, architects, public health advocates, and others to consider when promoting active designs. Experts from New York City’s departments of Transportation, Buildings, and Design and Construction, and the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities also contributed to the report. It is the first time a publication has been produced to bridge the two disciplines of injury prevention and active design, and contains information for designers, architects, planners, public health professionals and engineers.

“Communities across the U.S. have begun to change their built environments to increase physical activity and reduce obesity,” said report co-author Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, an associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Now, the designers and architects involved in these projects have an additional resource to help them further incorporate injury prevention into their work.”  

Drawing on existing studies and evidence-based best practices for maximizing safety, the publication’s authors identified complementary strategies to promote active living and injury prevention, including 18 strategies for urban design and 9 strategies for building design.  These strategies can be applied to create health-enhancing built environments that also help to reduce the risk of intentional and unintentional injuries.

“Injury is the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1-44 and affects people at home, at work, at school, on the road and during play,” said co-author Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “As characteristics of the built environment can affect the risk of injury, it’s critical that the fields of injury prevention and active living continue to collaborate so that safety can be considered from the onset of planning and design.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.


New Guide on Walking School Buses Developed by Center Faculty and Staff

Keshia Pollack, faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and Alicia Samuels, the Center’s Director of Communications, are the authors of a new guide designed to promote walking school buses in the City of Baltimore. Titled “Walking School Buses, The Right Path for Baltimore,” the guide highlights Dr. Pollack’s research on barriers to walking to school in the city of Baltimore, the importance of walking to school, and its relationship to physical health. The guide includes strategies communities and schools can implement to promote and encourage walking or biking to school. Development of this guide is part of a broader commitment by Dr. Pollack and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to assist the Baltimore City Safe Routes to School Program in developing and expanding walking school buses throughout the City.

“Kids who walk or bike to school get more physical activity than those who arrive by car or bus, however it’s critical that opportunities for safety are built into recommendations for increased walking and biking,” said Dr. Pollack, an associate professor with the Center. “That’s why walking school buses are such a promising approach for kids nationally and right here in Baltimore.”  Dr. Pollack is in the process of meeting with school principals and policymakers in Baltimore to share the findings of her research and distribute the new brochure.

“By tailoring information on walking school buses and including how-to steps on program implementation, we hope to increase support for the walking school bus program among key decision-makers in Baltimore,” said Alicia Samuels, MPH. “We’re grateful to our funder the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for recognizing the importance of research translation.”

To download a copy of the brochure, please click here.


Endowed Chair in Violence Prevention Named for Injury Center Faculty

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty and former directors Susan Baker and Stephen Teret are being recognized through the creation of an endowed chair at the University of California Davis Health System. Named in honor of his mentors, Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, the founder of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Program, will be the first recipient of the Susan P. Baker and Stephen P. Teret Chair in Violence Prevention.  The purpose of the endowed chair is to further advance the work of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program.

Wintemute is a professor of emergency medicine and one of the nation's foremost scholars addressing firearm violence as a public health problem. He received his MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1983, where his primary research focus was motor vehicle and firearm related injury. Professors Teret and Baker were his advisors and research mentors. He has received numerous honors from professional and academic societies and the news media for his commitment to improve public health and safety, including selection by Time magazine as one of 15 international "heroes of medicine."

More information on the Endowment can be found here.


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Honors Former Center Director Stephen Teret

Stephen P. Teret, JD, MPH, former director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and current director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public's Health, today received the prestigious Chairman’s Circle of Commendation Award from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The award was presented by Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC, during a press conference at CPSC’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD. 

Given annually, the Chairman’s Circle of Commendation Award recognizes individuals, organizations, schools or groups who have made exceptional contributions to consumers in the United States by reducing deaths, preventing injuries and improving consumer product safety.  Research he did with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Policy on toy labeling revealed that the warning label “not for children under 3 years” was misunderstood by adults. As a result of these data and testimony to federal regulators, toy manufacturers now have clear, standard language about choking hazards and age appropriateness on all toys sold in the U.S

Teret joined the Bloomberg School in 1979 and is a pioneer in the field of public health law. He is a widely acclaimed national leader in product safety, injury and violence prevention, and food policy.  He has written numerous articles and books on injury prevention and consumer product safety, and is recognized as one of the first people to write about and advocate for the use of litigation as a tool for protecting the public’s health. 

 For more information about the Award, please visit:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/bios/chairman/award.html


New Center Research Examines Risk Factors for Injury among Deployed U.S. Soldiers Involving Humvees

A new report by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the U.S. Army examines the risk factors for injuries to U.S. military personnel from crashes involving highly mobile multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), more commonly known as Humvees. According to the study, involvement in combat and serving as the vehicle’s operator or gunner posed the greatest risk for injury. It is the first published analysis of factors associated with Humvee injury risk in a deployed setting, and is in the August issue of the journal Military Medicine. According to the U.S. Department of Army, motor vehicle crashes—both privately-owned and military vehicles—account for nearly one-third of all U.S. military fatalities annually and are among the top five causes of hospitalization for personnel.

“Nearly half of all those involved in motor vehicle crashes in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan from 2002-2006 were in Humvees at the time of the crash” said principal investigator Keshia Pollack, PhD, an associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  “It’s critical we consider risk factors for these crashes, and use this knowledge to develop injury prevention programs and policies.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.


Communications Director Alicia Samuels presents on Center’s Policy Resource at National Meeting

“Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers” was the focus of a presentation given by the Center’s director of communications, Alicia Samuels, earlier this month at the 2012 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta, GA. In her talk, Targeting Health Communication Efforts towards Policy Makers, Ms Samuels described the rationale for producing the Policy Resource, the design and development of content, and the evaluation and impact.

“Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers” has been produced and distributed annually since 2010, and is designed to provide Maryland policy makers, advocacy groups, members of the media, researchers and the general public with easily accessible and understandable information on specific injury problems in Maryland, and offer solutions on how they can be addressed through policy decisions.

“Contributing to the field of translation by sharing our experience developing and disseminating the Policy Resource is an important part of the process,” explained Alicia Samuels, MPH. “The overwhelmingly positive responses I got from conference attendees confirms that communicators and researchers are eager for knowledge on how best to communicate research and policy to lawmakers.”

Sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media brings together academia, public health researchers and practitioners from all levels of government and private sectors, and provides a forum for cross-disciplinary dialogue. For photos and more information, please click here.


Injury Center Faculty Recognized by CDC as Injury Prevention Leaders

The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) has included four Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty on their “20 for 20” list which recognizes twenty individuals for their contributions to the fields of injury and violence prevention. Included are current Center director and professor Andrea C. Gielen; founding director and professor Susan P. Baker; past director, professor and HPM Department Chair Ellen MacKenzie; and professor Jacquelyn Campbell, collaborating faculty with Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

“It  is an honor to be part of such a distinguished group of injury researchers, and I am thrilled to see our Center faculty so well-represented on this list,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, Center director. “This recognition is really a tribute to the talent and dedication of the many faculty, staff and students who all contribute to the Center’s success.”  

NCIPC will celebrate these leaders throughout the year as part of their 20th anniversary celebration.  For more information on the 20 for 20 Project, please visit the CDC’s website.

Study Funded by Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds Alcohol Advertising Standards Violations Most Common in Magazines with Youthful Audiences

The content of alcohol ads placed in magazines is more likely to be in violation of industry guidelines if the ad appears in a magazine with sizeable youth readership, according to a new study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study is the first to measure the relationship of problematic content to youth exposure, and the first to examine risky behaviors depicted in alcohol advertising in the past decade.   The study was supported by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy through its grant from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

“The finding that violations of the alcohol industry’s advertising standards were most common in magazines with the most youthful audiences tells us self-regulated voluntary codes are failing,” said CAMY Director and study co-author David Jernigan, PhD, who is also an associate professor affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “It’s time to seriously consider stronger limits on youth exposure to alcohol advertising.”  Specific examples the researchers identified in the sample included advertising showing alcohol consumption near or on bodies of water, encouraging overconsumption, and providing messages supportive of alcohol addiction.  

Injuries are the leading cause of death among persons aged 1–44 years in the U.S. Alcohol consumption plays a substantial role in injury: of the approximately 79,000 deaths caused by alcohol in the United States each year, 55 percent are attributable to injury. Alcohol is responsible for 4,700 deaths per year among young people under the age of 21, and is associated with the three leading causes of death among youth: motor vehicle crashes, homicide and suicide.

To access the complete press release, please click here.


New Research Find Helmets Protect Against Facial Injuries Following Motorcycle Crashes  

A new paper in the Archives of Surgery co-authored by Dr. Keshia Pollack, professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, finds motorcycle helmets significantly reduce the likelihood of developing a facial injury after a motorcycle collision.

Dr. Pollack and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the UCLA School of Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine, conducted a retrospective analysis of all registered cases of motorcycle collision in the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) occurring from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2006. After controlling for potential confounders, the authors were able to conclude helmeted riders had a significant 60% reduced odds of facial injury versus non-helmeted riders.

“This finding addresses one of the remaining issues in motorcycle safety research, as prior research on the association between motorcycle helmets and facial injury has been limited by confounders and limited sample sizes,” explained Pollack. “The bottom line is that helmets are an effective way to prevent injury and death following a motorcycle crash.”

For more information on how to prevent injuries and deaths from motorcycles, please see page 23 of the 2012 version of Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers.


Center Faculty Member Dr. Keshia Pollack Recipient of 2012 Mid-Career Outstanding Service Award

Dr. Keshia Pollack, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Mid-Career Outstanding Service Award from the Injury Control and Emergency Health Section (ICEHS) of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The award recognizes public health professionals who have dedicated up to ten years of service to the field of injury prevention, and who have made exceptional contributions in research, policy development, practice and advocacy. 

Dr. Pollack was nominated for the award by Susan P. Baker, who founded the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy in 1987. “In a relatively short time, Keshia has contributed a tremendous amount of knowledge to the field of injury prevention and control,” said Baker. “She is a passionate and skilled young leader whose ability to successfully translate new information into policy and practice is remarkable.”  

Dr. Pollack will be presented with the award during a special ceremony at the 2012 annual APHA meeting held in San Francisco, CA. The ceremony will also recognize the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control on the occasion of their 20th anniversary.

Injury Center Partners with JHU School of Engineering Students to Increase ATV Safety 

A long-standing partnership between the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering has resulted in another important contribution to safety, a sensor for ATVs that sounds when the rider is not wearing a helmet. Much like the beeping that occurs in cars when the driver or passenger are not buckled, the idea is to alert the rider to change their behavior. 

“All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have been gaining popularity in recent years as recreational vehicles for children. As a result, injury rates resulting from ATV crashes are also on the rise,” explained Center director Dr. Andrea Gielen.  “The product designed by the Johns Hopkins engineering students and Center faculty has the potential to decrease ATV-related injuries and deaths.” Helmet use reduces the risk of fatal head injury by 42 percent and the risk of non-fatal head injury by 64 percent among ATV riders. The project investigators hope to improve on this design in the future by connecting the sensor to the engine, thereby forcing the engine to shut off when a helmet is not detected.

The project- coined Team RIDE (Rider Injury Defense Environment)- is the newest example of a long-term partnership between the Center and the engineering students. Previous collaborations have yielded a helmet for white water rafting and a child safety seat which alerts parents to errors in use.

For more information on the Team RIDE project please click here.

Center Faculty Member Dr. Shannon Frattaroli Nominated to the Baltimore City Board of Fire Commissioners

Dr. Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recently sworn in as a member of the Baltimore City Board of Fire Commissioners during a ceremony at City Hall officiated by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

When informed of her nomination to serve, Dr. Frattaroli said, “It’s a privilege to support the vital work of fire service professionals, who not only save lives in the line of duty, but are dedicated to creating and promoting solutions to decrease the risk of fire-related injuries and death.”

In 2010, more than 3,200 people in the U.S. died in fires. Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by at least half. In addition, the 2012 edition of the International Residential Code requires that all new 1-and 2-family homes be equipped with a home fire sprinkler system.

For more information on how the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is addressing the public health burden of fires, please click here.

Injury Center Program Offers New Solutions to Keeping Firefighters Healthy and Safe  

A Center study funded by FEMA designed to reduce risk factors associated with heart attacks-the number one on-duty killer of firefighters-has wrapped up with promising results.  Study participants, all of whom were Maryland firefighters, experienced overall reductions in weight, blood pressure, body fat percentage, and total cholesterol measurements. An impressive 83 percent of the participants said their health had improved, and 72 percent said their home cooking habits improved as a direct result of taking part of the study which lasted one year.

Led by Center faculty Keshia Pollack, the first part of the Maryland Firefighter Food Intervention, Research and Evaluation (FFIRE) study explored barriers to health and wellness in the fire service culture. A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Johns Hopkins University next conducted interviews with members of the fire service. Based on this information, they developed a pilot intervention for the firefighters that provided nutrition education sessions, cooking demonstrations, and discounts on healthier menu items at local eateries.

"One of the most common barriers to health we heard from our interviews with firefighters was that they just did not have the time to eat healthy,” said Dr. Pollack. “Between a full time job, time at the fire station and family life, eating fast food was the default choice. The goal of our intervention was not just to tell the firefighters that eating healthy can be fast and easy, but to give them the knowledge and tools they need to make long-lasting healthy choices.”

More information on this study can be found here.

2012 National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence Includes Center Research

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, presented research from the Center’s partnership with the House of Ruth, a Maryland based domestic violence shelter organization, at the 2012 National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the conference attracts the nation's leading medical, public health and family violence experts from across the U.S.

Joined by Ellen Loy, LCSW-C, director of House of Ruth, Dr. Gielen described  how the partnership has led to the development of a community based participatory research agenda to enhance services to domestic violence survivors in Maryland.

“The conference provides a welcome opportunity for researchers, healthcare providers, and advocates to share innovative approaches to addressing domestic violence,” said Gielen. “By highlighting the Injury Center’s work with the House of Ruth, we can hopefully encourage more academic - practice partnerships.”

Also presenting at the conference was Samantha Illangaskare, PhD, a 2012 graduate of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society and student member of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. Samantha presented her doctoral research on the impact of domestic violence, HIV and substance abuse on women’s mental health.

The National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence took place in San Francisco on March 29th – 31st. For a complete list of speakers and selected presentation notes, please visit www.nchdv.org.


Center Faculty Participates in 24th Annual Executive Fire Officer Program Graduate Symposium

Dr. Shannon Frattaroli, core faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, took part in a panel discussion at the 24th Executive Fire Officer Program Graduate Symposium in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The focus of this year’s meeting, “Sprinklering America: We Can, We Should, and We Must,” called attention to the fire service’s role in advancing residential sprinkler systems and assuring that smoke alarms are installed and working in all Maryland homes.

 Dr. Frattaroli was joined by Raymond O’Brocki, Deputy Fire Chief with the Baltimore City Fire Department and Bill Barnard, Maryland State Fire Marshal, to discuss ongoing research and policy developments in Baltimore and Maryland on residential fire prevention.  

“Residential fires have been a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Baltimore City, and disproportionally affect the very young and old in our communities,” said Dr. Frattaroli. “By sharing our research on smoke alarm inspections and how to effectively translate fire safety information to state policy makers, we can ensure best practices reach those on the frontline of fire safety and prevention.”

The Executive Fire Officer Program Graduate Symposium was held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Over 190 senior fire officials from across the United States and Canada came together for three days to discuss various topics in fire service leadership, and honor this year’s graduates. For more information, please visit the Executive Fire Officer Program website.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Faculty Contribute to New Report:  The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report

Dr. Andrea Gielen, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and past president of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Prevention (SAVIR), along with Center faculty members Drs Shannon Frattaroli and Keshia Pollack, contributed to a new report released today which finds 24 states scored a five or lower on a set of 10 key indicators of steps states can take to prevent injuries.  Two states, California and New York, received the highest score of nine out of a possible 10, while two states scored the lowest, Montana and Ohio, with two out of 10.

Injuries – including those caused by accidents and violence – are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of one and 44.  Approximately 50 million Americans are medically treated for injuries each year, and more than 2.8 million are hospitalized.  Every year, injuries generate $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.

The Facts Hurt report, released today by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced.

“While tremendous progress has been made in preventing and treating injury, it remains a leading cause of death for people of all ages and the number one cause of death for children,” said Dr. Gielen “Texting while driving, the increasing numbers of falls in older adults, domestic violence and the astonishing rise in misuse of prescription drugs mean we need to redouble our efforts to make safety research and policy a national priority.”

The report also finds that funding for injury prevention for states from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) averages only $0.28 per American – and has dropped 24 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2011 – and only 31 states have full-time injury and violence prevention directors, which limits injury prevention efforts. 

The report was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is available on TFAH’s website at www.healthyamericans.org.

Center Faculty Developing Injury Prevention and Control Strategy for Maryland

Dr. Shannon Frattaroli and Wendy Shields, MPH, core faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, along with Elise Perry, MHS, are collaborating with the Partnership for a Safer Maryland to develop a Strategic Plan for injury and violence prevention in Maryland. The 2012 Strategic Plan will be a revision and expansion of the previous strategic plan developed in 2005. The 2012 Plan will include four specific injury topics that will be the focus of four program and policy goals aimed at reducing injury rates in Maryland.

“Injuries are the third leading cause of death for all Maryland residents and the leading cause of death for Marylanders aged 1-44,” said Dr. Frattaroli, faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “The purpose of this work is to put forth an evidence-based strategic plan, informed by the needs of the community, which will guide future efforts to prevent and control injuries. We have a lot of talented people in Maryland who are making good progress on reducing injuries. We view the Strategic Plan as a tool for coordinating and maximizing the impact of existing efforts, and for planning how to best use valuable resources as we move toward a safer Maryland.”

The Partnership for a Safer Maryland was formed in September of 2005 with support from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Core Injury Grant to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Partnership is comprised of individuals representing local, state and federal agencies, universities and research institutions, injury care providers, as well as private, professional, and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit http://www.safermaryland.org/.


New Center Research Finds Reported Increase in Older Adult Fall Deaths Due to Improved Coding

The recent dramatic increase in the fall death rate in older Americans is likely the effect of improved reporting quality, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. The report finds the largest increase in the mortality rate occurred immediately following the 1999 introduction of an update to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), suggesting a major change in the way deaths were classified. Several research studies, including one by the report’s authors, found that rates of fatal falls among seniors had risen as much as 42 percent between 2006 and 2006. The results are published in the May-June issue of Public Health Reports.

“We had been perplexed by the sudden increase because neither the nonfatal fall rate nor the fall-hospitalization rate increased significantly,” said Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “By ruling out these variables, we found that a change in how the underlying cause of death gets reported explains much of the widely-reported increase.”

Each year, one in three older adults in the U.S. falls, making falls the leading cause of injury deaths for older Americans. The annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $55 billion by 2020. Accurate interpretation of recent trends is critical for understanding the effect of ongoing measures designed to prevent fall injuries in the elderly.

“Falls in older adults are indeed a major public health problem, and this report should not suggest otherwise,” concluded Baker. “In fact, it’s likely that for some time we’ve been under-reporting just how many older Americans die as a result of a fall, a hypothesis   supported by international comparisons. Additional research and resources are needed to address this problem.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center Receives New Grant from The National Institute of Child Health & Human Development 

Dr. Andrea Gielen, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, is the principle investigator on a new grant recently funded by the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD). The awarded study, Safety in Seconds 2.0, is a 5-year, multi-site study which will build on the success of an earlier Injury Center study on the efficacy of computer tailored safety education to families in emergency department waiting rooms. This new intervention is aimed at parents and will focus on the use of child restraint devices - car seats and booster seats – with their children 8 years and younger.

“Correct use of a car safety seat is a proven way to keep a child safe in a motor vehicle; far too many families, however, face challenges in correctly installing the seat, properly buckling their child in the seat, or even using the right seat for their child,” said Eileen McDonald, an associate scientist with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and an investigator on the new grant. “Our hope is that by tailoring messages to a family’s unique needs and simplifying access to information by creating a parent safety portal, we will be able to improve their understanding and compliance with child passenger safety recommendations.”

The project will take place in two emergency department settings, Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Little Rock’s Arkansas Children’s hospital.  These two locations will allow the researchers to test their communication tool with English and Spanish speaking families from urban and non-urban areas.


Center Director Andrea Gielen Co-Chair of the National Action Plan Research Workgroup on Injury

Dr. Andrea Gielen, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, recently served as the Research Workgroup Co-Chair of the National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention. The Action Plan, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and 60 stakeholders from around the country, has three goals: To raise awareness about the problem of child injury and the effects on our nation; Highlight prevention solutions by uniting stakeholders around a common set of goals and strategies; and mobilize action on a national, coordinated effort to reduce child injury

 “While progress has been made in injury prevention, injury remains the number one killer of kids,” said Gielen. “The National Action Plan provides a blueprint for reducing childhood injury by strengthening the collection and interpretation of data and surveillance, promoting research, enhancing communications, improving education and training, advancing health systems and health care, and strengthening policy.”

The Action Plan focuses on seven areas of injury for which there are proven prevention methods: motor vehicle related injury, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires/burns, falls and sport and recreation injuries. This plan is intended to guide the actions of those responsible for the health and safety of children and adolescents, including federal, state, and local agencies, philanthropies, and non-governmental organizations. Additional stakeholders include schools, child care centers, insurers, businesses, the media, medical institutions, policy makers and health care providers.

The full action plan is available on the CDC’s website.


Center Study Finds One in Three Households in Baltimore Misreports Smoke Alarm Coverage

One in three households in Baltimore misreports its smoke alarm coverage, with the vast majority of errors due to over-reporting coverage, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Reasons for over-reporting included study participants incorrectly assuming all of their alarms were working because they weren’t beeping, and not having alarms on every level of the home. While previous research has found varying validity for self-report of smoke alarm coverage, this study is unique for also examining the reasons why individuals misreport. The report is available online in advance of publication in the journal Injury Prevention.    

“Forty percent of all residential fire deaths in the U.S. occur in homes with no smoke alarms, and another twenty-three percent occur in homes where an alarm is present but not functioning,” said study author Wendy Shields, MPH, an assistant scientist with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Our study suggests relying upon self-reports of smoke alarm coverage is not an accurate way to measure whether homes are protected.” The National Fire Protection Association recommends all residential homes have a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on every level of the home. 

Shields and colleagues conducted interviews and home observations with more than 600 households selected from 12 census tracts in East Baltimore, Maryland, a relatively low-income urban area.  After respondents completed the questions on fire-safety behaviors, data collectors tested the functionality of all smoke alarms in the house. A small sample of the over-reporters were contacted by phone and asked a series of questions aimed at better understanding reasons for over-reporting.     

“Despite the small number of follow-up respondents, the phone interviews give us some important insights,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the John Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and senior author of the report. “Particularly troubling is the fact that one in three of the follow-up respondents indicated they reported greater coverage than they actually had because they knew they should.  The implication for both researchers who survey residents and firefighters who canvass communities is that it’s critical to confirm smoke alarm status with actual testing of the alarms.”

To access the press release, please click here.


New Study from Center Faculty Finds Many Employee Assistance Programs Lack a Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Intimate Partner Violence 

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and RTI International finds employee assistance programs (EAPs), a standard benefit offered to employees at most large companies, are failing to identify individuals who abuse or have the potential to abuse their intimate partner, despite well-known risk factors for intimate partner violence perpetration. While previous research has documented the extent to which EAPs offer workplace support for victims of intimate partner violence, this is the first study to examine the involvement of EAPs in screening and offering treatment to persons who perpetrate violence against their partners. The report is published in the current issue of Violence and Victims.   

"Intimate partner violence has significant workplace impacts, and EAPs are therefore well-positioned to address this major public health problem,” explained study author Keshia Pollack, PhD, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Unfortunately, the majority of programs we studied are neglecting a critical aspect of this issue by not addressing intimate partner violence perpetration.”

Twenty-eight different EAPs were included in the study. While several EAPs reported that the detection of intimate partner violence perpetration would be possible through their general, standardized assessment procedures, only three EAPs reported that their standardized assessment covers risk for intimate partner violence, and none reported using a standardized tool or protocol which specifically asks about intimate partner violence perpetration. Similarly, many EAPs reported that the services they offer to intimate partner violence perpetrators were the same as those they offer to victims of intimate partner violence (e.g., development of a safety plan) despite the fact these services are not relevant for addressing perpetration of abuse, and none reported that they offer direct treatment or intervention services specifically for intimate partner violence perpetrators.

“Because of the large population they serve and their expertise in helping employees identify and resolve problems, EAPs are in a unique situation to address intimate partner violence perpetration,” concluded Pollack. “Moving forward, experts from public health, social work and criminal justice should assist EAP administrators to comprehensively address this public health problem.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.


New Center-Authored Issue Brief on Residential Sprinkler Systems Now Available   

A new issue brief from faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy covers current laws and policies related to residential sprinkler systems in new one- and two- family homes. The brief is available through the Network for Public Health Law, a nationwide consortium of public health and law professionals working to increase the use and effectiveness of public health laws in protecting, promoting and improving public health. Shannon Frattaroli, Stephen Teret, and Lainie Rutkow, faculty with the Injury Center, wrote this issue brief to summarize two promising policy approaches – legislation and litigation – to increase the percent of people in the U.S. who are protected in their homes with sprinkler systems.

Residential fires cause thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries in the U.S. each year, not to mention the economic costs and emotional trauma associated with property damage and displacement. The International Residential Code (IRC) was updated in 2009 to include residential sprinkler systems with all new one and two family homes. Some states have adopted this policy, however several states and local municipalities have taken action to prohibit adoption of this code change. The authors of this issue brief suggest that litigation is one strategy to affect policy change in the area of residential sprinkler requirements.

“Litigation has a long history of incentivizing industry to adopt measures that will prevent injury and improve the public’s health” said Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, assistant professor and core faculty with the Center. Dr. Frattaroli is currently working on research that would lead to a better understanding of the public’s opinion about residential sprinklers. Findings from this work will add evidence to the current debate about building codes and state and local policies related to the adoption of residential sprinkler systems.

To see additional examples of how the Center’s research, programs and policy work reduces the burden of fire, please click here.


Faculty Member Keshia Pollack Named to Baltimore Task Force on Transportation Safety

Dr. Keshia Pollack, assistant professor and core faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Policy, has been asked to serve on a Task Force working to develop a new strategic transportation safety plan for Baltimore. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, along with the Baltimore Department of Transportation, brought together this group to develop an action-oriented plan to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries in Baltimore, and improve the livability of Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

“I am honored to serve and contribute my expertise to the work of this Task Force,” said Dr. Pollack. “By recommending pragmatic strategies grounded in research, we have the opportunity to reduce traffic risks for all individuals who live and work in our city.” Dr. Pollack is an expert in injury epidemiology, policy, and Health Impact Assessments.

“A significant part of growing Baltimore in the next 10 years will be improving the streets for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake in a statement following the announcement of the Task Force members. “Thousands of people use our streets every day to get to work, walk to school, and enjoy everything this great city has to offer. We must work constantly to make our streets safer and more accommodating to everyone who uses them. I am confident that the members of the Strategic Transportation Safety Task Force can provide solutions to improve the quality of life in Baltimore’s communities.”

The Advisory Committee will meet six times between March and November 2012, with the intention of having a preliminary report by October 2012 and a final report in December 2012. The report will include specific recommendations that will guide the Mayor's FY 2014 budget.  For more information, please click here.
 

Center Faculty David Jernigan to Present at CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds: Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use -- What Public Health Can Do

Dr. David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) and faculty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, is part of a CDC Grand Rounds panel addressing alcohol as a public health problem. The event is scheduled for March 20th at 1PM, and is open to the general public via webcast.

Dr. Jernigan’s talk, “Alcohol Marketing as a Risk Factor for Underage Drinking” will address the association between exposure to alcohol advertisements and marketing and decisions to drink among young people. Previous research from Dr. Jernigan found that youth in the United States saw an average of 366 alcohol ads on television alone in 2009, and that youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television has been growing faster than adult or young adult exposure.
On average, 4,700 children and teens under the age of 21 die each year in the U.S. as a result of excessive alcohol use, with the vast majority from injury. More information on alcohol and injury can be found in Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers and on the CAMY website.


Center’s 25th Anniversary Seminar Series Concludes with Remarks from Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and Premier of New Center Video

Dr. Linda Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), described what the Federal agency is doing to address injury and violence in the U.S. and abroad to a packed room of public health students, staff and faculty during the last lecture of the Center’s 25th anniversary series. Her talk, “Injury and Violence Prevention: The Public Health Achievement of the Decade,” contained examples of current opportunities as well as challenges for injury practitioners and researchers. Dr. Degutis also spoke at length about the priority areas for NCIPC, including motor vehicle injury, prescription drug overdoses, traumatic brain injury and violence against children.

Dr. Degutis praised the Center’s long-standing commitment to translating research into practice and policy, a theme of a new video on the Center which premiered immediately before her remarks. The video was produced in partnership with the School’s Public Affairs office, and showcases examples of how the Center’s work reduces the toll of injury by improving and saving lives. It has also been added to the Center’s Facebook page and the School’s YouTube page.


Center Director Andrea Gielen Named a 2012 Research Laureate by The Academy of Health Behavior

Center director Dr. Andrea Gielen has been named a 2012 Research Laureate by The Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB). This is the highest award bestowed by The Academy, and honors an individual who has made a significant and enduring contribution to health behavior research.

On behalf of The Academy, I congratulate Dr. Gielen on this well-deserved recognition,” said Elaine A. Borawski, PhD, AAHB President. “Andrea has achieved an honor that very few in our profession earn during their career.”

The mission of the American Academy of Health Behavior is to serve as the “research home” for health behavior scholars and researchers whose primary commitment is to excellence in research and the application of research to practice to improve the public's health.

The process for identifying the Research Laureate is highly competitive and is based on a comparative review of finalists’ lifetime records of research productivity and national and international impacts on the field. For more information on this award, please click here.

2012 edition of “Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers” Now Available

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy has released the 2012 edition of its signature policy communication publication, “Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers.” This edition is an update to the 2010 and 2011 versions, and includes two new topics important for Maryland:  Poisoning, and Trauma & Trauma Systems.  Other topics include: Alcohol and Injury, ATV Safety, Distracted Driving, Falls Among Older Adults, Intimate Partner Violence, Motorcycle Safety, Teen Drivers and Home Fires.

The Policy Resource is designed to provide Maryland policy makers, advocacy groups, members of the media, researchers and the general public with easy to understand information on specific injury problems in Maryland, and offer solutions on how they can be addressed through policy. Information on each topic is presented as a one-page fact sheet with three primary sections: How Does it Affect the U.S.?, How Does it Affect Maryland?, and How Do We Address This Problem?.

“Our decision to update the Policy Resource stems from the positive feedback we’ve received from policy makers here in Maryland, as well as from other researchers and advocates across the U.S.,” said Alicia Samuels, the director of communications for the Johns Hopkins Injury Center. “By offering policy makers and other advocates with current and accessible information on the size and scope of injury problems, we are able to deliver on our mission of closing the gap between research and policy to reduce the burden of injury.”

To access an electronic copy, please click here. To read more about the Policy Resource, please visit the January issue of the Partnership for Safer Maryland’s Newsletter. 

Center Research Finds Injuries to Professional Athletes from Routine Play or Practice Often Reported as “Freak Accidents” in Media

A new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds injuries to professional athletes from routine play or practice are often characterized as “freak accidents” in the media, and fewer than one in ten news stories on injury events framed as ‘freak accidents’ include a prevention message. It is the first published study examining how the phrase is used in media, and is published in the current issue of Injury Prevention.

Given that the news media shape public understanding of health issues, the study authors sought to understand how the US media use the expression ‘freak accident’ in relation to injury events. Three US news sources (Associated Press, New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer) were chosen to serve as a proxy for the wider news media.

The search yielded a dataset of 250 stories incorporating the term ‘freak accident’ over a five-year period (2005-9), with injuries sustained by professional athletes dominating coverage (61%). Despite being called “freak accidents,” the injuries occurred most frequently during competition (40%) and practice (34%).

“Framing sporting injuries that occur from routine play as ‘freak accidents’ might be an attempt to cover-up the dangerous risk-taking inherent to many sports,” explained lead study author Katherine C. Smith, PhD, an associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Smith and colleagues also examined whether stories included information on how the event could have been prevented. Stories in which the injured person was a professional athlete were less likely than stories about any other injured party to include any prevention content, and stories in which the journalist employed the expression were significantly less likely to include any prevention content versus those in which the expression was used by a quoted stakeholder.

“Journalists who frame injury events as freak accidents may be an appropriate focus for public health advocacy efforts,” said Smith. “Effective prevention messages should be developed and disseminated to accompany injury reporting in order to educate and protect the public.”

Professor Sue Baker Editor of New Book on Trends and Takeaways in Injury Research

Susan P. Baker, professor and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, along with Dr. Guohua Li, alumni of the Center and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, have published the most comprehensive reference book to date on the methods and approaches underpinning the scientific discipline of injury control and prevention.

Baker and Dr. Li brought together a team of global experts from public health, medicine, engineering, and behavioral and social sciences to write about the latest advances in theories and methods for understanding the causes, mechanisms, and outcomes of injury as well as the strategies to prevent injuries. The 36 chapters are written by some of the most accomplished researchers in the world, including several Center faculty: Dr. Shannon Frattaroli (Qualitative Methods), Dr. Renan Castillo (Functional Outcomes), Dr. David Bishai (Injury Costing Frameworks), and Dr. Andrea Gielen and Eileen McDonald (Behavioral Approach).

Called a milestone and a “bedrock text” for researchers by the publisher, Springer, this is an essential reference book for anyone interested in violence prevention, emergency medical services, trauma care, risk assessment, crash investigation and litigation, and vehicle, occupational, recreational, and home safety.

The book allows the reader to appreciate how far the field of injury research has come since its beginning, as reflected by the following:

  • Injury is no longer considered a result of bad luck; it is not simply an “act of god”.
  • Injury is predictable, preventable, and treatable, and even in a crash, fall, or shooting, there are effective interventions to lessen the risk, severity, and outcome of an injury.
  • Injury is now widely recognized as a health problem, and in the field of public health and medicine, the word accident is avoided by mentioning the crash, poisoning, fall, or other injury-producing event.
  • Injury is the subject of rigorous inquiries and interventions from multiple disciplines.


The kindle version of the book is online at Injury Research.

New Center Research Finds More Efforts Are Needed to Address Motor Vehicle Deaths Among American Indians and Alaska Natives

More research and programs are needed to address the elevated rate of motor vehicle-related deaths among American Indian and Alaska Native populations, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. To better understand this racial and ethnic disparity, the authors conducted a systematic review of literature published over the past twenty years and found just seven studies describing the problem, and only seven that tested interventions. Despite overall declines in motor vehicle deaths in the U.S., deaths are highest among American Indian and Alaska Natives, with a motor vehicle death rate that is three times the rate for the Asian and Pacific Islander population—the population with the lowest rate.

“The small number of studies in the peer-reviewed literature is surprising given the enormous human and economic impact of motor vehicle-related deaths in this population,” said lead study author Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “If injury disparities are going to be eliminated, support for research and programs targeting those groups disproportionately impacted needs to be made more readily available.”

To access the study press release, please click here.

The study is published in the January issue of Epidemiologic Reviews, which is focused on injury. The special issue was edited by Susan Baker, the founding director and professor with the Injury Center, and Dr. Guohua Li, an alumnus of the Center who is a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

 

Center Research Finds Many Strategies to Increase Physical Activity for Kids Lack Injury Prevention Measures

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documents a need for increased injury prevention efforts in many of the most popular activities for kids (walking, bicycling, swimming, sports and playground use) in the United States. Injury is the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S., yet many public health efforts to promote physical activity in kids do not consider the numerous available strategies to incorporate injury prevention. The report, published online in the journal Health and Place, outlines how injury prevention and child obesity professionals can work together to prevent injury while promoting active lifestyles in kids.

"Many of the activities currently recommended to reduce obesity in kids are also the leading causes of activity-related injury," explained Center faculty Keshia Pollack, PhD, the study’s lead author. "There are many behavioral, environmental and policy approaches proven to make exercise activities safer for kids, which we outline in our study."

For example, efforts are underway at the federal, state and local levels to increase the number of kids who walk to school; kids who walk to/from school each day are more likely to meet their daily recommended level of physical activity than kids who do not and, over time, walking or biking to school helps children develop an early habit of engaging in physical activity. The researchers note, however, that while pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among U.S. children ages 5 to 14, many effective interventions exist to improve pedestrian safety, particularly changes to the built environment such as traffic-calming measures (i.e., speed humps, traffic circles) and enforcement of traffic laws.

"The key is breaking down the silos so injury prevention is incorporated into strategies to increase physical activity," said Pollack. "The goal should be to maximize the benefits of physical activity programs and avoid the possible unintended consequences of increased injury."

To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Research Finds Fewer Children Require Hospitalization Following Drowning-Related Incidents

Fewer children required hospitalization following a drowning incident over the last two decades, according to a new study from Stephen Bowman, PhD, MHA, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. According to the study, pediatric hospitalizations from drowning-related incidents declined 51 percent from 1993 to 2008. The rates declined significantly for all ages and for both genders, although drowning-related hospitalizations remained higher for boys at every age. Hospitalization rates also decreased significantly across the U.S., with the greatest decline in the South. Despite the steep decline, the South still experienced the highest rate of pediatric hospitalizations for drowning. The study will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics, and is available on the journal’s website.

The authors note that over the study time period, important public and private efforts to reduce the risk of drowning in children have been promoted, such as installation of four-sided pool fencing, the use of personal flotation devices, and the endorsement by public health authorities of childhood swim lessons. Reductions in bathtub drowning hospitalizations, most common among children younger than 4, may be a result of targeted injury prevention efforts aimed at parents and caregivers of young children that encourage vigilance in supervision and offer education on the risks of infant bathtub seats.

“Continued funding and support for these efforts offer the potential to further reduce drowning hospitalizations in children,” said Bowman. Drowning accounts for over 1,000 pediatric deaths annually in U.S. and over 5,000 related injuries. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death of children age 1 to 19 in the U.S. For every pediatric drowning death, another two children are hospitalized for non-fatal drowning injuries. Total lifetime costs associated with drowning were estimated to exceed $5.3 billion in 2000, including $2.6 billion for children ages 0 to 14 years.

To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Research from Center Faculty Finds Delaware Fire Service Offers Important Lessons for Fire Prevention Programs Nationwide

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds fire and life safety programs in Delaware offer a strategic, comprehensive and coordinated approach to fire prevention. The study, which involved in-depth interviews with members of the state’s fire service, highlights the diversity of prevention initiatives underway in the state and documents how tradition, dedication, and a sense of community are keys to success for the program. Delaware was chosen for the study because some federal fire officials view the state as a model for fire and life safety practices. The report, published in the November issue of Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, offers recommendations to states and localities across the country looking to improve their fire and life safety activities. It is the first public health study to examine a state-level approach to fire safety.

“Close to 90 percent of fire departments in the U.S. conduct fire and life safety programs, yet little is known about the factors that influence their success and sustainability,” said lead study author Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “By examining the culture and context of a specific state’s program and sharing what we learn, we hope to help other states improve their own fire and life safety services.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Paper from Center Faculty Finds Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Crashes in U.S. is Similar for Mexican and U.S. Drivers, and Lower Among Drivers with Canadian Licenses

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and Columbia University finds that the rate of alcohol involvement in fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States is much lower among drivers with Canadian licenses than drivers with U.S. or Mexican licenses. The prevalence of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes was 27 percent for both U.S. and Mexican drivers, and 11 percent for Canadian drivers. Similarly, alcohol impairment was found in 23 percent of U.S. and Mexican drivers and 8 percent of Canadian drivers involved in a fatal crash. Research from other countries finds foreign drivers are at greater risk of crashes than native drivers. In contrast, this study shows that drivers licensed in Mexico and Canada who were involved in fatal crashes in the United States had the same or less alcohol impairment than U.S.-licensed drivers. The report is published in the October issue of Injury Prevention and is available on the journal's website.

"Our findings were unexpected, partly because the substantial cultural differences between the U.S. and Mexico led us to anticipate differences in alcohol-related crashes," said lead study author Susan P. Baker, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "We also anticipated that Canadian drivers in U.S. crashes would be similar to U.S. drivers because the rate of alcohol-related fatal crashes is similar within the two countries." Together, Mexican and Canadian drivers comprise more than 70 percent of all foreign-licensed drivers involved in fatal crashes in the United States.

To access the press release, please click here.

New Paper from Center Faculty Finds Hospitalizations Associated with Pediatric Burns Decreased Significantly Over Recent Time Period

A new paper from Center faculty member Steve Bowman finds that the annual rate of pediatric hospitalizations associated with burns declined by 40 percent from 1993 to 2006. Despite this good news, however, burns remain the third leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14 years, and account for more than 600 deaths per year in children aged 0-19 years. The burden of these injuries is costly: total lifetime costs associated with fire/burn injuries among children are estimated to exceed $2 billion.

“Our study provides national estimates of burn-related hospitalizations in children that can be used as benchmarks to inform injury prevention efforts through targeting of effective intervention strategies,” said Dr. Bowman, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the study’s lead researcher. Effective strategies include ensuring there are working smoke detectors in every home, providing fire safety education, increasing the use of residential fire sprinklers, decreasing cigarette use to prevent fires from smoking in bed, lowering water heater temperatures, and expanding the installation of anti-scald faucets in homes with children.

Interestingly, the researchers did not observe a decrease in hospitalization rates over the most recent years (1998 to 2006). Dr. Bowman, who joined the Center in 2010, offers an explanation: “It’s possible that better pre-hospital burn care and/or improved access to burn and trauma centers may now allow some children who previously would have died at the scene to reach a hospital for definitive care.” This research was conducted in 2009, when Dr. Bowman was on faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

To access the article, please click here.

Center to Partner with State Health Department on Injury Prevention and Control Initiatives With New Funding from CDC

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has been awarded funding from the CDC’s Division of Injury Response, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) to support its Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core VIPP). Maryland is one of twenty states chosen for funding. DHMH was also selected to be a Regional Network Leader (RNL) and received additional funding that will support an enhanced partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. This distinction allows Maryland to serve as a leader and provider of injury control technical assistance and training to states in Region III (DE, DC, PA, MD, VA, WV) and V (IL, IN, MI MN,OH, WI)

The overall purpose of the CORE VIPP program is to assist state health departments to maintain and enhance effective delivery systems for dissemination, implementation and evaluation of best practice injury programs and policies. Building on an already well established collaborative relationship, the RNL funding will further the partnership with the Center. Center faculty will assist with developing and evaluating capacity building and networking activities throughout the region. The funding begins August 1, 2011 and will last for five years.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to enhance the dissemination of effective injury control programs and policies among states in our region,” said Center director Andrea Gielen, ScD. “I am also grateful to NCIPC for recognizing that partnerships are an effective tool for addressing the broad range of factors that contribute to the burden of injury in the U.S.” The new funding for RNLs marks the first time core injury programs received special funding for the important function of regional support and coordination.

For more information on this grant and the VIPP program, please click here.

Center Faculty and Students Engaged in Effort to Improve Walkability and Bikeability in Area Surrounding Johns Hopkins University Campus

Center Director Andrea Gielen and Faculty Keshia Pollack have been chosen to serve on a University-wide committee exploring pedestrian and bicycle safety around the University’s Homewood campus. As part of their efforts, they recently completed a report that summarized data collected during focus groups with faculty and staff; an audit of the street segments and intersections on roadways adjacent to the campus; and a literature review. Other members of the research term include summer intern, Molly Mitzner; Michael Wu, an undergraduate student at Homewood and Nasir Ismail, a Doctoral student with the Center. Based on their research, the identified interventions focus on the “three-E's”: Education, Enforcement, and Engineering. The expectation is that solutions will be proposed in partnership with the communities near the Homewood campus.

Intern Molly Mitzner, presented their work during a poster session for the University’s 2011 Diversity Summer Internship Program. To see photos from the event, please click here.

Center Director Editor of New WHO Publication on Burns

Andrea Gielen, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, is the editor of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) newest publication on burns, “Burn Prevention: Success Stories, Lessons Learned.”  

The publication focuses on practical, affordable, and sustainable solutions that illustrate much can be done to prevent burns, and to improve care when they do occur. By reviewing and presenting the latest evidence in one place, the publication also seeks to catalyze increased burn prevention activities globally. Intended target audiences include:  public health practitioners, burns-related NGOs, and professionals working in ministries of health, hospitals, clinics and other health care settings. Center alumni Dr. Lara McKenzie, now a principal investigator with Nationwide Children's Hospital, also served as an editor.

“Burns are a serious global public health problem, and fire-related burns alone result in more than 195,000 deaths per year,” said Dr. Gielen. “By sharing information on solutions that we know exist, we hope to foster more prevention efforts.”

Approaches that have been shown to lower burn rates include: smoke alarms, lowering hot water heater temperatures, regulating the flammability of clothing (especially children’s sleepwear), and designing and distributing safe cooking stoves and lamps. The publication also covers advances in care which can reduce mortality, disability and suffering among those who are burned.

To access a copy of the publication, please click here.

Center Researchers Determine Oil and Gas Operations in the Gulf of Mexico Claim 139 Lives in Helicopter Crashes over 26-year Period

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that helicopters that service the drilling platforms and vessels in the Gulf of Mexico crash on average more than six times per year resulting in an average of 5 deaths per year. From 1983 to 2009, 178 crashes resulted in 139 deaths, including 41 pilots and 3 co-pilots. Mechanical failure was the most common cause, leading to 68 crashes (38 percent of the total), followed by bad weather (16 percent of the total). While the challenges such as bad weather and long travel distances associated with helicopter flights in the Gulf related to oil and gas operations are recognized, this study is noteworthy for examining the circumstances of the crashes. The article is published in the September issue of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.

“This study raises concern about the safety of helicopter flights related to oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly during bad weather,” said Susan P. Baker, MPH, professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the paper’s lead author. “Our findings suggest that efforts to reduce crashes and deaths must address mechanical failure, non-activation of flotation devices, and pilot error.” Baker is a licensed private pilot and received the Aerospace Medical Association’s Harry G. Moseley Award in 2010 for her work applying the public health model to aviation safety.

To access the press release, please click here.

Center Communications Director Delivers Webinar on Injury and Media

Alicia Samuels, MPH, Director of Communications for the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was the featured speaker during a recent webinar from the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). NACHRI is an organization of children's hospitals with 221 members in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The presentation, “Injury Prevention Webinar: Best Practices for Communications and Media Relations” focused on the importance of using the media to reach key audiences with injury prevention information, and offered tips for hospital-based injury prevention coordinators on working with their media relations and marketing colleagues. Close to fifty participants from around the country participated in the Webinar.

Since 2009, NACHRI has hosted this bi-monthly webinar series on injury prevention. Its purpose is to serve as a virtual networking and learning place for the community of injury prevention experts working within children's hospitals.

To access the archived recording and slides, please click here.

Center Professor Keshia Pollack Makes The Daily Record’s VIP List for 2011

Keshia Pollack, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, has been named a recipient of The Daily Record’s Very Important Professionals (VIP) Successful by 40 Award. The Daily Record created the VIP List to recognize younger professionals who have demonstrated success across Maryland. Winners are selected on the basis of professional accomplishment, civic involvement and impact of achievement. The Daily Record is a Maryland newspaper focused on legal and business news, and has been in existence for over one hundred years.

Dr. Pollack, who also received her doctorate training from the Center, is a renowned expert in injury prevention, policy and translation. Her work focuses on occupational injury, the link between injury and obesity, and the translation of injury research to inform policymaking. In addition to her research, Dr. Pollack is a gifted educator, and has been recognized by the Bloomberg school for excellence in teaching.

“Keshia is an outstanding scientist, teacher, advocate and colleague,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this well-deserved honor, and look forward to her continued success in the field.”

The editors of The Daily Record selected 50 winners to the 2011 VIP List. The winners will be honored on Monday, September 26th at a reception in Baltimore, MD. Winners will also be profiled in a special magazine that will be included in the September 30th issue of The Daily Record.

For more information about The Daily Record’s VIP List awards, please visit www.TheDailyRecord.com.

New paper from Center faculty describes Trauma Survivors Network

A new paper in the June 2011 issue of the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care describes the Trauma Survivors Network (TSN), a first-of-its-kind program incorporating self-management, peer support, timely access to information, and online social networking for survivors of a serious injury.

Developed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, in partnership with the American Trauma Society (ATS), the TSN is designed to meet the long-term psychosocial needs of trauma survivors. Earlier research by Center faculty showed that, despite improvements in trauma care, long term outcomes for many trauma patients are not optimal. By confronting the emotional response to the trauma and providing support for patients and families, the TSN is a promising approach to improving the lives of trauma survivors and their families.

The article, published as a brief report, describes the components of the TSN in addition to the implementation strategy. The authors note that since development was completed in 2008, 70 representatives from 30 trauma centers have been trained on how to implement components of the TSN in their own hospitals.

Center faculty member Dr. Renan Castillo, an author of the report, feels optimistic about widespread program dissemination. “The overwhelming majority of Level I and II trauma centers already have services that can function as the building blocks for TSN implementation. By leveraging those resources to serve as basis for the TSN program, hospitals can readily strengthen the services offered to trauma survivors.”

Center Faculty to Present Webinar on Translational Research

Save the Date: On Wednesday, July 20th at 12pm ET, Center faculty member Shannon Frattaroli along with Center deputy director Jon Vernick and Center director Andrea Gielen, will present their experiences conducting translational research. The speakers will provide an overview of the growing field of translational research and importantly, its value for the field of injury prevention. Presentations will include 1) lessons learned from disseminating injury prevention products through safety centers, both mobile and hospital-based; 2) factors affecting implementation of state and local residential sprinkler policies; and 3) translation of a community based youth violence prevention program from one urban setting to another. The strengths and weaknesses of the varied methodological approaches will be highlighted. A Q & A session will follow. This series is sponsored by SAVIR and co-sponsored by the University of Iowa IPRC, and the University of Iowa Center for Rural International Health.

To join the Webinar, please use this link: https://globalcampus.uiowa.edu/join_meeting.html?meetingId=1262304608667
It is not necessary to pre-register. When you click on the link enter your name and leave the password field blank. Please log in 10 – 20 minutes early as the software has been upgraded and takes a few minutes to download.

Dr. Burton A. Clark, Career Firefighter, to join Center as a Visiting Scholar

Dr. Burton Clark will be joining the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy as a Visiting Scholar focusing on injury prevention among firefighters. Specifically, Dr. Clark will research the underlying culture in the fire service that contributes to firefighter injury and death, and assist Center faculty and staff with dissemination efforts targeted toward the fire service.

Dr. Clark has been in the fire service for over forty years beginning as a volunteer firefighter in Prince George’s County MD. He later served as a career firefighter in District of Columbia’s Fire Department, and as an instructor trainer at the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute at the University of Maryland. Presently, he serves as an expert technical reviewer for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program and is the Management Science Program Chair at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

“The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research is a leader in research and practice devoted to fire services and firefighter occupational health,” said Dr. Clark. “I am honored to work with some of the field’s most preeminent scholars, and am confident my expertise will inform and strengthen the Center’s efforts towards reducing injury in firefighters.”
For more information on the Center’s fire services research and practice portfolio, please click here.

New Center Publication Offers Insights into Best Ways to Communicate Fire and Burn Safety Information to Young Children

A new report produced by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides valuable information on how best to communicate burn and fire safety information to children ages 4-9. From 2000 – 2007, 4,114 children 18 years and younger were killed in house fires. Educating children at an early age how to prevent fire and teaching parents about how to protect them in case of a fire are essential in injury prevention and safety.

The report, “Understanding the Impact of Fire and Life Safety Messages on Children,” is of particular significance for child-safety educators, fire departments, teachers and parents. It summarizes findings from a study conducted by the Center and NFPA earlier this year. More than six hundred kids ages 4-9 were enrolled in the study and watched videos of different sets of cartoons; children who viewed the "positive" cartoons, where characters took the correct action in various fire situations, were better at retaining the key safety messages than children who viewed "negative" cartoons where characters took the wrong action. This finding has important implications, as many health education and safety education campaigns focus on showing or telling kids what not to do.

The second key finding from this study is that parents play a critical role in reinforcing what kids learn. Following the video, some parents were asked to talk with their children about fire/burn-safety techniques; some were asked to base their conversations on safety information contained in a handout, while others were simply asked to initiate a general discussion with their children.

"Correct understanding of the safety messages doubled when we compared children who received no parental mediation to those whose parents received the handout information on how to talk to their children," said Dr. Andrea Gielen, lead study investigator and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. "Parents have a critical role to play in reinforcing the fire safety information kids are getting from the media and in schools."

A final report of the study, including more information on the methodology and findings, can be accessed by clicking here. The two organizations also developed a companion Guide, “Evaluating and Creating Fire and Life Safety Materials: A Guide for the Fire Service.” The Guide provides easy to use information on designing and evaluating a variety of educational methods, materials and programs for children and families. Please click here to access a copy of the Guide.

Two Center Alumni Inducted into Society of Scholars

Stephen W. Hargarten and Flaura K. Winston, both alumni of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, have been inducted into the University’s Society of Scholars. They were formally invested into the Society during a ceremony held last week in Baltimore, MD in conjunction with the School of Public Health commencement.

Dr. Hargarten was a Masters student in the School during the 1980s, where he worked with past Center director Stephen Teret. Dr. Hargarten’s accomplishments as an injury prevention scholar, teacher and practitioner include serving as the founding director of the Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and as the national president of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). His research has covered the span of injury control, from prevention to acute care.

Dr. Flaura Winston completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the School in 1993, working with Professor Sue Baker and other Center faculty. As the founder and scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Winston leads efforts to advance the safety of children, youth, and young adults through research and translation. Dr. Winston currently serves on the Editorial Board of the BMJ journal, Injury Prevention, and on the CDC’s Committee for a National Action Plan on Child Injury.

The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of then Johns Hopkins president Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the university board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society—the first of its kind in the nation—inducts former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff and junior or visiting faculty who have served at least a year at Johns Hopkins and thereafter gained marked distinction elsewhere in their fields.

Center Receives Grant to Reduce Childhood Injury in China

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy has been awarded funding to develop new ways of incorporating injury prevention into pediatric health care settings in China. The one year planning grant, led by Center director Andrea Gielen and associate scientist Eileen McDonald, will build on the model child safety resource centers developed in Baltimore. Working in partnership with Nanjing University and the Nanjing Children’s Hospital, the project will involve completing a needs assessment describing the child injury problem and creating an action plan for enhancing prevention services.

The project was announced as part of the inaugural grant opportunities provided by the University’s Benjamin and Rhea Yueng Center for Collaborative China Studies, a new initiative from the Provost’s Office. It was one of eleven grants awarded, two of which came to the Bloomberg School. The funding program seeks to deepen the understanding between the United States and China through a unique collaboration among the various Johns Hopkins schools and academic programs.

More information on the Hopkins-Nanjing Center can be found at: http://nanjing.jhu.edu/
More information on the grants awarded by the Yeung Center can be found by clicking here.

Policy Resource Subject of Two Recent Presentations

“Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers,” the publication developed for Maryland lawmakers by faculty and staff of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was recently included on the agendas of two scientific conferences. Dr. Shannon Frattaroli, assistant professor with the Center, spoke about the Policy Resource during a scientific panel at the annual meeting of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR) in April, and Alicia Samuels, communications director for the Center, delivered a talk on the Resource during the DC Health Communications Conference in May.

“Just as we’re committed to translating injury research into information policy makers can use to inform their decisions, we’re also determined to share our translation experiences with other researchers,” said Ms Samuels. Dr. Frattaroli echoed this sentiment: “By informing and perhaps motivating other researchers to communicate with their policy makers, we can increase the likelihood that public health policies- whether local, state, or federal- are evidenced-based.”

The rationale for developing the Policy Resource was two-fold: One, policy makers express a strong desire for tools to help them identify research on specific topics, however the information is not generally easy to find and the implications for policy decisions are not always clear; and two, each year in the Maryland state legislative session, numerous bills related to injury are introduced, and the Resource provides information relevant to many of them.

To access a copy of the 2011 edition of the Policy Resource, please click here.

Professor Sue Baker Honored for Public Health Service

Professor Susan P. Baker, founder of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was recently celebrated along with her husband, JHSPH Professor Dr. Timothy Baker, for their combined century of public health service. A portrait honoring the Bakers was unveiled during a ceremony at the Bloomberg school on Tuesday, April 12th.

Professor Baker’s accomplishments in injury prevention research and translation are unparalleled. Her work has been central to the creation of laws and policies to improve the safety of children in cars, teenage drivers, airplane pilots, truck drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. She has also worked to reduce poisonings, falls, drowning, suicide and homicide. In 2010, Ms. Baker, a licensed airplane pilot, was awarded the Frank A. Calderone Prize by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is the first injury control researcher to receive the prestigious prize.

To see photos from the portrait unveiling, please visit the Center's Facebook page.

Center Partners with American Public Health Association to Kick-off National Public Health Week

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy joined with the American Public Health Association (APHA) to bring awareness to the importance of injury and violence prevention during National Public Health Week (NPHW). This year’s theme, Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free, was selected because injury is a major public health problem and a leading cause of death and disability for Americans.

Roughly seventy public health students, staff and faculty heard remarks from Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of APHA, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of Health for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Dr. Andrea Gielen, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. As part of the visit to the Bloomberg School, Dr. Benjamin toured the CARES Mobile Safety Center along with Delegate Shawn Tarrant (40th District, MD) and public health students.

“Creating a healthier nation starts with creating a safer nation, and that means everyone needs to take small steps to improve the safety of their own communities,” said Dr. Benjamin, the APHA’s executive director. “The CARES Mobile Safety Center is an excellent model of community education and engagement around safety and injury prevention.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

To see photos from the event, please visit the Center's Facebook page.

Center A Co-sponsor of Upcoming Symposium on Community-Engaged Research

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is co-sponsoring "The Future of Community-Engaged Research," a half-day symposium focused on collaborations between researchers and communities scheduled for May 3, 2011. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear experts on the scholarship and application of community-engaged research. Ronald Daniels, JD, LLM, President of Johns Hopkins University, will deliver opening remarks. Other speakers include Marshall Prentice, DD, DHL, Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, and Frances Phillips, RN, MHA, Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services for the Maryland Department of Health.

The symposium is hosted by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. For more information, and to register, please visit ictr.johnshopkins.edu/FCER
.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Partners with Local FOX Affiliate on Carbon Monoxide Education

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has partnered with Baltimore FOX Affiliate WBFF on a public service announcement (PSA) to educate Baltimore residents on how to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States, killing more than 2,100 people per year.

Faculty and staff from the Injury Center worked with FOX on the script and video production of the PSA, which FOX will air from December through March.  As the risk of CO rises during the winter months, the PSA is timely. Already in Baltimore, there have been two high-profile CO incidents in December, one in a daycare center and another in a home which caused the deaths of two people who lived there.

The PSA instructs viewers on the importance of having CO-burning appliances serviced annually, and offers information on how to properly install CO detectors. As a call-to-action, viewers are asked to contact the Center’s Mobile Safety Center to learn about how to bring additional safety information and education to their next neighborhood event. The PSA was also featured in a JHSPH Healthy Monday tip on CO prevention and can be accessed here.

As a result of this partnership, Eileen McDonald, Director of the Children’s Safety Centers for the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was invited as a guest on FOX’s morning show to talk about CO prevention.  The CO prevention PSA is the second one developed in partnership with FOX; an earlier one focused on indoor drowning risks for young children.

Center Director Andrea Gielen Honors Dr. David Sleet with 2010 Distinguished Fellow Award on Behalf of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, presented the Society for Public Health Education’s 2010 Distinguished Fellow Award to Dr. David Sleet, the associate director for science with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The award was presented during the Society’s annual meeting, held Nov 4-6 in Denver, CO, and marked the first time SOPHE has selected someone whose career has focused on injury prevention. Dr. Gielen is on SOPHE’s Board of Directors, and had nominated Dr. Sleet for this award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

In presenting the award, Dr Gielen remarked that, “David’s work is, in large measure, responsible for shifting the paradigm in injury prevention toward an ecological framework, which eliminates the artificial divide between environmental and  behavioral change approaches.” A prolific author, researcher, and visionary, Dr. Sleet has published over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles and 90 co-authored or edited chapters, monographs and technical reports, including four books. In 2009, he received the American Public Health Association’s Injury Section Distinguished Career award, recognizing the significant and long-term impact that his contributions and achievements have had in the field of injury control and emergency health services.

Pictures from the award ceremony have been posted to the Center’s Facebook page.

Center Director Andrea Gielen Featured at Event on Home Sprinklers Hosted by Home Safety Council

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy addressed dozens of prominent public health leaders on the public health impact of fires during an event focused on home sprinklers sponsored by the Home Safety Council. The event took place during the 138th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver, CO.

In addition to outlining the public health impact of home fires, Dr. Gielen described the work the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is doing to drive awareness and acceptance of sprinklers through research and policy initiatives, including studying how jurisdictions implement residential sprinkler policies. Attendees were also given the opportunity to learn about how sprinklers work, and about what advocates are doing across the United States to impact policy and practice.

As reported in Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers, fires that occur in homes with sprinklers cause less damage. Since 1992 Prince George’s County, MD has required sprinkler systems to be installed in all newly constructed homes. Importantly, there have been no reported fire deaths in a sprinkler-equipped home in the County.

Lethality Assessment Program Developed by Center Faculty Honored with a Celebrating Solutions Award by the Mary Byron Project

The Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) run by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) was selected as one of four 2010 national recipients of the prestigious Celebrating Solutions Award given annually by the Mary Byron Project. Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty members Daniel Webster and Jacquelyn Campbell developed the LAP along with law enforcement officials and members of social service agencies. Its purpose is to help first responders determine if domestic violence cases are at high risk for lethality and link them to community programs.

The Mary Byron Project created the Celebrating Solutions Awards to showcase and applaud local innovations that demonstrate promise in breaking the cycle of violence. They select programs that can serve as models for the nation and offer $10,000 cash awards in recognition of their pioneering efforts. Almost 300 applicants from across the United States were submitted.

Drs. Campbell and Webster also conducted the research that led to the program’s development. They found that only four percent of women killed by their abusers had ever received domestic violence program services, and that the risk of re-assault of women assessed to be in high danger was reduced by 60% if they went to a shelter.

The Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model has grown from one participating law enforcement agency and domestic violence service provider in October 2005 to 106 law enforcement programs and 20 domestic violence service providers statewide. Jurisdictions in 11 other states around the country have implemented the LAP. Dr. Webster is now evaluating the program’s impact on domestic violence in Maryland with Dr. Katherine Vittes, a research associate with the School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

New Study from Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds Youth Report Favorable Impressions of Community Street Outreach Workers

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that youth generally perceive community street outreach workers positively, regardless of whether they have personally worked with one. Street outreach workers are typically members of the community who intervene to prevent conflict and retaliation, and in some programs, also connect individuals with needed services, such as housing, health care and job training. While communities across the United States are increasingly using street workers as a strategy to connect at-risk youth to services and prevent gang-related violence, little is known about how they are viewed by the youth in their communities, particularly among youth who have not yet worked with one. This study, available online in advance of publication in theJournal of Community Health, is the first peer-reviewed study to include the perceptions of youth who are not former or current clients of community street workers.

“These results support the value of communities using street workers to help meet the needs of their youth and in mediating disputes,” said Keshia Pollack , PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management and lead author of the paper. “Even youth who haven’t directly benefited from working one-on-one with street outreach workers are telling us their presence makes their own community a better place.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center Faculty Participate in Second China-US-EU Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit in Shanghai

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty members traveled to Shanghai, China earlier this month as part of the U.S. delegation to the Second China-US-EU Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit. The purpose of the Summit was to develop a coordinated response to the challenges countries face in addressing product safety concerns.

Traveling with the U.S. Delegation offered Center director and professor Andrea Gielen and assistant professor Shannon Frattaroli the opportunity to share a public health perspective on consumer product safety issues with close to 350 Chinese and European Union manufacturers and product safety professionals. The messages conveyed included the value of building safety into the product design stage and the importance of surveillance and reliable risk assessment tools to reduce the likelihood of injury. In addition to these presentations, Drs. Gielen and Frattaroli toured manufacturing plants and visited with faculty interested in injury prevention at Fudan University.

The trip to China was part of ongoing work between the Center and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an independent agency created in 1972 to protect the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products which fall under the agency's jurisdiction. In July, CPSC Chairmen Inez Tenenbaum toured the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy’s CARES mobile safety center and delivered a seminar on product safety to students, staff and faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ongoing collaborations between the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the CPSC are being planned, and will likely include new initiatives to train public health students in consumer product safety.

To see photos from the summit, visit the Center’s Facebook page.

Center Faculty Present Findings at Congressional Briefing Hosted by Senator John Kerry’s Office

Faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy joined their colleagues from the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), a nationally recognized youth development agency in Lowell, MA, at a Congressional briefing to share results of their evaluation on using street outreach workers to prevent teen violence. The briefing was held on November 15th, and hosted by the office of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH and Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, both assistant professors with the Johns Hopkins Injury Center, have been involved with UTEC since 2007. In August of this year, they published a paper in Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action that described the success of the UTEC program in using street outreach workers to reach and engage youth with the goal of violence prevention and intervention.

Close to forty individuals representing other community groups, Federal agencies and Congressional offices attended the briefing, which featured speakers from UTEC in addition to Dr. Pollack. The purpose was to discuss factors that have contributed to the success of the UTEC program, and offer advice for other communities looking to reach their disengaged youth with the purpose of preventing violence.

Photos from the event can be found on the Center’s Facebook page.

Center Researchers to Present at the American Public Health Association’s 138th Annual Meeting

Faculty, students and staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Policy will share findings from their research at the 138th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, held November 6-10 in Denver, CO. Center-authored abstracts include:

Monday, November 8, 2010, 12:30 PM:
Abstract 218183.“It was a freak accident”: An analysis of U.S. press framing of injury-producing events by faculty member Kate Smith. This research considers how and under what circumstances the term “freak accident” is used by media.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 9:00 AM:
Abstract 2202727. ‘Impact’ in Health Impact Assessments: Effectiveness of HIAs as a Decision-Making Tool by faculty member Keshia Pollack (presenting author: Aaron Wernham). This session explores strategies for monitoring and evaluating health impact assessments, and will provide examples of effective HIAs.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 4:30 PM:
Abstract 221227. Impact of intimate partner violence, substance use and HIV on depressive symptoms among low-income urban women by Center doctoral student Samantha Illangasekare. Samantha is the recipient of an honorable mention for the Kenneth Lutterman Award for Exemplary Student Paper in Mental Health.

The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, attracting more than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists.

Center Launches New Study to Enhance Community-based Participatory Research

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy today announced the launch of “ACT -- Academics & Communities Together -- To End Violence Against Women,” an initiative to build capacity among academics and community partners for community-based participatory research (CBPR). While the Center will be partnering locally with the House of Ruth Maryland, the outcomes of the partnership will help advance community-academic partnered research throughout the public health community.

“The ultimate outcome of community-based participatory research is to help ensure that research is relevant to practice and that results get translated into effective policies and programs to eliminate health disparities and improve health and well-being,” said Maryanne Bailey, project director for the initiative. “Applying this model to interpersonal violence is a unique and exciting endeavor for the field of injury prevention.”

This project is being made possible through an ARRA grant from NIH to the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Community PARTners core.

2010 Raskin Lecture Featuring New York Times Journalist Matt Richtel Draws Over 100 Attendees

The 2010 Raskin Lecture, “Distracted Driving – From Public Health Problem to Pulitzer Prize,” drew well over 100 students, staff and faculty, making it one of the most successful lectures in recent years sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Additionally, the lecture was webcast live from the Injury Center’s website to Center friends and partners across the United States. Matt Richtel, the New York Times journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to the “Driven to Distraction” series was the keynote speaker.

The annual symposium honors Daniel (Danny) J. Raskin, who was a highly skilled human factors investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a tireless advocate for transportation safety and injury prevention. The symposium is endowed by the Raskin family as a tribute to Daniel’s life work. Prior to introducing the keynote speaker, Bruce Magladry, director of the Office of Highway Safety at NTSB and a friend of the late Daniel Raskin, shared memories of their time together as friends and colleagues.

Mr. Richtel addressed the standing-room only crowd for close to an hour, speaking about his work on the series “Driven to Distraction,” for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010. He engaged the audience by speaking candidly about the individuals he got to know through his reporting, almost all of whom had been impacted by distracted driving.

Richtel also shared his thoughts on how researchers and journalists can work together to advance public health. According to The New York Times website, the series generated the biggest impact of anything the paper published in 2009. By the end of the year, state legislators had proposed more than 200 bills barring drivers from texting, phoning, or requiring hands-free headsets.

For photos from the event, please visit the Center’s Facebook page.

Please click here to access the archived webcast.

Center Research Featured at 10th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty were among the experts chosen to present their research at the Safety 2010 World Conference, held September 21-24 in London. Reflective of the diverse and broad scope of the Center, the abstracts presented included research on the experience of women using employee programs for assistance with intimate partner violence, the preparedness of older adults to prevent injury in their homes, and the relationship between knowledge of childhood developmental milestones and injury prevention beliefs among parents in Baltimore.

For more information on the Safety 2010 World Conference, including the complete program, please click here.

New Research from Center for Injury Research and Policy finds Pediatric Hospitalizations for ATV-related injuries More than Double

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are associated with a significant and increasing number of hospitalizations for children in the U.S., according to a new report by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Over a nine- year period (1997-2006) hospitalizations for ATV injuries increased 150 percent among youth younger than 18 years, with important demographic variations. Rates increased the most dramatically in the South and Midwest, and among teens ages 15 to 17. While males between 15 to17 have the highest rate of ATV hospitalization, females ages 15 to 17 experienced the sharpest rise in ATV hospitalizations over the study time period, an increase of 250 percent. The report will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Trauma.

“All-Terrain Vehicles are inherently dangerous to children,” said Stephen M. Bowman, PhD, MHA, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the report’s lead author. “While manufacturers are required to label vehicles with engine sizes greater than 90cc as inappropriate for children younger than sixteen, our data indicate that a growing number of children are receiving serious injuries due to ATV use, suggesting that parents are unaware of these recommendations or are choosing to ignore them.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Partners with Local FOX Affiliate to Increase Awareness of Indoor Drowning in Children

Beginning on October 9th, Baltimore FOX45 WBFF Baltimore will begin airing public service announcements (PSAs) targeting caregivers in Baltimore with information about the risks of indoor drowning. Faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Injury Center worked with producers from the station to develop, edit and produce the PSAs which will air over the next six months.

“As more infants drown inside their homes than in pools, there’s a critical need to get the word out about prevention,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director and professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We are very grateful to Fox45 for recognizing the importance of safety education, and providing us with this incredible opportunity to reach so many local families with lifesaving information.”

Three different PSAs of varying lengths were produced and will rotate on air. The call to action for each of the spots is to invite the CARES Mobile Safety Center to a neighborhood event to learn more about how to keep children safe in their homes. The mobile safety center is a forty-foot vehicle built as a house on wheels, with fun, interactive exhibits and low-cost safety products. It was created in 2004 in partnership with the Baltimore City Fire Department and other local organizations. The mobile center visits Baltimore neighborhoods to teach parents and caregivers about the injury risks children face at home and ways to make the home a safer place.

The PSA is available on the Center’s Facebook page and on Youtube.

An upcoming PSA developed out of this partnership will focus on carbon monoxide poisoning.

Center for Injury Research and Policy Receives Additional $38 Million from Defense Department to Expand Orthopedic Trauma Care Research

The Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been awarded $38.6 million by the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to expand its Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC). The Consortium, which was established in September 2009 with an award of $18 million from DOD, conducts multi-center studies relevant to the treatment and outcomes of major orthopedic injuries sustained on the battlefield. The additional funding allows for growth both in the size of the Consortium and in the scope of its research.

“The initial funding was critical to establishing the consortium and providing the resources to address some of the immediate research needs of the military in the acute management of severe limb injuries,” explained Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, principal investigator and the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, the Department in which the Center for Injury Research and Policy is housed. “With the additional funding, we will be able to expand the size of the consortium to address many other priority topics of relevance to both the rehabilitation and treatment of the wounded warrior, including the prevention of bone infection, chronic pain and overall disability.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.
For more information on METRC, please click here.

Center for Injury Research and Policy Announces Winners of Native American Injury Prevention Competition

The Center for Injury Research and Policy has selected Daesha Ramachadran, a PhD student in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, and Lauren Waltersdorf, an MPH candidate, as the winners of the Native American Injury Prevention Competition. Each will receive $5,000 for use during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Daesha will conduct a study of teen perceptions of what is ‘normal’ or typical of relationships among American Indian teenagers, as well as where they get information about healthy relationships and seek help or advice. The ultimate objective is to reduce interpersonal violence in this population. Lauren will study the serious problem of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries in young Native Americans. She hopes to identify differences among various tribes and identify policy interventions with the potential of reducing road deaths in this high-risk population.

While injuries are a major cause of death and disability in the United States, certain groups are more affected. For example, motor vehicle-related death rates of Native Americans are twice the rates for other Americans, and suicide rates among 15-24 year old Native Americans are more than double the U.S. average.
These powerful statistics are behind this new effort by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to encourage the School’s public health students to undertake research projects on injuries to Native Americans or other indigenous people of the United States or Canada.

The hope is that their work will ultimately lead to needed policy and/or environmental changes that will reduce the burden of injury in the Native American population.


Center for Injury Research and Policy Announces Native American Injury Prevention Competition
Two winners will receive $5,000 each to study injury in Native Americans

While injuries are a major cause of death and disability in the United States, certain groups are more affected. For example, motor vehicle-related death rates of Native Americans are twice the rates for other Americans, and suicide rates among 15-24 year old Native Americans are more than double the U.S. average.

These powerful statistics are behind a new effort by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to encourage the School’s public health students to undertake research projects on injuries to Native Americans or other indigenous people of the United States or Canada. The hope is that their work will ultimately lead to needed policy and/or environmental changes that will reduce the burden of injury in the Native American population.

Specifically, two awards of $5,000 each will be granted for use during the 2010-11 academic year to degree candidates at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Examples of products of eligible proposed projects include MPH Capstone projects (or equivalent), proposal for a dissertation focused on injury in Native Americans, and/or a manuscript to be submitted for publication

Applications should be submitted (along with a CV and indication of department and degree program) prior to September 20, 2010 to Professor Susan P. Baker, sbaker@jhsph.edu. A one-page description of the proposed research should include the specific injury problem or issue, its public health importance, general research and anticipated product (due 6/30/11).

The award money can be used for tuition, travel, conferences, data acquisition, computer or other expenses, or stipend. An approximate budget allocation should be included.

For further information or to discuss a possible project, feel free to contact:
Susan P. Baker, sbaker@jhsph.edu

Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Inez Tenenbaum Visits Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Visit includes Tour of CARES Mobile Safety Center

Inez Tenenbaum, MEd, JD, Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently visited the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and met with School officials, faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and MPH students. The visit was an opportunity for both institutions to share information and brainstorm ideas for collaboration. In addition to taking a personalized tour of the CARES mobile safety center, Tenenbaum delivered remarks on Pathways to Increased Public Health and Safety to almost one hundred students, staff and faculty.

“The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy has a strong and successful history of preventing injuries that occur as a result of consumer products,” noted Andrea C. Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Center. “Hearing directly from the Chairman and her staff about their vision for consumer product safety in the U.S. allowed us to identify areas for future collaborations around our shared mission.” These opportunities include working together to increase awareness of the Commission’s current consumer education campaigns on pool safety and safe sleep, overseas training programs to ensure product safety, and opportunities for Hopkins masters' students to complete Capstone projects and other hands-on opportunities at CPSC, which is located in Bethesda, MD.

This last opportunity is of particular interest to Jon Vernick, MPH, JD, Deputy Director of the Injury Center: “Training the next generation of leaders is a priority for the Center, and I look forward to seeing our students get real world experiences in product safety research and practice.”

To see photos of Tenenbaum's tour of the CARES Mobile Safety Center and her visit to the School, please visit the Center’s Facebook page.

For more information on the CPSC, please click here.

Center faculty member David Jernigan author of new report on global alcohol marketing

A comprehensive new report in the spring issue of Contemporary Drug Problems examines the influence of alcohol marketing on youth, and includes case studies from around the world. The report is authored by David Jernigan, Ph.D., associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.

“From Asia to Latin America to Africa, the marketing of alcohol is pervasive and cuts across all types of media, including film, music and mobile phones,” said Jernigan. “Particularly among youth, who tend to be heavily influenced by their environment, the outcome is a greater likelihood that adolescents will initiate alcohol consumption.”

According to Jernigan, the solution must involve systematically monitoring alcohol marketing, particularly in developing countries, in addition to regulatory strategies. For example, the article cites a 2006 study that showed a 28% reduction in alcohol advertising would reduce the percentage of adolescents who drink monthly from 25% to between 24 and 21%, and the percentage who engage in binge drinking monthly from 12% to between 11 and 8%.

For more information on the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, please click here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Honors the Rebuild Program at Inova Fairfax Hospital with 2010 Community Hero Award

The Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named the Rebuild Program at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA with the 2010 Community Hero Award in recognition of the program’s innovation and success in improving the lives of trauma survivors. During a ceremony and reception at the School, students, staff and faculty heard directly from Rebuild participants on how the program has positively impacted their lives.

Started by Anna Bradford, MSW, LCWS, the program is designed to support recovering trauma patients and their caregivers. It was the first comprehensive support program for trauma survivors and their families in the United Stares, and has since served as a model for similar programs across the country. The program currently offers five different support groups for patients recovering from general trauma, spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, in addition to patient-focused training for healthcare professionals to reinforce their vital role in the healing process. It is currently managed by Daniel Stanto, MSW, LCSW.

The Community Hero Award was created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to recognize distinguished injury prevention leaders and exemplary programs that contribute to improving safety in our communities. Past awardees include Carole Alexander, executive director of the House of Ruth of Maryland and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, former commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department.

New Study from Center Researchers Finds Street Outreach Workers an Important Tool for Violence Prevention and Intervention

A new study by Center faculty members Shannon Frattaroli and Keshia Pollack describes how using street outreach workers is an effective strategy to reach and engage youth with the goal of violence prevention and intervention. Street outreach workers are typically members of the community who intervene to prevent conflict and retaliation, and in some programs, also connect individuals with needed services, such as housing and job training.

While cities across the United States are utilizing street outreach workers as part of their violence prevention programs, including CeaseFire in Chicago and Safe Streets in Baltimore, this is the first peer-reviewed study on a program to be published. This is also the first evaluation of this type of program in a smaller community; the researchers studied the street outreach workers program run by the United Teen Equality Center  in Lowell, Mass., a city of 105,167 residents north of Boston.

"These features should be considered both by communities with existing street outreach worker programs and by communities in the process of establishing one, as they have demonstrated importance for both program success and sustainability," said Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management and the paper's lead author.
 
To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Study by Ellen MacKenzie Finds Trauma Center Care is Cost Effective

Trauma center care not only saves lives, it is a cost-effective way of treating major trauma, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policy. Although treatment at a trauma center is more expensive, the benefits of this approach in terms of lives saved and quality of life-years gained outweigh the costs. The study finds that the added cost of treatment at a trauma center versus nontrauma center is only $36,319 for every life-year gained or $790,931 per life saved. While previous studies have found trauma center care decreases one’s likelihood of dying following injury, this is the most comprehensive study to date to also measure cost-effectiveness. The results are published in the July issue of The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care.

“In today’s economic and health care climates, it is critical to determine whether the benefits of expensive therapies warrant their higher costs,” said Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, the Fred and Julie Soper Professor & Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Taken together with our previous work demonstrating the effectiveness of trauma centers in saving lives, the results unequivocally support the need for continued efforts and funding for regionalized systems of trauma care in the United States.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.
 

Falls the Leading Cause of Injury among Older Adults in China

New Research by Professor Susan Baker finds falls are the most common injury for both urban and rural elderly in China, responsible for more than two-thirds of all injuries in people 65 and older. This is the first study to uncover the leading causes of non-fatal injuries among older adults in China, who make up 9 percent of the total population. The report is available on the Website of the journal Injury Prevention.

“The identification of the most common locations and causes of injury is useful for the development of interventions and priorities,” said Susan P. Baker, MPH, professor with the Injury Center. “The results indicate the divorced and widowed elderly should be targeted as high-risk groups for injury. Prevention programs for all major causes of injury need to be developed as soon as possible in China.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Paper by Center Director Andrea Gielen Makes Case for Increased Support for Injury Research  

A new article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “An Urgent Call to Action in Support of Injury Control Research Centers,” reports that funding disparities for research are enormous across health problems, with funding for injury, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., far out of proportion to the magnitude of the problem. For example, the Federally-funded Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) program, created in 1987 with a $10 million Congressional appropriation to support five Centers, now supports eleven Centers who receive less than $1 million annually to support their work. Using funding to the National Cancer Institute as the standard and calibrating based on total deaths, the researchers determined the actual figure should exceed $1.4 billion.

The report is co-authored by Center Director Andrea Gielen along with leaders from six other Injury Centers.

“Despite the meager support provided, Injury Centers have made substantial progress and discoveries over the past two decades, demonstrating their continuing potential to advance the science and practice of injury control,” said Dr. Gielen. “As evidenced in this paper, what’s urgently needed is increased investment to accelerate these discoveries and ensure our results impact communities.”

The article also includes select examples of research contributions by the ICRC program and presents four critical “Call to Actions” for Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These include: Cultivate investigator interest in injury control and further development of cutting-edge research through increased funding; Support training in the science of injury control; Launch a comprehensive national campaign to foster public support for eradication of injury as a health problem; and Support a comprehensive, multi-agency review to determine how best to fund basic, applied, and translational injury research.

Program Developed by Center Researchers Chosen as Semifinalist for the Mary Byron Project's Celebrating Solutions Award

The Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), a program developed by Center faculty members Daniel Webster and Jacquelyn Campbell along with law enforcement officials and members of social service agencies, has been selected as a semifinalist to receive the Mary Byron Project's Celebrating Solutions Award.  The purpose of the LAP is to help first responders determine if domestic violence cases are at high risk for lethality and link them to community programs. As a semifinalist the program is in the top 20 of about 250 applications. Award winners ate expected to be announced in the fall.

Drs. Campbell and Webster also conducted the research that led to the program’s development. They found that only four percent of women killed by their abusers had ever received domestic violence program services, and that the risk of re-assault of women assessed to be in high danger was reduced by 60% if they went to a shelter. Dr. Webster is now evaluating the program’s impact on domestic violence in Maryland with Dr. Katherine Vittes, a research associate with the School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

The Mary Byron Foundation is a public grant-making charity based in Louisville, Kentucky that honors groundbreaking efforts to stop domestic violence.  The Foundation's Celebrating Solutions Award recognizes institutions that demonstrate an innovative approach to confronting the root causes of domestic violence and developing solutions to break the cycle. The Foundation is named in honor of a woman who was murdered by a former boyfriend in 1993.  More information on the Foundation can be accessed here.

Center Faculty Keshia Pollack Addresses Institute of Medicine Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children

Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, delivered a presentation on the relationship between injury prevention and obesity in young children during the June meeting of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children. The committee is tasked with reviewing factors related to overweight and obesity in infants and young children, identifying gaps in knowledge, and making recommendations on early childhood obesity prevention policies. The purpose of the talk was to describe how injury relates to obesity risk, and make the case for why the Committee should consider injury prevention in addressing childhood obesity.

“Injury researchers and obesity researchers share the common goal of keeping people active and safe,” said Dr. Pollack. “While this approach of the two fields working together is somewhat new, we are fortunate to already have successful examples to learn from and model, such as the Safe Routes to Schools program which has been effective at getting more children to safely walk and bicycle to school.”

In closing, Dr. Pollack thanked the IOM committee for recognizing the opportunities for partnership between the two fields. “I look forward to continued collaborations with colleagues working to prevent and control childhood obesity. Together we can keep kids healthy and safe.”

More information on the IOM Committee can be accessed here.

Work of Center Faculty David Jernigan Linked to new WHO Global Strategy on Alcohol Policy

Center faculty member David Jernigan contributed to efforts to secure the World Health Assembly’s recent adoption of a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. As a result, health ministers from around the world will now try to curb binge drinking and other growing forms of excessive alcohol use through higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing regulations.  Dr. Jernigan is on the Board of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance, the principal global NGO that has been advocating for the strategy. He has also assisted in developing the evidence base for the strategy, dating back to the late 1990s when he was the principal author of WHO's first Global Status Report on Alcohol.  In his addition to his role with the Johns Hopkins Injury Center, Jernigan is director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To access the global strategy document, please click here.

Center Faculty and Former Director Ellen MacKenzie Recipient of Diversity Recognition Award

Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management, was named a recipient of the 2010 Diversity Recognition Award by the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council. The award celebrates individuals and groups who have made significant contributions in advancing and celebrating diversity and inclusiveness within the University.

Nominated by the Bloomberg School’s Dean, Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, MacKenzie was awarded for her efforts to ensure and promote diversity within the department of Health Policy and Management and for serving as a role model to women faculty, staff and students.  The award was presented at a ceremony and reception on May 18 in the Shriver Hall Auditorium.

 “The steps taken by the Diversity Leadership Council to promote diversity have been tremendous and beneficial to all University faculty, staff and students,” said MacKenzie. “It is an honor to be named a 2010 recipient of the Diversity Recognition Award and I am grateful to my many colleagues at the Bloomberg School who have supported me throughout my career and continue to assist me in celebrating and promoting diversity.”

Center Faculty and Founder Susan P. Baker Named Recipient of the Harry G. Moseley Award by the Aerospace Medical Association

Susan P. Baker, M.P.H., Sc.D. (Hon.), has been named the recipient of the 2010 Harry G. Moseley Award for her pioneering work applying the public health model to aviation safety research and training. Established in recognition of the contributions of Col. Harry G. Moseley to flight safety and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the award was presented to Professor Baker during the Aerospace Medical Association’s 81st Annual Scientific Meeting on May 13th in Phoenix, AZ.

Prof. Baker’s research has led to a better understanding of the determinants of occupant survival in aviation crashes, the etiology of pilot error, and the relationship between pilot aging and safety performance. Her research has included crashes related to mountain flying, instructional flights, commuter flights, and air medical transport. Much of her teaching and research is designed to influence the legislators, administrators, media representatives, and others whose decisions can determine the likelihood of injury for thousands of people.

“More than one thousand patients are admitted to U.S. hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually and 750 aviation related deaths occur each year, making aviation injuries a public health problem worthy of investigation,” said Professor Baker. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Aerospace Medical Association for their recognition of the importance of applying a public health model to studying aviation safety research and training.”

More information on the Aerospace Medical Association can be found here.

New research by Center Faculty Finds Heightened Risk of Fire Deaths among Older African Americans, Native Americans

Center faculty member David Bishai, MD, PHD, is the author of a new study on burn and fire injuries published in the May/June issue of Public Health Reports.  Bishai and colleague Sunmin Lee looked at the impact of age by race/ethnicity to identify disparities in burn and fire injuries from age 1 to 90, and found that compared with non-Hispanic white people, Native Americans and African Americans older than 55 years of age experienced a higher risk of death from fires and burns. The rate ratio of burn/fire deaths of African Americans compared with white people was 3.14 for those aged 55 years and older. The corresponding rate ratio for Native Americans compared with white people was 1.93 for those aged 55 years and older.

“Heightened fire risks for minority seniors require broad attention and the development of effective interventions,” said Bishai, an associate professor with the Injury Center. “Additionally, further investigation is needed to unveil the causes of the higher rates of burn and fire deaths faced by African American and Native American seniors.”

To access graphs on trends in injury, including from fire, please click here.

Center Faculty Present Research at 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Center faculty were well-represented among the presenters at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) held April 7-10 in Seattle, Washington. SBM is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well being of individuals, families, communities and populations.

“Innovating Prevention From Research to Practice: The CARES Mobile Safety Center” (Eileen McDonald, Shannon Frattaroli, Wendy Shields, and Andrea Gielen) reported results of faculty’s work comparing the ability of the CARES mobile safety center to disseminate products and information at a medical practice versus community settings. The results indicate visitors to CARES report high levels of satisfaction: 98% said they would refer a friend. Qualitative and quantitative differences emerged across the two settings which the researchers will explore in greater detail.

Faculty members Wendy Shields, Eileen McDonald and Andrea Gielen also presented research on a health literacy study. “Physician Communication With Parents At Risk for Low Literacy” explores the use of difficult terms and concepts as part of well childcare in an urban pediatric clinic. They found that in 55% of visits, physicians used words and concepts deemed difficult for low literacy populations, and in the majority (77%) of these instances, the phrase or concept was used without further explanation.

And finally, in “What Happens After IPV Screening? Opportunities for Health Care Provider Intervention with Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence,” faculty Center Director Andrea Gielen along with Pate Mahoney, doctoral candidate Samantha Illangasekare and colleagues from George Washington University and University of Pittsburgh, reported the results of a pilot study testing a stage based counseling program’s utility for meeting the needs of women experiencing IPV. The study’s results were promising in terms of improving women’s reported quality of life and experience of violence.

The next annual meeting of SBM will take place in Washington, DC. For more information, please click here: http://www.sbm.org/meetings/

Center Director Andrea Gielen Delivers Patricia F. Waller Lecture at University of North Carolina

On April 14th, Center Director Andrea Gielen addressed University of North Carolina students, faculty and staff during the annual Patricia F. Waller lecture, held in memory of Patricia Fossum Waller, PhD, a UNC professor who worked for nearly two decades as a researcher at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, where she developed the concept for graduated licensing that would become adopted nationwide. The lectureship is sponsored by UNC’s Injury Prevention Research Center, the Highway Safety Research Center, and the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Gielen’s talk, “Pediatric Injury Prevention: From the Trenches to the Ivory Tower and Back Again,” provided an overview of the epidemiology of childhood injury in the U.S., along with a short history of research accomplishments in the field. She provided examples of community partnered and translation research projects carried out by the Center, with a special emphasis on what the Center is doing to address childhood injuries in Baltimore.

The video of Dr. Gielen’s presentation along with a copy of her slides can be found here.

Center Faculty Member and Founding Director Susan Baker Named Winner of the Frank A. Calderone Prize

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health today announced that it will award the highest prize in public health – the Frank A. Calderone Prize – to Susan P. Baker, whose extraordinary career spanning close to five decades has been instrumental in bringing the prevention of injuries to the forefront of public health and public policy.

The Frank A. Calderone Prize in Public Health, the preeminent award in the field, is overseen by the Mailman School of Public Health and presented to an individual who has made a transformational contribution in the field of public health. The Prize recognizes an individual who has accomplished extraordinary distinction in public health and/or who has made a specific contribution which has had long-term national or global implications. This is the first time the Prize has been bestowed upon an injury control researcher.

"Sue Baker is a true pioneer," said Mailman School Dean Fried. "She not only created a new field of academic inquiry in public health; she ensured that her research would have practical application and underpin a transformation in public policy. The Mailman School is proud to bestow the Calderone Prize on Professor Baker."

"I am truly honored by this extraordinary recognition," said Professor Baker. "When I started in this field many years ago, injury was hardly considered a public health issue, despite being one of the leading causes of death and disability. I feel very fortunate to have had so many opportunities to build a career in injury prevention, to train so many outstanding injury professionals, and to have been able to influence real policy changes to save lives. While we have collectively come so far, there is more work to be done. That is why I hope this Prize will now draw even more attention to the burden of injury, and encourage more young leaders to enter the field."

Professor Baker will accept the Calderone Prize on May 6, 2010 and give a major and original address at the Mailman School.

To access the complete press release, please click here.


Center Faculty Keshia Pollack Recipient of a Johns Hopkins Faculty Innovation Fund Award

Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, an assistant professor with the Center for Injury Research and Policy, is a recipient of a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2010 Innovation Fund award, sponsored by the Department of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Pollack’s proposed research will examine how policymakers perceive health impact assessments (HIAs), how and if HIAs are used by policymakers, and the best ways to disseminate HIA findings to policymakers so they are included in the policymaking process. The use of HIAs is gaining momentum within the U.S. public health community as a powerful instrument with the potential to inform health planning and policymaking, however little research exists on policymaker’s perceptions towards HIAs, or the best ways to disseminate HIA findings to policymakers.

“In order for public health outcomes to play a greater role in policymaker’s decisions, more research is needed to determine policymaker’s perspectives on HIA’s,” said Pollack. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Department for recognizing this as an area worthy of study, and I look forward to commencing my work.”

For more information on the Faculty Innovation Fund, please click here.

New publication by Center Staff and Faculty Calls for Increased Knowledge Translation to Policy Makers

Translating knowledge from research findings into practice and policy is critical to reducing the injury burden, and researchers are well-positioned for this challenge, according to the new From SAVIR column published in Injury Prevention. This article is authored by faculty and staff at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and is available at the journal’s website.

The article makes the case for the value in injury researchers and policymakers working together, and cites two examples of how the Hopkins Injury Center effectively reduced the chasm that often exists between researchers and policymakers. One example, Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers, was developed in advance of the 2010 Maryland General Assembly and offers policy makers and stakeholders easily accessible and understandable information on specific injury problems in Maryland. Evidence-based policy solutions for each injury problem included in the Resource are also provided.

“Policymakers want to know what solutions exist for public health problems. As researchers, we can address this need and connect policy makers with those evidence-based policy solutions proven to prevent injury,” said lead study author Keshia Pollack, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. “As we become more engaged and involved in translating our work for policy makers, we need to remain mindful of the importance of sharing these experiences with each other. By doing so, we can expand the knowledge base necessary to accelerate the dissemination and uptake of proven effective injury countermeasures."

To learn more about what SAVIR is doing to disseminate best knowledge translation practices, please email the SAVIR Advocacy committee.

Fatal Injuries Increase in Older Americans

New research from Center Professor Susan P. Baker finds that the risk of dying from injuries is increasing for Americans ages 65 and older. The report found significant increases in death rates from falls (42 percent increase), machinery (46 percent increase), motorcycle crashes (145 percent increase) and unintentional poisoning (34 percent increase). The results are published in the February issue of Injury Prevention and are available online at the journal’s website.

“Our findings reveal significant increases in death rates from several different injury causes,” said Professor Baker. “While the overall change in injury mortality among persons 65 and older was small, this study identifies important causes worthy of further investigation.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Funding Allowing Center Researchers to Improve Care for Injured Civilians and Members of U.S. Military

Along with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Dr. Ellen MacKenzie, professor with the Center and the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, has been awarded $18.4 million by the Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program (OETRP) of the U.S. Department of Defense to establish an Extremity Trauma Clinical Research Consortium.

Termed METRC, the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium consists of a network of clinical centers and one data-coordinating center (housed in the Injury Center) that will work together with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) to conduct multi-center clinical research relevant to the treatment and outcomes of orthopaedic trauma sustained in the military.

The overall goal of the Consortium is to produce the evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of the wounded warrior and ultimately improve the clinical, functional and quality of life outcomes of both service members and civilians who sustain high energy trauma to the extremities.

“The need for such a consortium is evident,” said Dr. MacKenzie. “Eighty-two percent of all service members injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom sustain extremity trauma. Many sustain injuries to multiple limbs. The research to be conducted by the Consortium will help us better understand what works and what doesn’t in treating these injuries and ensure that our service members are provided with the best care possible.”

For more information on METRC, please see their website at metric.org.

Center for Injury Research and Policy Partners With Health and Fire Departments to Announce Start of CO Detector Ordinance

Beginning on March 1, Baltimore City will require carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to be installed in residential dwellings, hotels and buildings used for living or sleeping. Today, the Center joined officials from the Baltimore City Health and Fire officials to warn residents of the health dangers of CO poisoning, to share prevention tips and to urge compliance with the new law. Since 2000, more than 25 people have died in Baltimore City as a result of CO poisoning.

“Like many injuries that occur in the home, CO poisoning can be prevented," said Eileen McDonald, MS, director of The Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Centers. "By installing a CO alarm in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of their home, people can keep themselves safe.”

To speed the conversion of city homes into safer residences, Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, has donated 250 free CO alarms that will be distributed to City residents who demonstrate financial need. The devices will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center, located inside Children’s Admitting. The center is open Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the phone number is (410) 614-5587.

New Study Finds Majority of Marylanders Without Advance Medical Directives

A new study authored by Center faculty member Keshia Pollack reports that 66 percent of respondents to a Maryland telephone survey do not have advance medical directives. Younger adults and blacks were less likely than older adults and whites, respectively, to report having an advance directive, which includes the living will and health care power of attorney. The results will be published in an upcoming issue of Health Policy and are available online at the journal’s website

“Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S., scenarios in which an AD or health care proxy would be particularly beneficial,” said Dr. Pollack, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. The study found the primary reasons reported for not having an advance directive include being unfamiliar with them, feeling too healthy to need one, or, for the younger adults, being too young to need one.

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center Faculty Member Keshia Pollack Featured Speaker at 13th Annual Smart Transportation and Bicycle Symposium

Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was a featured speaker at One Less Car’s 13th Annual Smart Transportation and Bicycle Symposium, held February 3rd in Annapolis, MD. One Less Car is Maryland’s statewide advocacy voice for promoting safe and accessible biking, walking, transit and carpooling as alternatives to cars.

Speaking in front of several hundred advocates, planners, state and local officials, and community leaders brought together by a common desire for more bike lanes, better sidewalks, more trails, and a statewide Complete Streets policy, Dr. Pollack discussed how the design and construction of our transportation systems have a profound impact on the public’s health. She described the inextricable link between transportation and health, highlighting pedestrian-related injuries, physical activity and obesity, and disparities, as well as stressed the importance of partnerships and collaborations to ensure transportation and public health are considered together.

For more information on the Symposium, please click here.

New Center-authored Publication Finds Art Program Engages At-Risk Kids and Identifies Needs

Identifying the public health and safety needs of children from low-income communities may be accomplished through art, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and University of Pittsburgh. Their paper, published in the current online issue of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action, describes the success of Visual Voices, an arts-based program that engages community members as partners in research.

The study was based on Visual Voices programs conducted with 22 children ages 8 to 15 in two low-income and predominantly African-American communities in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. During the Visual Voices sessions, participants created paintings and drawings to share their perceptions, both positive and negative, of community safety and violence, and their hopes for the future. Afterward, they combined their individual art projects into two “visual voice” exhibits. Pieces of the artwork are currently on display at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine used qualitative research methods to review and code the participants’ art projects for themes. Factors that participants identified as important to safety included school and social networks—family, friends and the local community. Places that they identified as unsafe were corner stores, streets and alleys with poor lighting and abandoned houses. Other contextual factors identified as unsafe were drugs, guns and violence, smoking, drinking and gambling.

“This project allowed us to hear directly from Baltimore children about issues in their communities that concern them, including neighborhood safety and violence,” said Gielen. “Garnering this type of information is instrumental to developing public health programs and interventions that are appropriate for specific communities.”

Center Announces Availability of “Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers”

A new Center publication, “Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers” is now available for download. The Resource is designed to provide Maryland policy makers, advocacy groups, members of the media, researchers and the general public with easily accessible and understandable information on specific injury problems in Maryland, and offer solutions on how they can be addressed through policy decisions.

“This Resource allows us to deliver on our mission of closing the gap between research and policy to reduce the burden of injury,” said Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We already know that many of the issues covered in the book, such as distracted driving and alcohol and injuries, are likely to be key issues in the 2010 Maryland General Assembly. I look forward to seeing its impact and contribution to the field of knowledge translation.”

For more information on the Resource, and to access an electronic copy, please click here.

New Research from Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds Significant Urban-Rural Disparities in Injury Mortality Seen in China

A new study co-authored by Susan Baker, MPH, professor with the Injury Center, finds the death rate from injuries in rural areas of China is higher than in urban areas. Rural males of all ages were 47 percent more likely to die from injuries than urban males, and the overall rate in rural females was 33 percent higher than in urban females. For babies under one year of age, unintentional suffocation was the most important source of the total urban-rural disparity, whereas drowning was the great contributor to disparity among children ages 1 to 4 years. At the other end of the age spectrum, suicide accounted for the bulk of the disparity for both men and women. The report is published in the winter 2010 issue of The Journal of Rural Health.

“As good policy decisions rely on the availability of good data, the objective of this study was to provide information on urban-rural disparities in injury mortality in China, so as to offer a basis for governmental decisions related to injury interventions,” said Professor Baker. “The findings should be used to set priorities for reducing the high rate of fatal injuries in rural China.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center-Authored Article Explores Local Perceptions of and Responses to Urban Youth Violence in Baltimore

A new paper authored by Center alumnus Michael Yonas and Center Director Andrea Gielen provides insight into the often overlooked capacity present within neighborhoods, such as innovative collaborations and public outreach with youth, neighbors, administrative and law enforcement services.

The study researchers collected qualitative data regarding the perceptions of local social networks and efforts to address youth violence through the use of in-depth interviews with prominent neighborhood individuals in low SES communities throughout Baltimore

Individuals living in “high-risk” neighborhoods (neighborhoods that score higher on rates of juvenile violence, unemployment, adult violence, and lower on rates of education and home ownership) were less likely to be engaged in neighborhood-level violence prevention efforts, and more likely to feel that addressing young people directly increases their chances of becoming a target of retribution, compared with individuals in “lower-risk” neighborhoods. The paper is published in the January 2010 issue of Health Promotion Practice.

“The health impact of youth violence in the U.S. is extensive and devastating,” said Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, professor with and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Engaging individuals living in neighborhoods classified as high-risk provides unique insight and understanding of the perceptions and dynamics associated with local violence prevention efforts,” added Michael A. Yonas, DrPH, MPH, now with the University of Pittsburgh. “Our findings suggest and advocate for the need of public health researchers and practitioners to engage neighborhood individuals as partners in efforts to address and prevent urban youth violence.”

New Research from Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds More than One Thousand Patients in U.S. Admitted Annually for Aviation-Related Injuries

The first ever published study of aviation-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. finds that on average,1013 patients are admitted to U.S. hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually, and that an average of 753 aviation-deaths occur each year. The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policy and Columbia University, also reports that the largest categories of patients were occupants of civilian, noncommercial powered aircraft (32 percent) and parachutists (29 percent). For aircraft occupants as well as parachutists, lower limb fractures were the most common injury, encompassing 27 percent of all hospitalized injuries. While burns were seen in only 2.5 percent of patients, they were responsible for 13 percent of deaths. The report is published in the December issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.

“Our findings provide valuable information, not previously available, on the number and kinds of injuries sustained in aviation-related events,” said lead author Susan P. Baker, professor with the Injury Center. “Because many injuries can be prevented through changes in the structure of aircraft, these data should be used to recognize needed improvements in aircraft design. For example, the high numbers of lower limb fractures suggest modifications should be considered to the various structures likely to be contacted by the feet and legs when a crash occurs.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Annual APHA Meeting to Highlight Research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy

The work of researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy will be recognized at the 137th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Nov 7-11 in Philadelphia, PA. The APHA annual meeting is considered the premier public health educational forum, attracting more than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists.

Jon Vernick, MPH, JD, assistant professor and co-director of the Injury Center, will be presenting at two cross-cutting sessions, one devoted to how the legal issue of preemption affects policy across various public health issues, and the other on environmental approaches to prevention policy. In both sessions Vernick will be presenting the firearms perspective.

Vanya Jones, PhD, assistant scientist with the Center, is an author on an oral presentation on violence prevention in youth, “Barriers and opportunities to school-based parent involvement: Implications for adolescent violence prevention.”

Research conducted by Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, assistant professor with the Center, and colleagues on how Employee Assistance Programs address intimate partner violence (“Employee Assistance Programs and efforts to address intimate partner violence”) will be presented during a poster session.

And finally, Kira McGroarty, MPH, project director of the CARES Mobile Safety Center will be the moderator of an oral session, “Award winning health education and promotion materials.” In this session, individuals recognized for outstanding health education materials will present an overview of the health issue, theory, target population, development, implementation, and evaluation of their health material. McGroarty will also be presenting an overview of the development and implementation of the CARES Safety Center at the annual meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) in Philadelphia November 5-7, held each year in conjunction with the APHA meeting.

Center Faculty Elected to Leadership Roles in Leading Injury Professional Association

Center Director Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, has been elected President-elect of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). Established in 2005, SAVIR is a professional association of injury researchers with a mission to promote scholarly activity in the prevention, control, acute care, and rehabilitation of intentional and unintentional injury (www.savirweb.org).

“I am honored to be chosen, and extend my sincere gratitude to the nomination committee,” said Dr. Gielen. “As a relatively young organization, we offer great opportunities for member involvement in shaping our future. I would like to encourage both new and seasoned injury professionals to join us in our efforts to promote research and collaboration with practitioners and policymakers to bridge the research – practice gap and reduce the burden of injury.”

In addition to Dr. Gielen, the SAVIR Board of Directors includes Center faculty Shannon Frattaroli, MPH, PhD, who will be coordinating a new contract from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) awarded to SAVIR. Last year, Dr. Frattaroli served as the Chair of the Injury Conference Programs Committee and was awarded SAVIR’s President’s Award for her contributions to the successful national conference. This year’s initiative with the NCIPC will engage SAVIR members in promoting the national injury research agenda. “The contract from NCIPC is a great example of how injury researchers can organize to demonstrate the need for and value of our work,” said Dr. Frattaroli. “We are thrilled to be working with NCIPC on such an important initiative.”

The Center will also host SAVIR’s bi-annual national research conference in 2013 in Baltimore.

National Fire Protection Agency and Johns Hopkins Injury Center to study how best to teach children about fire safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) announced a joint project titled "Strengthening the Impact of Fire and Life Safety Messages on Children". The goal is to determine the best way to communicate fire safety messages to children ages 3-9. This is the first time the groups have worked together to enhance fire safety education. The project is made possible by funding from FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, AFG Fire Prevention and Safety Grants.

“The outcomes of this study will contribute to understanding how children and their parents react to safety messages,” said Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Despite the fact that injuries are the number one cause of death for children in the U.S., little is currently known about how best to reach them with safety information.” Each year approximately 290 children ages 3-9 die as a result of fire in the U.S.

To access the press release, please click here.

Center Co-Sponsors Symposium on Reducing College-Age Drinking

The Center for Injury Research and Policy is a co-sponsor of an October 6th symposium at Johns Hopkins University on underage drinking, “Reducing Drinking on College Campuses: Where to From Here?” The purpose is to bring together college administrators, community leaders, policy makers, students and faculty to discuss how to reduce the harmful use of alcohol on college campuses in Baltimore.

“It’s estimated that each year 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries, all of which could have been prevented,” said David Jernigan, MA, PhD, associate professor with the Injury Center and executive director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “By highlighting issues surrounding the use of alcohol on campuses and the existing evidence-based methods to address them, we will be well-positioned to identify the steps necessary to prevent future alcohol-related deaths and injuries among Baltimore’s college students.”

All members of U.S. Senate and House Receive Information on Injury Prevention and Health Care Reform

Continuing its work reaching policymakers and their staffs with the message that injury prevention can save lives and money, each member of Congress received a packet of injury prevention materials on Monday, including a cover letter, a copy of the Roll Call ad, a fact sheet on injury prevention and health care reform, and the accompanying press release. The ad was signed by Andrea Gielen, director of the Center, on behalf of 21 different research universities, professional organizations and advocacy groups all committed to injury prevention.

“Health care reform represents an unprecedented opportunity for reducing the burden of injuries,” said Dr. Gielen. “This is why it’s absolutely critical policy makers understand that by incorporating injury prevention into health care reform, lives and money will be saved.”

New Research from Center Faculty Finds Mandatory Alcohol Testing For Truck and Bus Drivers Reduces Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Crashes

A new paper co-authored by Center faculty member Susan P. Baker finds that mandatory alcohol testing programs for truck and bus drivers have contributed to a significant reduction in alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. The work was done in collaboration with researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.

Based on a study sample of nearly 70,000 motor carrier (heavy trucks and buses) drivers and over 83,000 non–motor-carrier (car) drivers, the estimated net effect attributed to the mandatory alcohol testing programs for drivers of heavy trucks and buses was a 23% reduced risk of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, which made alcohol testing mandatory for transportation employees with safety sensitive functions.

Findings from the study are published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Injury Center Partners with Other Leading Injury and Health Organizations to Urge Congress to Save Lives and Money by Including Injury Prevention in Health Care Reform

The Center for Injury Research and Policy is among a large coalition of research universities, professional organizations and advocacy groups that have joined together to urge Congress to include injury prevention in health care reform. To reach policymakers and their staffs with the message that research based injury prevention can save lives and money, the group is running an ad in the September 8thHealth Care Hits the Road” theme issue of Roll Call the newspaper of Capitol Hill. It is the first time these groups have come together to educate policymakers on the significant burden injuries pose to the health care system.

To access the full press release, please click here. To see a copy of the ad, access links to the partner organizations, and learn specific examples of how to include injury prevention in health care reform, please click here.

New Report Finds Deaths from Unintentional Injuries Increasing Among Many Groups

A new paper authored by Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Injury Center, finds deaths from unintentional injuries are increasing among many groups, with a threefold risk in poisoning among middle-age white women. The study also found the death rate from falls increased 38 percent for white men and 48 percent for white women 65 and older.

“The large increases in the number of deaths attributable to poisoning and falls underscore the need for more research on the specific circumstances involved,” said Professor Baker. “While we don’t know the cause behind the recent increase in falls mortality, it appears that the increase in poisonings is largely due to prescription drugs. National prevention efforts are needed to control the abuse of prescription drugs and limit access.”

Please click here to access the full article.

A link to the press release can be found here.

Center-authored Op-Ed on Falls and Health Care Reform Published in The Health Care Blog

An Op-Ed authored by Center director Andrea Gielen and Alicia Samuels, the director of communications for the Center, has been published in the Health Care Blog, one of the most well-read blogs on health care. The piece uses the recent falls of Hillary Clinton, Pope Benedict XVI, Barbara Mikulski and Sonia Sotomayor to highlight the public health burden of falls, and makes the case for incorporating fall prevention strategies into health care reform.

“Despite the recent falls of these very high profile leaders, we weren’t seeing anything written on the public health burden of falls or injuries. Similarly, the lack of attention to falls and other injuries in health care reform is alarming. Our hope is that this Op-Ed will raise awareness among the general public and lawmakers of the prevalence of falls, particularly among the elderly, and urge them to press for solutions we know exist.”

Please click here to access the article.

Ad Campaign Raising Awareness of CARES Mobile Safety Center

On August 2, the CARES Mobile Safety Center was featured at the Israel Baptist Church’s Community Festival in East Baltimore. One of the event organizers learned of the Safety Center through a PSA that aired on the Heaven 600 radio station. WBFF, the local Fox affiliate, attended the event and showcased CARES during their evening newscast.

In July, the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, which runs the Safety Center in partnership with the Baltimore City Fire Department, launched a city-wide advertising campaign using radio, bus shelter and billboard ads to increase awareness of the van’s availability for local events.

“We’re very pleased with the response to the ads we’ve received from the community,” said Kira McGroarty, MPH, project director for the CARES Safety Center. “We will continue to conduct community outreach to ensure Baltimore City residents are aware of resources to help prevent injuries in the home.”

Current operating costs for the safety center are covered through a generous three-year grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Since receiving funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in January 2008, approximately 4,800 individuals in Baltimore have visited the safety center.

Center Receives Five-Year Renewal from CDC

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is one of four injury control research centers (ICRC) nationwide selected for funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC’s Injury Center). Injury Control Research Centers conduct research in all three core phases of injury control (prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation) and serve as training centers as well as information centers for the public and health professionals. The Hopkins Center was one of the first centers for excellence in injury research funded by the CDC and has been in existence since 1987. The work of the Hopkins Injury Center spans the spectrum of unintentional and intentional injury across the lifespan and across the globe, with a strong focus on translation research as well as education and outreach to promote effective programs and policies.

“We are thrilled our 5-year competitive renewal was chosen for funding,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, Director of the Injury Center. “The funding will allow us to continue our lifesaving work bridging the gap between injury-related research and practice locally, nationally and internationally. On behalf of everyone at the Injury Center, I would like to thank CDC for their continued support.” The center was awarded $4.87 million over 5 years.

Dr. Ileana Arias, Director of the CDC’s Injury Center added “Connecting research to communities is a primary focus for CDC and we are pleased to announce the new ICRCs, as well as those renewed. I consider each to be a part of this critical research network. Their work will fill a critical gap and can help shape a better understanding of how to improve the lives of those affected to help them live to their full potential.”

In addition to Johns Hopkins, the University of North Carolina was renewed. The two newly designated ICRCs are Brown Center for Violence and Injury Prevention, Washington University, St Louis, MO and Emory Center for Injury Control, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Each will be funded for five years.

For more information on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, please click here.

Center Partners with City Health and Fire Departments to Raise Awareness of Childhood Injuries

On Friday, June 26th, the Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Center for Injury Research and Policy hosted a press conference at the Oldetown Fire Station to raise awareness of childhood injuries. Along with Kira McGroarty, MPH, project director for the CARES Mobile Safety Center, the panel shared helpful tips for preventing accidents in the home, lead poisoning education and fire prevention strategies. The press release can be accessed here. Several Baltimore outlets covered the event, including the Baltimore Sun.

Mobile Safety Center Focus of New Ad Campaign

In partnership with CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield and the Baltimore City Fire Department, the Injury Center has launched a city-wide advertising campaign to raise awareness of the Johns Hopkins Children ARE Safe (CARES) Mobile Safety Center. Radio and billboard ads will spread the message that the safety center is available to visit community and neighborhood events to provide free, personalized injury prevention education and low-cost safety products. The ad campaign is scheduled to run for 4 weeks and is the first time the groups have used radio and billboards to promote this unique community resource. Because injuries disproportionally affect low-income families, the ads will be concentrated in neighborhoods with high poverty.

“The generous grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which supports our mobile safety center and these outreach activities, allows us to make Baltimore City residents aware that resources are available to communities throughout the city to help prevent injuries,” said Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “While injuries are the number one cause of death in childhood through early adulthood, we know that many could be prevented by better access to life saving safety products and effective injury prevention education.”

To see the complete press release, please click here.

New Center Research Finds Sightseeing Helicopter Crashes in Hawaii Decrease Following FAA Regulations; Proportion of Fatal Crashes Increases

A new paper authored by Center faculty member Sue Baker, MPH finds that an emergency rule intended to reduce the number of deaths and injuries associated with Hawaiian air tours was followed by a 47 percent reduction in sightseeing crashes. However, the proportion of crashes that resulted in lives lost actually increased after the rule change due to an increase in crashes that resulted from poor visibility, which tend to be exceptionally fatal. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 71 in 1994 in response to a spate of crashes of helicopter sightseeing tours that year. The regulation established minimum flight altitudes and clearances from terrain, emphasized passenger safety precautions, mandated performance plans prior to each flight, and required flotation equipment or the wearing of life preservers on flights beyond the shoreline.

“Our data suggest the FAA should reconsider the Rule’s clause that established a minimum flying altitude of fifteen hundred feet, as we know higher altitudes are associated with more cloud cover,” said Professor Susan P. Baker, director of the study’s research and professor with the Injury Center. Clouds obscuring mountain peaks and passes are particularly common in Hawaii. The report is published in the July issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.

For the complete press release, please click here.

Children's Safety Center Featured on Local News

The Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Center, along with center staff member Stephanie Parsons, was featured prominently in WMAR TV’s recent segment on car seat safety. WMAR is the ABC affiliate in Baltimore. Stephanie, a health educator and certified child passenger safety technician, conducted three different car seat inspections on camera and informed viewers on the importance of having their car seats installed and inspected by a professional. The story’s online component directs viewers to the Center’s Website for more information on car seat inspections. To watch the video, please click here.

New Report Recommends Interventions to Increase Childhood Physical Activity Include Injury Prevention Strategies

Physical activity in children is often encouraged without first measuring the risk for injury and implementing strategies to reduce those risks, according to a new essay published in Preventing Chronic Disease authored by Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. While many studies have highlighted the benefits of physical activity for youth, little attention has been paid to the importance of preventing injuries during physical activity.

“As interventions are developed to increase physical activity among children by promoting the use of playgrounds, bicycles, and participation in sports, information about preventing injuries during these activities is scarce,” said Dr. Pollack. “This is alarming because injuries are a reason that people stop participating in physical activity.” The paper reports that parents often cite both traffic safety concerns and crime as reasons for their children not walking to school and participating in outdoor activity.

To Pollack, the situation represents an opportunity for injury prevention and childhood obesity professionals. “Both fields share a common goal of improving health, and public health programs to improve child health should therefore be coordinated. By teaming together, we will pave the way for new partnerships, stretch scarce public health resources, and tackle these serious public health threats facing our nation’s children.”

Center Faculty Bridging the Gap Between Research and Policy

While policies to prevent and control injury can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of researchers, direct and regular communication between researchers and legislators is uncommon. A new paper published in Injury Prevention co-authored by Center researchers Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH and Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH describes their innovative work volunteering as staff for Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim during the 2008 legislative session, in which they made significant contributions to formulating injury prevention legislation. The paper highlights their roles in the deliberative processes surrounding two legislative proposals- one concerned with all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety and the other with child passenger seat requirements.

“Throughout our experiences with the legislature, we interacted with the lead sponsors of the bills, communicated the most current and rigorous research to them, attended Committee hearings, and provided testimony,” said Dr. Pollack, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. “In this way, we were able to ensure research discoveries are shared and realized by the people whose lives will be improved through injury prevention policies.”

Explaining their role in the child passenger safety seat bill (SB 789/HB1312)), the researchers described how their testimony focused on 5 key points: the strong empirical evidence supporting booster seat effectiveness, the recommendations of several national organizations, Maryland’s low rate of booster seat use and the role of legislation in increasing compliance, the ability of parents to understand the (then) current guidelines, and how the proposed law would allow the state to compete for new federal funds. “It was extremely gratifying that despite a last-minute effort by opponents to weaken the bill, the science ultimately prevailed,” said Dr. Frattaroli, also an assistant professor with the Injury Center. “When we as researchers are able to move the science into the policy arena, lives can be saved and the true potential of the field of injury prevention can be realized.”

The paper also includes strategies to encourage researchers to engage in more direct roles in the policymaking process, such as the need for institutions to assess the contributions that researchers make to the policy process, and to include those metrics as part of the promotion process. To access the complete article, please click here.

New Center Research Finds Media Ignore Health Consequences of Drinking and Driving Among Young Celebrities

A new report by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that media ignore the health consequences of drinking and driving among young celebrities. Center researchers analyzed news coverage following the drinking and driving (DUI) arrests of celebrities—Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan—and found that only 4 percent of the reports made any mention of injury or potential injury from the DUI events. In 2005, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 16,885 deaths in the U.S. “Media are an important source of information about the consequences of alcohol consumption, and influence how individuals define acceptable behavior,” said Katherine Smith, PhD, lead author of the study and assistant professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society and Center for Injury Research and Policy. “While the celebrity DUI stories raised awareness of the issue of drinking and driving among young people, an opportunity to educate this audience on solutions to prevent DUI was missed.” The results of the study will be published in the May 2009 issue of Alcohol and Alcoholism and are available on the journal’s website in advance of the print publication.

To view the complete press release, please click here.

New Report from Center Researchers Finds Mobile Vans Effective Method for Delivering Safety Information and Products

New research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that mobile safety centers are effective tools for reaching families with lifesaving injury prevention education and safety products. While mobile vans are frequently used for providing asthma and dental health information and services in urban communities, this is the first study to document the benefits of mobile units for injury prevention services.

Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Center, along with her colleagues, analyzed data collected between 2004-2006 from individuals who visited the Johns Hopkins CARES (Children ARE Safe - Mobile Safety Center), a partnership program with the Baltimore City Fire Department and other local organizations. Among study participants, 96 percent reported learning something new as a result of their visit to the mobile safety center, and 98 percent reported they would recommend the mobile safety center services to a friend or family member.

“Injuries are the number one cause of death among children in the U.S., and disproportionally affect poor and minority children,” said Dr. Gielen. “Our findings document that mobile safety centers can effectively reach community members with information on how to prevent injuries in their homes, as well as deliver low-cost safety products directly to families.” Previous research showed that access barriers such as lack of availability in convenient locations and high costs are particular problems for low-income families in using products such as car seats and bike helmets that are proven to reduce injuries and save lives.

To access the article published in the April 2009 issue of Injury Prevention, click here. For more information on the Johns Hopkins Children ARE Safe (CARES) Mobile Safety Center, please click here.

New Center Research Addresses the Effect of Neighborhood Violence on Mothers Health

A new paper authored by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that mothers with high exposure to neighborhood violence are more likely to rate their health as poor and to report negative health outcomes, including sleep behaviors. Specifically, the research found that mothers who experienced exposure to high neighborhood violence had greater odds of reporting less than 7 hours of sleep per night, and also were more likely to report interrupted sleep. These findings suggest that neighborhood violence may negatively impact a mother’s ability to fully care for and protect their children. Interestingly, while 20 percent of the mothers in the study were classified as experiencing the highest level of neighborhood violence, only 12 percent classified themselves in the lowest category of perceived neighborhood safety. Previous research has indicated that mothers may report higher ratings of neighborhood safety to self-validate their decision to remain in a violent neighborhood, perhaps in part due to their inability to move to a new neighborhood.

The study is published in the April issue of the Journal of Urban Health. The lead author is Sara Lindstrom Johnson, PhD, who completed her Doctorate with the Center in 2009. Additional authors are: Barry S. Solomon, Wendy C. Shields, Eileen M. McDonald, Lara B. McKenzie, and Andrea C. Gielen. The complete abstract to the article can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19343500.

Raskin Symposium Explores Topic of Airplane Crash Survival

On April 1, close to fifty students, faculty, and injury control professionals paid tribute to the late Daniel J. Raskin by attending an annual lecture endowed by Danny’s mother, the late Vivian Raskin, in honor of her son’s life work.? Raskin was a highly skilled human factors investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board and a tireless advocate for transportation safety and injury prevention. He was killed as a volunteer firefighter in 1990 by a preventable explosion of faulty equipment. The goal of the symposium is to educate public health professionals and the broader community about current research, policy and programs to reduce injury.

The symposium, “Surviving Airplane Crashes: Miracles or Science” featured two former colleagues of Daniel, Nora Marshall, Chief of Human Performance and Survival at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Robert S. Dodd, ScD, MS, Chief of Safety Studies and Statistical Analysis at NTSB. Ms. Marshall spoke about “What’s New in Accident Survival” and Dr. Dodd discussed "Crash Survival Improvements and Politics".

The Center for Injury Research and Policy hosts the annual event. Sue Baker, MPH, a professor with the Center, commented on how the theme of the lecture paralleled Danny’s work in injury prevention. “Nora and Bob both spoke about the opportunities for survival following a plane crash, a topic that doesn’t receive much attention in the press. By giving examples of the types of changes required to prevent future aviation-related deaths, they taught us all a great deal about the kinds of next steps we need to pursue to save lives.”

For more information on the NTSB, click here.

Center faculty member and student recipients of SAVIR awards

Two individuals affiliated with the Center for Injury Research and Policy were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field of injury prevention at the annual meeting of The Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR), held March 3-6 in Atlanta, GA. SAVIR is devoted to promoting scholarly activity in injury control and addressing issues relevant to the prevention, acute care and rehabilitation of traumatic injury.

Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, was awarded the first-ever SAVIR President’s Award in recognition of her dedication and leadership in the organization and in the field of violence and injury prevention. In addition to serving on the board of SAVIR, Shannon played a key role in organizing the 2009 annual conference, which drew close to 250 injury control researchers, practitioners, and advocates from across the country.

Also recognized for her work was Jennifer Piver-Renna, a doctoral student with the Center. Jennifer received the Best Student Abstract award for her research exploring screening and brief interventions in trauma centers. This abstract was part of the research Jennifer did for her dissertation with the Center, which she recently completed.

“On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate Shannon and Jennifer on their achievements,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Injury Center. “We look forward to continuing our involvement with SAVIR when we host the 2013 annual meeting.” Additional information on the 2013 meeting in Baltimore, MD will be forthcoming.

For more information on SAVIR, please click here.

Center Director Andrea Gielen a Speaker at Annual Meeting of American Academy of Health Behavior

Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy was a featured presenter at the 9th annual meeting American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) which took place March 9-11 in Hilton Head, SC. AAHB serves as a professional society for health behavior scholars, and promotes the application of behavioral science research to practice in order to improve the public's health.

Dr. Gielen, an elected Fellow of the Academy, was one of three speakers invited for the session on knowledge translation, "Sustaining Health Behavior Changes in the Real World: Translational Approaches". Dr. Gielen’s presentation, “Translation Research in Child Injury Prevention: Case Study of Serving Low Income Urban Families”, focused on her research in Baltimore with Center faculty Frattarolli, McDonald, Shields and Center alumni Lara (Trifiletti) McKenzie and Maria Bulzacchelli.

Research translation is an emerging and important priority for the Center. “Because science has taught us so much about how to prevent injuries, the real opportunity to reduce the burden of injury lies in the translation of research into action,” said Andrea. “We need to work with communities to deliver effective programs, products, and policies that make a difference to those who need it most.”

Two Center Affiliated Faculty Named Global Health Research Ambassadors

Adnan Hyder, MD, PhD, MPH and Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, have been named global health research ambassadors by Research! America’s Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research. Named for the Honorable Paul G. Rogers (1921-2008), former Florida Congressman and and Research! America chair emeritus, the Society works to increase awareness of and make the case for greater U.S. investment in research to fight diseases and injuries that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest nations. Research! America works with the Ambassadors to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media.

Both Drs. Campbell and Hyder are experts in their fields -- domestic and intimate partner violence (IPV) and the impact of injuries and violence as a public health problem in the developing world, respectively. Dr. Hyder is Associate Professor in the Department of International Health and Dr. Campbell is Professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. As core faculty in the Injury Center, both have contributed greatly to the Center’s mission to reduce the burden of injury and violence.

Joined by the other ambassadors, they will meet with policymakers to make the case for an increased U.S. investment in global health research on injuries. “It’s terrific to see injuries and violence so well-represented by these distinguished scholars,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. “This is a great opportunity to advocate for enhanced US support for global health in general, and in particular, for the prevention of injuries and violence around the world.”

For more information on the Global Health Research Ambassadors, please click here

New Center Study Highlights the Complexity of Ending Abuse in Intimate Partner Violence Survivors

A new study co-authored by Patricia Mahoney, MA, research associate, and Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, and published in "Violence and Victims" quantitatively addresses the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) stages of change for women's experience of ending abuse within intimate relationships. The TTM conceptualizes behavior change as a process that occurs in five stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. The underlying premise is that people in different points of the behavior change process can benefit from different types of interventions tailored to their stage of readiness. It is estimated that more than 5 million women are affected by intimate partner violence each year in the U.S.

The authors found that compared to women in action and maintenance for leaving an abusive relationship, a higher proportion of women who are categorized into preaction stages would like informational resources, whereas a large proportion of women in maintenance for leaving an abusive relationship would like a chance to talk with a peer advocate. The results also support the significant role relationships with friends, family and healthcare professionals play, as well as the importance of information distribution in keeping women safe. "This work adds to the body of literature on defining stages of change for IPV victims," said study co-author Patricia Mahoney. "Further research is necessary to develop tailored interventions to most effectively assist women in moving forward on the path to safety."

Health Department, Fire Department and Center for Injury Research and Policy Team Up for Fire Safety Prevention Wednesday

On February 18th, the Baltimore City Fire Department, the Baltimore City Health Department, and the Center for Injury Research and Policy came together to teach Baltimore families how to reduce their risk of injury from home fires. Over fifteen hundred house fires occur each year in Baltimore, and the majority of these fires are preventable. This marks the first time the Center has partnered with these two groups to provide fire prevention education to the community, and was part of the Baltimore City Health Department's Prevention Wednesday public education campaign.

In addition to collaborating on an educational flyer focusing on steps to take to reduce the likelihood of injury from home fires, the three groups hosted a press conference featuring representatives from each organization. Eileen McDonald, MS, Associate Scientist with the Center for Injury Research and Policy and Director of The Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Centers, spoke on behalf of the Injury Center and reminded all Baltimore City residents that having smoke alarms without batteries is the same as not having alarms at all. This message is important because Center research found that while 90 percent of homes have smoke alarms, 50 percent of the alarms did not function properly. Eileen also spoke about the referral services offered through the Center's three Safety Centers.

Underscoring the importance of partnerships, Eileen later stated that "forming and developing collaborations with other community groups is an integral part of what we do to deliver on our mission to reduce the burden of injuries. By working together, we are able to accomplish more than we are working alone."

To see an example of how local media covered the event, please click on the following link http://wjz.com/seenon/fires.baltimore.2.938234.html

Center Doctoral Student Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

Jennifer Piver-Renna, a doctoral student with the Center for Injury Research and Policy, was recently awarded a student fellowship in Injury Prevention from the Society for Public Health Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The fellowship is designed to support the training of a new generation of injury prevention researchers and practitioners who work in the behavioral sciences.

As part of the award, Jennifer also received a stipend to support her dissertation research examining the adoption and implementation of alcohol screaning, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs in Mid-Atlantic Level 1 trauma centers. "Jennifer's case study will yield new insights into how hospitals can best implement SBIRT programs, which help reduce injuries by making alcohol screening a routine part of medical care," said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Center and Jennifer's advisor. "On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this impressive recognition."

More Than 150 Children and ParentsTake Part in "Give the Gift of Safety" Event

On December 16 the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health teamed up with CareFirst, Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Herring Run Head Start for the first "Give the Gift of Safety" Holiday Safety Health Fair. The event featured the CARES mobile safety center , which was specially outfitted to reflect the risks that household items typically associated with the holidays, such as candles and holiday decorations, pose to families. In addition to the mobile safety center, the health fair also provided free home safety kits to all families, raffle giveaways of safety products and activities that focused on injury prevention. Read More>>>

Two New Reports Show the Impact Injuries have Here and Abroad

The first report, authored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, focuses on the burden of unintentional injuries globally. The World Report on Child Injury Prevention finds that unintentional injuries kill 830,000 children every year, and that 95 percent of all injuries to children occur in poor and middle-income countries. The report provides the first comprehensive global assessment of unintentional childhood injuries and prescribes measures to prevent them. It concludes that if proven prevention measures were adopted everywhere, at least 1,000 children's lives could be saved every day. Click here to view the first report.

The second report, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries Among 0-19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000-2006," provides an overview of child injuries related to drowning, falls, fires or burns, transportation-related injuries, poisoning, and suffocation, among other causes. The report finds that on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age died each year in the United States from an unintentional injury, and that injuries due to transportation were the leading cause of death for children.? Click here to view the second report.

"Not only do these reports raise the awareness about the magnitude, risk factors and impact of child injuries globally," noted Center director Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, "their call to action is clear: Because much is known about how to prevent injuries and improve trauma outcomes, we must act now to reduce the burden of child injury."

New Study from Center Faculty Keshia Pollack finds Overweight Children at Increased Risk of Arm and Leg Injuries Following Motor Vehicle Crash

Children who are overweight or obese are over two and a half times more likely to suffer injuries to their upper and lower extremities following a motor vehicle crash compared with normal weight children, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. Overweight and obese children were overall more likely to experience injury to any body part following a crash; however this difference was not statistically significant. This is the first study to look at impact of body mass index on older kids involved in car crashes. Read More>>>

Sue Baker Awarded Highest APHA Award in Injury Control

On October 28th, faculty member and past Center director Susan Baker received the American Public Health Association's highest award in Injury Control, the Injury Control Distinguished Career Award. This award is in recognition of her outstanding dedication and leadership in injury control and emergency health services with contributions and achievements that have a significant and long-term impact on the field.

"Simply stated, Sue helped to put scientific study and prevention of injuries on the map", said Jon Vernick, JD, MPH, deputy director of the Center. "From her research on children and automobile crashes which provided the scientific basis for all U.S. states passing child passenger protection laws, to her pioneering work in aviation safety, the impact of Sue's research has undoubtedly reduced the burden of injury in the U.S. and abroad. On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition".

Sue Baker Named a Public Health Hero by Research!America

Center faculty member and former director Susan P. Baker has been named a Public Health Hero by Research!America, the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance. The honor comes in recognition of her research in injury prevention and driving safety which has resulted in national passenger protection laws and thousands of lives saved.

In order to bring recognition to the public health professionals who work tirelessly every day to protect us, Research!America designates the Monday before Thanksgiving as Public Health Thank You Day. Sue is one of eight individuals selected to be highlighted this year in honor of their tremendous accomplishments in the field of public health.

On Public Health Thank You Day, "we recognize our 'health protection heroes' who work tirelessly every day to promote the health of people of all ages," said Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director. "The 14,000 public health professionals at the CDC.... say 'thank you' to each of these heroes on the frontlines of health. As a result of their dedication, we are all able to live healthier, safer, and longer lives."

More information on Public Health Thank You Day and Research!America's Public Health Heroes can be found at the Research!America Website.

Another Center-Affiliated Student Recognized with Prestigious Award

Samantha L. Illangasekare, MPH, a PhD candidate in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society and advisee of Center director Andrea Gielen, has recently been awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral Fellowship National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The objective of the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship is to provide support for promising doctoral candidates who will be performing dissertation research and training in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes during the tenure of the award.

Samantha's research will describe for the first time the syndemic of violence, substance abuse and HIV among low income urban women. Working with faculty affiliated with the Lighthouse Studies at Peer Point, a community-based research center within the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Ms. Illangasekare will recruit and interview women to determine the prevalence and mental health impacts of these co-occurring conditions.

"Samantha's work will yield new insights into intervention opportunities to reduce the burden of intimate partner violence and improve women's health", said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Center. "On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this impressive accomplishment and recognition from NIMH."

Two Center-affiliated students awarded CDC Dissertation Awards

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has awarded dissertation grants to Hopkins public health students Sarah Lindstrom and Susan Ghanbarpour. These represent the only dissertation funding awarded this year by NCIPC.

Ms. Lindstrom is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society and advisee of Center director Andrea Gielen. Her dissertation work aims to understand what factors of the school, social and physical environments encourage or discourage violence from occurring at school, and how these factors contribute to the occurrence and severity of that violence. Ms. Lindstrom is using concept mapping, an innovative research method rarely used in injury research, to explore these issues with samples of students recruited in Baltimore City.

Ms Ghanbarpour is a DrPH student in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health working with faculty member Daniel Webster's Center-funded intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention trial. Her dissertation is an outgrowth of this project and is partially supported by the Center. Her research seeks to answer 4 main questions on IPV: 1. What safety behaviors do women in abusive relationships know about and practice, and how effective do they believe them to be? 2. What are the issues and circumstances that influence women's decisions to practice particular safety strategies? 3. What did women think about a risk assessment and safety planning intervention they received? 4. What are the critical elements of a customizable safety planning tool designed for use by professionals who serve IPV victims?

"Training the next generation of leaders in injury prevention and policy is an essential ingredient to the continued success of our efforts in reducing injury and its impact on society," said Andrea Gielen ScD, ScM, director of the Center. "On behalf of everyone at the Injury Center, I congratulate Sarah and Susan on their well-deserved recognition from NCIPC."

New Study from Center Faculty Bishai and Gielen finds Grandparents a Safe Source of Childcare

Contrary to popular belief, grandparent care is not associated with more childhood injuries, according to a new report from the Center for Injury Research and Policy. In fact, for working parents, having grandparents as caregivers can cut the risk of childhood injury roughly in half.? The study is among the first to examine the relationship between grandparents' care and childhood injury rates. The results are published in the November 2008 issue of Pediatrics.

Read More>>>

New Study from Center Professor Susan Baker Shows Increase in Suicide Rates

The rate of suicide in the United States has increased for the first time in a decade, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. The increase in the overall suicide rate between 1999 and 2005 was due primarily to an increase in suicides among whites aged 40-64, with white middle-age women experiencing the largest annual increase.

Read More>>>

$1 Million Grant Awarded to Injury Center

Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has received a $1 million Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to support research to help reduce the number of firefighter fatalities due to heart attacks.? The Bloomberg School is collaborating with the National Volunteer Fire Council in this research effort. Project director, Keshia Pollack, PhD, assistant professor with the Department of Health Policy and Management, will work with her team and NVFC to identify barriers that limit the implementation of wellness and fitness interventions among firefighters and fire departments in Maryland and Arizona.

Read more>>>

Home Safety Council Recognizes Center Director

The Home Safety Council awarded the Home Safety Research Award to Center for Injury Research & Policy Director Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, at its annual Salute to Home Safety Awards Dinner, June 5, 2008, in Washington D.C. The Home Safety Research Award honors individuals whose research on injury prevention contributes to reducing deaths and injuries from falls, poisonings, fire and burns, drowning and airway obstruction.

New Center Publication Offers Insights into Best Ways to Communicate Fire and Burn Safety Information to Young Children

A new report produced by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides valuable information on how best to communicate burn and fire safety information to children ages 4-9. From 2000 – 2007, 4,114 children 18 years and younger were killed in house fires. Educating children at an early age how to prevent fire and teaching parents about how to protect them in case of a fire are essential in injury prevention and safety.

The report, “Understanding the Impact of Fire and Life Safety Messages on Children,” is of particular significance for child-safety educators, fire departments, teachers and parents. It summarizes findings from a study conducted by the Center and NFPA earlier this year. More than six hundred kids ages 4-9 were enrolled in the study and watched videos of different sets of cartoons; children who viewed the "positive" cartoons, where characters took the correct action in various fire situations, were better at retaining the key safety messages than children who viewed "negative" cartoons where characters took the wrong action. This finding has important implications, as many health education and safety education campaigns focus on showing or telling kids what not to do.

The second key finding from this study is that parents play a critical role in reinforcing what kids learn. Following the video, some parents were asked to talk with their children about fire/burn-safety techniques; some were asked to base their conversations on safety information contained in a handout, while others were simply asked to initiate a general discussion with their children.

"Correct understanding of the safety messages doubled when we compared children who received no parental mediation to those whose parents received the handout information on how to talk to their children," said Dr. Andrea Gielen, lead study investigator and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. "Parents have a critical role to play in reinforcing the fire safety information kids are getting from the media and in schools."

A final report of the study, including more information on the methodology and findings, can be accessed by clicking here. The two organizations also developed a companion Guide, “Evaluating and Creating Fire and Life Safety Materials: A Guide for the Fire Service.” The Guide provides easy to use information on designing and evaluating a variety of educational methods, materials and programs for children and families. Please click here to access a copy of the Guide.

Two Center Alumni Inducted into Society of Scholars

Stephen W. Hargarten and Flaura K. Winston, both alumni of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, have been inducted into the University’s Society of Scholars. They were formally invested into the Society during a ceremony held last week in Baltimore, MD in conjunction with the School of Public Health commencement.

Dr. Hargarten was a Masters student in the School during the 1980s, where he worked with past Center director Stephen Teret. Dr. Hargarten’s accomplishments as an injury prevention scholar, teacher and practitioner include serving as the founding director of the Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and as the national president of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). His research has covered the span of injury control, from prevention to acute care.

Dr. Flaura Winston completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the School in 1993, working with Professor Sue Baker and other Center faculty. As the founder and scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Winston leads efforts to advance the safety of children, youth, and young adults through research and translation. Dr. Winston currently serves on the Editorial Board of the BMJ journal, Injury Prevention, and on the CDC’s Committee for a National Action Plan on Child Injury.

The Society of Scholars was created on the recommendation of then Johns Hopkins president Milton S. Eisenhower and approved by the university board of trustees on May 1, 1967. The society—the first of its kind in the nation—inducts former postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral degree recipients, house staff and junior or visiting faculty who have served at least a year at Johns Hopkins and thereafter gained marked distinction elsewhere in their fields.

Center Receives Grant to Reduce Childhood Injury in China

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy has been awarded funding to develop new ways of incorporating injury prevention into pediatric health care settings in China. The one year planning grant, led by Center director Andrea Gielen and associate scientist Eileen McDonald, will build on the model child safety resource centers developed in Baltimore. Working in partnership with Nanjing University and the Nanjing Children’s Hospital, the project will involve completing a needs assessment describing the child injury problem and creating an action plan for enhancing prevention services.

The project was announced as part of the inaugural grant opportunities provided by the University’s Benjamin and Rhea Yueng Center for Collaborative China Studies, a new initiative from the Provost’s Office. It was one of eleven grants awarded, two of which came to the Bloomberg School. The funding program seeks to deepen the understanding between the United States and China through a unique collaboration among the various Johns Hopkins schools and academic programs.

More information on the Hopkins-Nanjing Center can be found at: http://nanjing.jhu.edu/
More information on the grants awarded by the Yeung Center can be found by clicking here.

Policy Resource Subject of Two Recent Presentations

“Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers,” the publication developed for Maryland lawmakers by faculty and staff of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was recently included on the agendas of two scientific conferences. Dr. Shannon Frattaroli, assistant professor with the Center, spoke about the Policy Resource during a scientific panel at the annual meeting of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR) in April, and Alicia Samuels, communications director for the Center, delivered a talk on the Resource during the DC Health Communications Conference in May.

“Just as we’re committed to translating injury research into information policy makers can use to inform their decisions, we’re also determined to share our translation experiences with other researchers,” said Ms Samuels. Dr. Frattaroli echoed this sentiment: “By informing and perhaps motivating other researchers to communicate with their policy makers, we can increase the likelihood that public health policies- whether local, state, or federal- are evidenced-based.”

The rationale for developing the Policy Resource was two-fold: One, policy makers express a strong desire for tools to help them identify research on specific topics, however the information is not generally easy to find and the implications for policy decisions are not always clear; and two, each year in the Maryland state legislative session, numerous bills related to injury are introduced, and the Resource provides information relevant to many of them.

To access a copy of the 2011 edition of the Policy Resource, please click here.

Professor Sue Baker Honored for Public Health Service

Professor Susan P. Baker, founder of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was recently celebrated along with her husband, JHSPH Professor Dr. Timothy Baker, for their combined century of public health service. A portrait honoring the Bakers was unveiled during a ceremony at the Bloomberg school on Tuesday, April 12th.

Professor Baker’s accomplishments in injury prevention research and translation are unparalleled. Her work has been central to the creation of laws and policies to improve the safety of children in cars, teenage drivers, airplane pilots, truck drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. She has also worked to reduce poisonings, falls, drowning, suicide and homicide. In 2010, Ms. Baker, a licensed airplane pilot, was awarded the Frank A. Calderone Prize by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is the first injury control researcher to receive the prestigious prize.

To see photos from the portrait unveiling, please visit the Center's Facebook page.

Center Partners with American Public Health Association to Kick-off National Public Health Week

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy joined with the American Public Health Association (APHA) to bring awareness to the importance of injury and violence prevention during National Public Health Week (NPHW). This year’s theme, Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free, was selected because injury is a major public health problem and a leading cause of death and disability for Americans.

Roughly seventy public health students, staff and faculty heard remarks from Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of APHA, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of Health for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Dr. Andrea Gielen, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. As part of the visit to the Bloomberg School, Dr. Benjamin toured the CARES Mobile Safety Center along with Delegate Shawn Tarrant (40th District, MD) and public health students.

“Creating a healthier nation starts with creating a safer nation, and that means everyone needs to take small steps to improve the safety of their own communities,” said Dr. Benjamin, the APHA’s executive director. “The CARES Mobile Safety Center is an excellent model of community education and engagement around safety and injury prevention.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

To see photos from the event, please visit the Center's Facebook page.

Center A Co-sponsor of Upcoming Symposium on Community-Engaged Research

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is co-sponsoring "The Future of Community-Engaged Research," a half-day symposium focused on collaborations between researchers and communities scheduled for May 3, 2011. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear experts on the scholarship and application of community-engaged research. Ronald Daniels, JD, LLM, President of Johns Hopkins University, will deliver opening remarks. Other speakers include Marshall Prentice, DD, DHL, Pastor of Zion Baptist Church, and Frances Phillips, RN, MHA, Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services for the Maryland Department of Health.

The symposium is hosted by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. For more information, and to register, please visit ictr.johnshopkins.edu/FCER
.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Partners with Local FOX Affiliate on Carbon Monoxide Education

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has partnered with Baltimore FOX Affiliate WBFF on a public service announcement (PSA) to educate Baltimore residents on how to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States, killing more than 2,100 people per year.

Faculty and staff from the Injury Center worked with FOX on the script and video production of the PSA, which FOX will air from December through March.  As the risk of CO rises during the winter months, the PSA is timely. Already in Baltimore, there have been two high-profile CO incidents in December, one in a daycare center and another in a home which caused the deaths of two people who lived there.

The PSA instructs viewers on the importance of having CO-burning appliances serviced annually, and offers information on how to properly install CO detectors. As a call-to-action, viewers are asked to contact the Center’s Mobile Safety Center to learn about how to bring additional safety information and education to their next neighborhood event. The PSA was also featured in a JHSPH Healthy Monday tip on CO prevention and can be accessed here.

As a result of this partnership, Eileen McDonald, Director of the Children’s Safety Centers for the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was invited as a guest on FOX’s morning show to talk about CO prevention.  The CO prevention PSA is the second one developed in partnership with FOX; an earlier one focused on indoor drowning risks for young children.

Center Director Andrea Gielen Honors Dr. David Sleet with 2010 Distinguished Fellow Award on Behalf of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, presented the Society for Public Health Education’s 2010 Distinguished Fellow Award to Dr. David Sleet, the associate director for science with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The award was presented during the Society’s annual meeting, held Nov 4-6 in Denver, CO, and marked the first time SOPHE has selected someone whose career has focused on injury prevention. Dr. Gielen is on SOPHE’s Board of Directors, and had nominated Dr. Sleet for this award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

In presenting the award, Dr Gielen remarked that, “David’s work is, in large measure, responsible for shifting the paradigm in injury prevention toward an ecological framework, which eliminates the artificial divide between environmental and  behavioral change approaches.” A prolific author, researcher, and visionary, Dr. Sleet has published over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles and 90 co-authored or edited chapters, monographs and technical reports, including four books. In 2009, he received the American Public Health Association’s Injury Section Distinguished Career award, recognizing the significant and long-term impact that his contributions and achievements have had in the field of injury control and emergency health services.

Pictures from the award ceremony have been posted to the Center’s Facebook page.

Center Director Andrea Gielen Featured at Event on Home Sprinklers Hosted by Home Safety Council

Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy addressed dozens of prominent public health leaders on the public health impact of fires during an event focused on home sprinklers sponsored by the Home Safety Council. The event took place during the 138th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver, CO.

In addition to outlining the public health impact of home fires, Dr. Gielen described the work the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is doing to drive awareness and acceptance of sprinklers through research and policy initiatives, including studying how jurisdictions implement residential sprinkler policies. Attendees were also given the opportunity to learn about how sprinklers work, and about what advocates are doing across the United States to impact policy and practice.

As reported in Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers, fires that occur in homes with sprinklers cause less damage. Since 1992 Prince George’s County, MD has required sprinkler systems to be installed in all newly constructed homes. Importantly, there have been no reported fire deaths in a sprinkler-equipped home in the County.

Lethality Assessment Program Developed by Center Faculty Honored with a Celebrating Solutions Award by the Mary Byron Project

The Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) run by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) was selected as one of four 2010 national recipients of the prestigious Celebrating Solutions Award given annually by the Mary Byron Project. Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty members Daniel Webster and Jacquelyn Campbell developed the LAP along with law enforcement officials and members of social service agencies. Its purpose is to help first responders determine if domestic violence cases are at high risk for lethality and link them to community programs.

The Mary Byron Project created the Celebrating Solutions Awards to showcase and applaud local innovations that demonstrate promise in breaking the cycle of violence. They select programs that can serve as models for the nation and offer $10,000 cash awards in recognition of their pioneering efforts. Almost 300 applicants from across the United States were submitted.

Drs. Campbell and Webster also conducted the research that led to the program’s development. They found that only four percent of women killed by their abusers had ever received domestic violence program services, and that the risk of re-assault of women assessed to be in high danger was reduced by 60% if they went to a shelter.

The Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model has grown from one participating law enforcement agency and domestic violence service provider in October 2005 to 106 law enforcement programs and 20 domestic violence service providers statewide. Jurisdictions in 11 other states around the country have implemented the LAP. Dr. Webster is now evaluating the program’s impact on domestic violence in Maryland with Dr. Katherine Vittes, a research associate with the School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

New Study from Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds Youth Report Favorable Impressions of Community Street Outreach Workers

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that youth generally perceive community street outreach workers positively, regardless of whether they have personally worked with one. Street outreach workers are typically members of the community who intervene to prevent conflict and retaliation, and in some programs, also connect individuals with needed services, such as housing, health care and job training. While communities across the United States are increasingly using street workers as a strategy to connect at-risk youth to services and prevent gang-related violence, little is known about how they are viewed by the youth in their communities, particularly among youth who have not yet worked with one. This study, available online in advance of publication in the Journal of Community Health, is the first peer-reviewed study to include the perceptions of youth who are not former or current clients of community street workers.

“These results support the value of communities using street workers to help meet the needs of their youth and in mediating disputes,” said Keshia Pollack , PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management and lead author of the paper. “Even youth who haven’t directly benefited from working one-on-one with street outreach workers are telling us their presence makes their own community a better place.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center Faculty Participate in Second China-US-EU Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit in Shanghai

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty members traveled to Shanghai, China earlier this month as part of the U.S. delegation to the Second China-US-EU Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit. The purpose of the Summit was to develop a coordinated response to the challenges countries face in addressing product safety concerns.

Traveling with the U.S. Delegation offered Center director and professor Andrea Gielen and assistant professor Shannon Frattaroli the opportunity to share a public health perspective on consumer product safety issues with close to 350 Chinese and European Union manufacturers and product safety professionals. The messages conveyed included the value of building safety into the product design stage and the importance of surveillance and reliable risk assessment tools to reduce the likelihood of injury. In addition to these presentations, Drs. Gielen and Frattaroli toured manufacturing plants and visited with faculty interested in injury prevention at Fudan University.

The trip to China was part of ongoing work between the Center and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an independent agency created in 1972 to protect the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products which fall under the agency's jurisdiction. In July, CPSC Chairmen Inez Tenenbaum toured the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy’s CARES mobile safety center and delivered a seminar on product safety to students, staff and faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ongoing collaborations between the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the CPSC are being planned, and will likely include new initiatives to train public health students in consumer product safety.

To see photos from the summit, visit the Center’s Facebook page.

Center Faculty Present Findings at Congressional Briefing Hosted by Senator John Kerry’s Office

Faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy joined their colleagues from the United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), a nationally recognized youth development agency in Lowell, MA, at a Congressional briefing to share results of their evaluation on using street outreach workers to prevent teen violence. The briefing was held on November 15th, and hosted by the office of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH and Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, both assistant professors with the Johns Hopkins Injury Center, have been involved with UTEC since 2007. In August of this year, they published a paper in Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action that described the success of the UTEC program in using street outreach workers to reach and engage youth with the goal of violence prevention and intervention.

Close to forty individuals representing other community groups, Federal agencies and Congressional offices attended the briefing, which featured speakers from UTEC in addition to Dr. Pollack. The purpose was to discuss factors that have contributed to the success of the UTEC program, and offer advice for other communities looking to reach their disengaged youth with the purpose of preventing violence.

Photos from the event can be found on the Center’s Facebook page.

Center Researchers to Present at the American Public Health Association’s 138th Annual Meeting

Faculty, students and staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Policy will share findings from their research at the 138th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, held November 6-10 in Denver, CO. Center-authored abstracts include:

Monday, November 8, 2010, 12:30 PM:
Abstract 218183.“It was a freak accident”: An analysis of U.S. press framing of injury-producing events by faculty member Kate Smith. This research considers how and under what circumstances the term “freak accident” is used by media.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 9:00 AM:
Abstract 2202727. ‘Impact’ in Health Impact Assessments: Effectiveness of HIAs as a Decision-Making Tool by faculty member Keshia Pollack (presenting author: Aaron Wernham). This session explores strategies for monitoring and evaluating health impact assessments, and will provide examples of effective HIAs.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 4:30 PM:
Abstract 221227. Impact of intimate partner violence, substance use and HIV on depressive symptoms among low-income urban women by Center doctoral student Samantha Illangasekare. Samantha is the recipient of an honorable mention for the Kenneth Lutterman Award for Exemplary Student Paper in Mental Health.

The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, attracting more than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists.

Center Launches New Study to Enhance Community-based Participatory Research

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy today announced the launch of “ACT -- Academics & Communities Together -- To End Violence Against Women,” an initiative to build capacity among academics and community partners for community-based participatory research (CBPR). While the Center will be partnering locally with the House of Ruth Maryland, the outcomes of the partnership will help advance community-academic partnered research throughout the public health community.

“The ultimate outcome of community-based participatory research is to help ensure that research is relevant to practice and that results get translated into effective policies and programs to eliminate health disparities and improve health and well-being,” said Maryanne Bailey, project director for the initiative. “Applying this model to interpersonal violence is a unique and exciting endeavor for the field of injury prevention.”

This project is being made possible through an ARRA grant from NIH to the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Community PARTners core.

2010 Raskin Lecture Featuring New York Times Journalist Matt Richtel Draws Over 100 Attendees

The 2010 Raskin Lecture, “Distracted Driving – From Public Health Problem to Pulitzer Prize,” drew well over 100 students, staff and faculty, making it one of the most successful lectures in recent years sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Additionally, the lecture was webcast live from the Injury Center’s website to Center friends and partners across the United States. Matt Richtel, the New York Times journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to the “Driven to Distraction” series was the keynote speaker.

The annual symposium honors Daniel (Danny) J. Raskin, who was a highly skilled human factors investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and a tireless advocate for transportation safety and injury prevention. The symposium is endowed by the Raskin family as a tribute to Daniel’s life work. Prior to introducing the keynote speaker, Bruce Magladry, director of the Office of Highway Safety at NTSB and a friend of the late Daniel Raskin, shared memories of their time together as friends and colleagues.

Mr. Richtel addressed the standing-room only crowd for close to an hour, speaking about his work on the series “Driven to Distraction,” for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2010. He engaged the audience by speaking candidly about the individuals he got to know through his reporting, almost all of whom had been impacted by distracted driving.

Richtel also shared his thoughts on how researchers and journalists can work together to advance public health. According to The New York Times website, the series generated the biggest impact of anything the paper published in 2009. By the end of the year, state legislators had proposed more than 200 bills barring drivers from texting, phoning, or requiring hands-free headsets.

For photos from the event, please visit the Center’s Facebook page.

Please click here to access the archived webcast.

Center Research Featured at 10th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy faculty were among the experts chosen to present their research at the Safety 2010 World Conference, held September 21-24 in London. Reflective of the diverse and broad scope of the Center, the abstracts presented included research on the experience of women using employee programs for assistance with intimate partner violence, the preparedness of older adults to prevent injury in their homes, and the relationship between knowledge of childhood developmental milestones and injury prevention beliefs among parents in Baltimore.

For more information on the Safety 2010 World Conference, including the complete program, please click here.

New Research from Center for Injury Research and Policy finds Pediatric Hospitalizations for ATV-related injuries More than Double

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are associated with a significant and increasing number of hospitalizations for children in the U.S., according to a new report by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Over a nine- year period (1997-2006) hospitalizations for ATV injuries increased 150 percent among youth younger than 18 years, with important demographic variations. Rates increased the most dramatically in the South and Midwest, and among teens ages 15 to 17. While males between 15 to17 have the highest rate of ATV hospitalization, females ages 15 to 17 experienced the sharpest rise in ATV hospitalizations over the study time period, an increase of 250 percent. The report will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Trauma.

“All-Terrain Vehicles are inherently dangerous to children,” said Stephen M. Bowman, PhD, MHA, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the report’s lead author. “While manufacturers are required to label vehicles with engine sizes greater than 90cc as inappropriate for children younger than sixteen, our data indicate that a growing number of children are receiving serious injuries due to ATV use, suggesting that parents are unaware of these recommendations or are choosing to ignore them.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Partners with Local FOX Affiliate to Increase Awareness of Indoor Drowning in Children

Beginning on October 9th, Baltimore FOX45 WBFF Baltimore will begin airing public service announcements (PSAs) targeting caregivers in Baltimore with information about the risks of indoor drowning. Faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Injury Center worked with producers from the station to develop, edit and produce the PSAs which will air over the next six months.

“As more infants drown inside their homes than in pools, there’s a critical need to get the word out about prevention,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director and professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We are very grateful to Fox45 for recognizing the importance of safety education, and providing us with this incredible opportunity to reach so many local families with lifesaving information.”

Three different PSAs of varying lengths were produced and will rotate on air. The call to action for each of the spots is to invite the CARES Mobile Safety Center to a neighborhood event to learn more about how to keep children safe in their homes. The mobile safety center is a forty-foot vehicle built as a house on wheels, with fun, interactive exhibits and low-cost safety products. It was created in 2004 in partnership with the Baltimore City Fire Department and other local organizations. The mobile center visits Baltimore neighborhoods to teach parents and caregivers about the injury risks children face at home and ways to make the home a safer place.

The PSA is available on the Center’s Facebook page and on Youtube.

An upcoming PSA developed out of this partnership will focus on carbon monoxide poisoning.

Center for Injury Research and Policy Receives Additional $38 Million from Defense Department to Expand Orthopedic Trauma Care Research

The Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been awarded $38.6 million by the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to expand its Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium (METRC). The Consortium, which was established in September 2009 with an award of $18 million from DOD, conducts multi-center studies relevant to the treatment and outcomes of major orthopedic injuries sustained on the battlefield. The additional funding allows for growth both in the size of the Consortium and in the scope of its research.

“The initial funding was critical to establishing the consortium and providing the resources to address some of the immediate research needs of the military in the acute management of severe limb injuries,” explained Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, principal investigator and the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, the Department in which the Center for Injury Research and Policy is housed. “With the additional funding, we will be able to expand the size of the consortium to address many other priority topics of relevance to both the rehabilitation and treatment of the wounded warrior, including the prevention of bone infection, chronic pain and overall disability.”

To access the complete press release, please click here
For more information on METRC, please
click here

Center for Injury Research and Policy Announces Winners of Native American Injury Prevention Competition

The Center for Injury Research and Policy has selected Daesha Ramachadran, a PhD student in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, and Lauren Waltersdorf, an MPH candidate, as the winners of the Native American Injury Prevention Competition. Each will receive $5,000 for use during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Daesha will conduct a study of teen perceptions of what is ‘normal’ or typical of relationships among American Indian teenagers, as well as where they get information about healthy relationships and seek help or advice. The ultimate objective is to reduce interpersonal violence in this population. Lauren will study the serious problem of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries in young Native Americans. She hopes to identify differences among various tribes and identify policy interventions with the potential of reducing road deaths in this high-risk population.

While injuries are a major cause of death and disability in the United States, certain groups are more affected. For example, motor vehicle-related death rates of Native Americans are twice the rates for other Americans, and suicide rates among 15-24 year old Native Americans are more than double the U.S. average.
These powerful statistics are behind this new effort by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to encourage the School’s public health students to undertake research projects on injuries to Native Americans or other indigenous people of the United States or Canada.

The hope is that their work will ultimately lead to needed policy and/or environmental changes that will reduce the burden of injury in the Native American population.


Center for Injury Research and Policy Announces Native American Injury Prevention Competition
Two winners will receive $5,000 each to study injury in Native Americans

While injuries are a major cause of death and disability in the United States, certain groups are more affected. For example, motor vehicle-related death rates of Native Americans are twice the rates for other Americans, and suicide rates among 15-24 year old Native Americans are more than double the U.S. average.

These powerful statistics are behind a new effort by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to encourage the School’s public health students to undertake research projects on injuries to Native Americans or other indigenous people of the United States or Canada. The hope is that their work will ultimately lead to needed policy and/or environmental changes that will reduce the burden of injury in the Native American population.

Specifically, two awards of $5,000 each will be granted for use during the 2010-11 academic year to degree candidates at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Examples of products of eligible proposed projects include MPH Capstone projects (or equivalent), proposal for a dissertation focused on injury in Native Americans, and/or a manuscript to be submitted for publication

Applications should be submitted (along with a CV and indication of department and degree program) prior to September 20, 2010 to Professor Susan P. Baker, sbaker@jhsph.edu. A one-page description of the proposed research should include the specific injury problem or issue, its public health importance, general research and anticipated product (due 6/30/11).

The award money can be used for tuition, travel, conferences, data acquisition, computer or other expenses, or stipend. An approximate budget allocation should be included.

For further information or to discuss a possible project, feel free to contact:
Susan P. Baker, sbaker@jhsph.edu

Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Inez Tenenbaum Visits Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Visit includes Tour of CARES Mobile Safety Center

Inez Tenenbaum, MEd, JD, Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently visited the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and met with School officials, faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and MPH students. The visit was an opportunity for both institutions to share information and brainstorm ideas for collaboration. In addition to taking a personalized tour of the CARES mobile safety center, Tenenbaum delivered remarks on Pathways to Increased Public Health and Safety to almost one hundred students, staff and faculty.

“The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy has a strong and successful history of preventing injuries that occur as a result of consumer products,” noted Andrea C. Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Center. “Hearing directly from the Chairman and her staff about their vision for consumer product safety in the U.S. allowed us to identify areas for future collaborations around our shared mission.” These opportunities include working together to increase awareness of the Commission’s current consumer education campaigns on pool safety and safe sleep, overseas training programs to ensure product safety, and opportunities for Hopkins masters' students to complete Capstone projects and other hands-on opportunities at CPSC, which is located in Bethesda, MD.

This last opportunity is of particular interest to Jon Vernick, MPH, JD, Deputy Director of the Injury Center: “Training the next generation of leaders is a priority for the Center, and I look forward to seeing our students get real world experiences in product safety research and practice.”

To see photos of Tenenbaum's tour of the CARES Mobile Safety Center and her visit to the School, please visit the Center’s Facebook page.

For more information on the CPSC, please click here.

Center faculty member David Jernigan author of new report on global alcohol marketing

A comprehensive new report in the spring issue of Contemporary Drug Problems examines the influence of alcohol marketing on youth, and includes case studies from around the world. The report is authored by David Jernigan, Ph.D., associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.

“From Asia to Latin America to Africa, the marketing of alcohol is pervasive and cuts across all types of media, including film, music and mobile phones,” said Jernigan. “Particularly among youth, who tend to be heavily influenced by their environment, the outcome is a greater likelihood that adolescents will initiate alcohol consumption.”

According to Jernigan, the solution must involve systematically monitoring alcohol marketing, particularly in developing countries, in addition to regulatory strategies. For example, the article cites a 2006 study that showed a 28% reduction in alcohol advertising would reduce the percentage of adolescents who drink monthly from 25% to between 24 and 21%, and the percentage who engage in binge drinking monthly from 12% to between 11 and 8%.

For more information on the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, please click here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Honors the Rebuild Program at Inova Fairfax Hospital with 2010 Community Hero Award

The Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named the Rebuild Program at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA with the 2010 Community Hero Award in recognition of the program’s innovation and success in improving the lives of trauma survivors. During a ceremony and reception at the School, students, staff and faculty heard directly from Rebuild participants on how the program has positively impacted their lives.

Started by Anna Bradford, MSW, LCWS, the program is designed to support recovering trauma patients and their caregivers. It was the first comprehensive support program for trauma survivors and their families in the United Stares, and has since served as a model for similar programs across the country. The program currently offers five different support groups for patients recovering from general trauma, spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, in addition to patient-focused training for healthcare professionals to reinforce their vital role in the healing process. It is currently managed by Daniel Stanto, MSW, LCSW.

The Community Hero Award was created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy to recognize distinguished injury prevention leaders and exemplary programs that contribute to improving safety in our communities. Past awardees include Carole Alexander, executive director of the House of Ruth of Maryland and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, former commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department.

New Study from Center Researchers Finds Street Outreach Workers an Important Tool for Violence Prevention and Intervention

A new study by Center faculty members Shannon Frattaroli and Keshia Pollack describes how using street outreach workers is an effective strategy to reach and engage youth with the goal of violence prevention and intervention. Street outreach workers are typically members of the community who intervene to prevent conflict and retaliation, and in some programs, also connect individuals with needed services, such as housing and job training.

While cities across the United States are utilizing street outreach workers as part of their violence prevention programs, including CeaseFire in Chicago and Safe Streets in Baltimore, this is the first peer-reviewed study on a program to be published. This is also the first evaluation of this type of program in a smaller community; the researchers studied the street outreach workers program run by the United Teen Equality Center  in Lowell, Mass., a city of 105,167 residents north of Boston.

"These features should be considered both by communities with existing street outreach worker programs and by communities in the process of establishing one, as they have demonstrated importance for both program success and sustainability," said Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management and the paper's lead author.
 
To access the complete press release, please click here.


New Study by Ellen MacKenzie Finds Trauma Center Care is Cost Effective

Trauma center care not only saves lives, it is a cost-effective way of treating major trauma, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policy. Although treatment at a trauma center is more expensive, the benefits of this approach in terms of lives saved and quality of life-years gained outweigh the costs. The study finds that the added cost of treatment at a trauma center versus nontrauma center is only $36,319 for every life-year gained or $790,931 per life saved. While previous studies have found trauma center care decreases one’s likelihood of dying following injury, this is the most comprehensive study to date to also measure cost-effectiveness. The results are published in the July issue of The Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care.

“In today’s economic and health care climates, it is critical to determine whether the benefits of expensive therapies warrant their higher costs,” said Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, the Fred and Julie Soper Professor & Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Taken together with our previous work demonstrating the effectiveness of trauma centers in saving lives, the results unequivocally support the need for continued efforts and funding for regionalized systems of trauma care in the United States.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.
 

Falls the Leading Cause of Injury among Older Adults in China

New Research by Professor Susan Baker finds falls are the most common injury for both urban and rural elderly in China, responsible for more than two-thirds of all injuries in people 65 and older. This is the first study to uncover the leading causes of non-fatal injuries among older adults in China, who make up 9 percent of the total population. The report is available on the Website of the journal Injury Prevention.

“The identification of the most common locations and causes of injury is useful for the development of interventions and priorities,” said Susan P. Baker, MPH, professor with the Injury Center. “The results indicate the divorced and widowed elderly should be targeted as high-risk groups for injury. Prevention programs for all major causes of injury need to be developed as soon as possible in China.”

To access the complete press release, please click here. 

New Paper by Center Director Andrea Gielen Makes Case for Increased Support for Injury Research  

A new article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “An Urgent Call to Action in Support of Injury Control Research Centers,” reports that funding disparities for research are enormous across health problems, with funding for injury, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., far out of proportion to the magnitude of the problem. For example, the Federally-funded Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) program, created in 1987 with a $10 million Congressional appropriation to support five Centers, now supports eleven Centers who receive less than $1 million annually to support their work. Using funding to the National Cancer Institute as the standard and calibrating based on total deaths, the researchers determined the actual figure should exceed $1.4 billion.

The report is co-authored by Center Director Andrea Gielen along with leaders from six other Injury Centers.

“Despite the meager support provided, Injury Centers have made substantial progress and discoveries over the past two decades, demonstrating their continuing potential to advance the science and practice of injury control,” said Dr. Gielen. “As evidenced in this paper, what’s urgently needed is increased investment to accelerate these discoveries and ensure our results impact communities.”

The article also includes select examples of research contributions by the ICRC program and presents four critical “Call to Actions” for Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These include: Cultivate investigator interest in injury control and further development of cutting-edge research through increased funding; Support training in the science of injury control; Launch a comprehensive national campaign to foster public support for eradication of injury as a health problem; and Support a comprehensive, multi-agency review to determine how best to fund basic, applied, and translational injury research.

Program Developed by Center Researchers Chosen as Semifinalist for the Mary Byron Project's Celebrating Solutions Award

The Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), a program developed by Center faculty members Daniel Webster and Jacquelyn Campbell along with law enforcement officials and members of social service agencies, has been selected as a semifinalist to receive the Mary Byron Project's Celebrating Solutions Award.  The purpose of the LAP is to help first responders determine if domestic violence cases are at high risk for lethality and link them to community programs. As a semifinalist the program is in the top 20 of about 250 applications. Award winners ate expected to be announced in the fall.

Drs. Campbell and Webster also conducted the research that led to the program’s development. They found that only four percent of women killed by their abusers had ever received domestic violence program services, and that the risk of re-assault of women assessed to be in high danger was reduced by 60% if they went to a shelter. Dr. Webster is now evaluating the program’s impact on domestic violence in Maryland with Dr. Katherine Vittes, a research associate with the School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

The Mary Byron Foundation is a public grant-making charity based in Louisville, Kentucky that honors groundbreaking efforts to stop domestic violence.  The Foundation's Celebrating Solutions Award recognizes institutions that demonstrate an innovative approach to confronting the root causes of domestic violence and developing solutions to break the cycle. The Foundation is named in honor of a woman who was murdered by a former boyfriend in 1993.  More information on the Foundation can be accessed here.

Center Faculty Keshia Pollack Addresses Institute of Medicine Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children

Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, delivered a presentation on the relationship between injury prevention and obesity in young children during the June meeting of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children. The committee is tasked with reviewing factors related to overweight and obesity in infants and young children, identifying gaps in knowledge, and making recommendations on early childhood obesity prevention policies. The purpose of the talk was to describe how injury relates to obesity risk, and make the case for why the Committee should consider injury prevention in addressing childhood obesity.

“Injury researchers and obesity researchers share the common goal of keeping people active and safe,” said Dr. Pollack. “While this approach of the two fields working together is somewhat new, we are fortunate to already have successful examples to learn from and model, such as the Safe Routes to Schools program which has been effective at getting more children to safely walk and bicycle to school.”

In closing, Dr. Pollack thanked the IOM committee for recognizing the opportunities for partnership between the two fields. “I look forward to continued collaborations with colleagues working to prevent and control childhood obesity. Together we can keep kids healthy and safe.”

More information on the IOM Committee can be accessed here.

Work of Center Faculty David Jernigan Linked to new WHO Global Strategy on Alcohol Policy

Center faculty member David Jernigan contributed to efforts to secure the World Health Assembly’s recent adoption of a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. As a result, health ministers from around the world will now try to curb binge drinking and other growing forms of excessive alcohol use through higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing regulations.  Dr. Jernigan is on the Board of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance, the principal global NGO that has been advocating for the strategy. He has also assisted in developing the evidence base for the strategy, dating back to the late 1990s when he was the principal author of WHO's first Global Status Report on Alcohol.  In his addition to his role with the Johns Hopkins Injury Center, Jernigan is director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To access the global strategy document, please click here.

Center Faculty and Former Director Ellen MacKenzie Recipient of Diversity Recognition Award

Ellen MacKenzie, PhD, the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management, was named a recipient of the 2010 Diversity Recognition Award by the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council. The award celebrates individuals and groups who have made significant contributions in advancing and celebrating diversity and inclusiveness within the University.

Nominated by the Bloomberg School’s Dean, Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, MacKenzie was awarded for her efforts to ensure and promote diversity within the department of Health Policy and Management and for serving as a role model to women faculty, staff and students.  The award was presented at a ceremony and reception on May 18 in the Shriver Hall Auditorium.

 “The steps taken by the Diversity Leadership Council to promote diversity have been tremendous and beneficial to all University faculty, staff and students,” said MacKenzie. “It is an honor to be named a 2010 recipient of the Diversity Recognition Award and I am grateful to my many colleagues at the Bloomberg School who have supported me throughout my career and continue to assist me in celebrating and promoting diversity.”

Center Faculty and Founder Susan P. Baker Named Recipient of the Harry G. Moseley Award by the Aerospace Medical Association

Susan P. Baker, M.P.H., Sc.D. (Hon.), has been named the recipient of the 2010 Harry G. Moseley Award for her pioneering work applying the public health model to aviation safety research and training. Established in recognition of the contributions of Col. Harry G. Moseley to flight safety and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the award was presented to Professor Baker during the Aerospace Medical Association’s 81st Annual Scientific Meeting on May 13th in Phoenix, AZ.

Prof. Baker’s research has led to a better understanding of the determinants of occupant survival in aviation crashes, the etiology of pilot error, and the relationship between pilot aging and safety performance. Her research has included crashes related to mountain flying, instructional flights, commuter flights, and air medical transport. Much of her teaching and research is designed to influence the legislators, administrators, media representatives, and others whose decisions can determine the likelihood of injury for thousands of people.

“More than one thousand patients are admitted to U.S. hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually and 750 aviation related deaths occur each year, making aviation injuries a public health problem worthy of investigation,” said Professor Baker. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Aerospace Medical Association for their recognition of the importance of applying a public health model to studying aviation safety research and training.”

More information on the Aerospace Medical Association can be found here.

New research by Center Faculty Finds Heightened Risk of Fire Deaths among Older African Americans, Native Americans

Center faculty member David Bishai, MD, PHD, is the author of a new study on burn and fire injuries published in the May/June issue of Public Health Reports.  Bishai and colleague Sunmin Lee looked at the impact of age by race/ethnicity to identify disparities in burn and fire injuries from age 1 to 90, and found that compared with non-Hispanic white people, Native Americans and African Americans older than 55 years of age experienced a higher risk of death from fires and burns. The rate ratio of burn/fire deaths of African Americans compared with white people was 3.14 for those aged 55 years and older. The corresponding rate ratio for Native Americans compared with white people was 1.93 for those aged 55 years and older.

“Heightened fire risks for minority seniors require broad attention and the development of effective interventions,” said Bishai, an associate professor with the Injury Center. “Additionally, further investigation is needed to unveil the causes of the higher rates of burn and fire deaths faced by African American and Native American seniors.”

To access graphs on trends in injury, including from fire, please click here.

Center Faculty Present Research at 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Center faculty were well-represented among the presenters at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) held April 7-10 in Seattle, Washington. SBM is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well being of individuals, families, communities and populations.

“Innovating Prevention From Research to Practice: The CARES Mobile Safety Center” (Eileen McDonald, Shannon Frattaroli, Wendy Shields, and Andrea Gielen) reported results of faculty’s work comparing the ability of the CARES mobile safety center to disseminate products and information at a medical practice versus community settings. The results indicate visitors to CARES report high levels of satisfaction: 98% said they would refer a friend. Qualitative and quantitative differences emerged across the two settings which the researchers will explore in greater detail.

Faculty members Wendy Shields, Eileen McDonald and Andrea Gielen also presented research on a health literacy study. “Physician Communication With Parents At Risk for Low Literacy” explores the use of difficult terms and concepts as part of well childcare in an urban pediatric clinic. They found that in 55% of visits, physicians used words and concepts deemed difficult for low literacy populations, and in the majority (77%) of these instances, the phrase or concept was used without further explanation.

And finally, in “What Happens After IPV Screening Opportunities for Health Care Provider Intervention with Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence,” faculty Center Director Andrea Gielen along with Pate Mahoney, doctoral candidate Samantha Illangasekare and colleagues from George Washington University and University of Pittsburgh, reported the results of a pilot study testing a stage based counseling program’s utility for meeting the needs of women experiencing IPV. The study’s results were promising in terms of improving women’s reported quality of life and experience of violence.

The next annual meeting of SBM will take place in Washington, DC. For more information, please click here: http://www.sbm.org/meetings/

Center Director Andrea Gielen Delivers Patricia F. Waller Lecture at University of North Carolina

On April 14th, Center Director Andrea Gielen addressed University of North Carolina students, faculty and staff during the annual Patricia F. Waller lecture, held in memory of Patricia Fossum Waller, PhD, a UNC professor who worked for nearly two decades as a researcher at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, where she developed the concept for graduated licensing that would become adopted nationwide. The lectureship is sponsored by UNC’s Injury Prevention Research Center, the Highway Safety Research Center, and the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Gielen’s talk, “Pediatric Injury Prevention: From the Trenches to the Ivory Tower and Back Again,” provided an overview of the epidemiology of childhood injury in the U.S., along with a short history of research accomplishments in the field. She provided examples of community partnered and translation research projects carried out by the Center, with a special emphasis on what the Center is doing to address childhood injuries in Baltimore.

The video of Dr. Gielen’s presentation along with a copy of her slides can be found here.

Center Faculty Member and Founding Director Susan Baker Named Winner of the Frank A. Calderone Prize

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health today announced that it will award the highest prize in public health – the Frank A. Calderone Prize – to Susan P. Baker, whose extraordinary career spanning close to five decades has been instrumental in bringing the prevention of injuries to the forefront of public health and public policy.

The Frank A. Calderone Prize in Public Health, the preeminent award in the field, is overseen by the Mailman School of Public Health and presented to an individual who has made a transformational contribution in the field of public health. The Prize recognizes an individual who has accomplished extraordinary distinction in public health and/or who has made a specific contribution which has had long-term national or global implications. This is the first time the Prize has been bestowed upon an injury control researcher.

"Sue Baker is a true pioneer," said Mailman School Dean Fried. "She not only created a new field of academic inquiry in public health; she ensured that her research would have practical application and underpin a transformation in public policy. The Mailman School is proud to bestow the Calderone Prize on Professor Baker."

"I am truly honored by this extraordinary recognition," said Professor Baker. "When I started in this field many years ago, injury was hardly considered a public health issue, despite being one of the leading causes of death and disability. I feel very fortunate to have had so many opportunities to build a career in injury prevention, to train so many outstanding injury professionals, and to have been able to influence real policy changes to save lives. While we have collectively come so far, there is more work to be done. That is why I hope this Prize will now draw even more attention to the burden of injury, and encourage more young leaders to enter the field."

Professor Baker will accept the Calderone Prize on May 6, 2010 and give a major and original address at the Mailman School.

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center Faculty Keshia Pollack Recipient of a Johns Hopkins Faculty Innovation Fund Award

Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, an assistant professor with the Center for Injury Research and Policy, is a recipient of a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2010 Innovation Fund award, sponsored by the Department of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Pollack’s proposed research will examine how policymakers perceive health impact assessments (HIAs), how and if HIAs are used by policymakers, and the best ways to disseminate HIA findings to policymakers so they are included in the policymaking process. The use of HIAs is gaining momentum within the U.S. public health community as a powerful instrument with the potential to inform health planning and policymaking, however little research exists on policymaker’s perceptions towards HIAs, or the best ways to disseminate HIA findings to policymakers.

“In order for public health outcomes to play a greater role in policymaker’s decisions, more research is needed to determine policymaker’s perspectives on HIA’s,” said Pollack. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Department for recognizing this as an area worthy of study, and I look forward to commencing my work.”

For more information on the Faculty Innovation Fund, please click here.

New publication by Center Staff and Faculty Calls for Increased Knowledge Translation to Policy Makers

Translating knowledge from research findings into practice and policy is critical to reducing the injury burden, and researchers are well-positioned for this challenge, according to the new From SAVIR column published in Injury Prevention. This article is authored by faculty and staff at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and is available at the journal’s website.

The article makes the case for the value in injury researchers and policymakers working together, and cites two examples of how the Hopkins Injury Center effectively reduced the chasm that often exists between researchers and policymakers. One example, Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers, was developed in advance of the 2010 Maryland General Assembly and offers policy makers and stakeholders easily accessible and understandable information on specific injury problems in Maryland. Evidence-based policy solutions for each injury problem included in the Resource are also provided.

“Policymakers want to know what solutions exist for public health problems. As researchers, we can address this need and connect policy makers with those evidence-based policy solutions proven to prevent injury,” said lead study author Keshia Pollack, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. “As we become more engaged and involved in translating our work for policy makers, we need to remain mindful of the importance of sharing these experiences with each other. By doing so, we can expand the knowledge base necessary to accelerate the dissemination and uptake of proven effective injury countermeasures.

To learn more about what SAVIR is doing to disseminate best knowledge translation practices, please email the SAVIR Advocacy committee.

Fatal Injuries Increase in Older Americans

New research from Center Professor Susan P. Baker finds that the risk of dying from injuries is increasing for Americans ages 65 and older. The report found significant increases in death rates from falls (42 percent increase), machinery (46 percent increase), motorcycle crashes (145 percent increase) and unintentional poisoning (34 percent increase). The results are published in the February issue of Injury Prevention and are available online at the journal’s website.

“Our findings reveal significant increases in death rates from several different injury causes,” said Professor Baker. “While the overall change in injury mortality among persons 65 and older was small, this study identifies important causes worthy of further investigation.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

New Funding Allowing Center Researchers to Improve Care for Injured Civilians and Members of U.S. Military

Along with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Dr. Ellen MacKenzie, professor with the Center and the Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, has been awarded $18.4 million by the Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program (OETRP) of the U.S. Department of Defense to establish an Extremity Trauma Clinical Research Consortium.

Termed METRC, the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium consists of a network of clinical centers and one data-coordinating center (housed in the Injury Center) that will work together with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) to conduct multi-center clinical research relevant to the treatment and outcomes of orthopaedic trauma sustained in the military.

The overall goal of the Consortium is to produce the evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for the optimal care of the wounded warrior and ultimately improve the clinical, functional and quality of life outcomes of both service members and civilians who sustain high energy trauma to the extremities.

“The need for such a consortium is evident,” said Dr. MacKenzie. “Eighty-two percent of all service members injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom sustain extremity trauma. Many sustain injuries to multiple limbs. The research to be conducted by the Consortium will help us better understand what works and what doesn’t in treating these injuries and ensure that our service members are provided with the best care possible.”

For more information on METRC, please see their website at metric.org.

Center for Injury Research and Policy Partners With Health and Fire Departments to?Announce?Start of CO Detector Ordinance

Beginning on March 1, Baltimore City will require carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to be installed in residential dwellings, hotels and buildings used for living or sleeping. Today, the Center joined officials from the Baltimore City Health and Fire officials to warn residents of the health dangers of CO poisoning, to share prevention tips and to urge compliance with the new law. Since 2000, more than 25 people have died in Baltimore City as a result of CO poisoning.

“Like many injuries that occur in the home, CO poisoning can be prevented," said Eileen McDonald, MS, director of The Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Centers. "By installing a CO alarm in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of their home, people can keep themselves safe.”

To speed the conversion of city homes into safer residences, Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, has donated 250 free CO alarms that will be distributed to City residents who demonstrate financial need. The devices will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center, located inside Children’s Admitting. The center is open Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the phone number is (410) 614-5587.

New Study Finds Majority of Marylanders Without Advance Medical Directives

A new study authored by Center faculty member Keshia Pollack reports that 66 percent of respondents to a Maryland telephone survey do not have advance medical directives. Younger adults and blacks were less likely than older adults and whites, respectively, to report having an advance directive, which includes the living will and health care power of attorney. The results will be published in an upcoming issue of Health Policy and are available online at the journal’s website

“Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S., scenarios in which an AD or health care proxy would be particularly beneficial,” said Dr. Pollack, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. The study found the primary reasons reported for not having an advance directive include being unfamiliar with them, feeling too healthy to need one, or, for the younger adults, being too young to need one.

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center Faculty Member Keshia Pollack Featured Speaker at 13th Annual Smart Transportation and Bicycle Symposium

Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, was a featured speaker at One Less Car’s 13th Annual Smart Transportation and Bicycle Symposium, held February 3rd in Annapolis, MD. One Less Car is Maryland’s statewide advocacy voice for promoting safe and accessible biking, walking, transit and carpooling as alternatives to cars.

Speaking in front of several hundred advocates, planners, state and local officials, and community leaders brought together by a common desire for more bike lanes, better sidewalks, more trails, and a statewide Complete Streets policy, Dr. Pollack discussed how the design and construction of our transportation systems have a profound impact on the public’s health. She described the inextricable link between transportation and health, highlighting pedestrian-related injuries, physical activity and obesity, and disparities, as well as stressed the importance of partnerships and collaborations to ensure transportation and public health are considered together.

For more information on the Symposium, please click here.

New Center-authored Publication Finds Art Program Engages At-Risk Kids and Identifies Needs

Identifying the public health and safety needs of children from low-income communities may be accomplished through art, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and University of Pittsburgh. Their paper, published in the current online issue of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action, describes the success of Visual Voices, an arts-based program that engages community members as partners in research.

The study was based on Visual Voices programs conducted with 22 children ages 8 to 15 in two low-income and predominantly African-American communities in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. During the Visual Voices sessions, participants created paintings and drawings to share their perceptions, both positive and negative, of community safety and violence, and their hopes for the future. Afterward, they combined their individual art projects into two “visual voice” exhibits. Pieces of the artwork are currently on display at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine used qualitative research methods to review and code the participants’ art projects for themes. Factors that participants identified as important to safety included school and social networks—family, friends and the local community. Places that they identified as unsafe were corner stores, streets and alleys with poor lighting and abandoned houses. Other contextual factors identified as unsafe were drugs, guns and violence, smoking, drinking and gambling.

“This project allowed us to hear directly from Baltimore children about issues in their communities that concern them, including neighborhood safety and violence,” said Gielen. “Garnering this type of information is instrumental to developing public health programs and interventions that are appropriate for specific communities.”

Center Announces Availability of “Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers”

A new Center publication, “Preventing Injuries in Maryland: A Resource for State Policy Makers” is now available for download. The Resource is designed to provide Maryland policy makers, advocacy groups, members of the media, researchers and the general public with easily accessible and understandable information on specific injury problems in Maryland, and offer solutions on how they can be addressed through policy decisions.

“This Resource allows us to deliver on our mission of closing the gap between research and policy to reduce the burden of injury,” said Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We already know that many of the issues covered in the book, such as distracted driving and alcohol and injuries, are likely to be key issues in the 2010 Maryland General Assembly. I look forward to seeing its impact and contribution to the field of knowledge translation.”

For more information on the Resource, and to access an electronic copy, please click here.

New Research from Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds Significant Urban-Rural Disparities in Injury Mortality Seen in China

A new study co-authored by Susan Baker, MPH, professor with the Injury Center, finds the death rate from injuries in rural areas of China is higher than in urban areas. Rural males of all ages were 47 percent more likely to die from injuries than urban males, and the overall rate in rural females was 33 percent higher than in urban females. For babies under one year of age, unintentional suffocation was the most important source of the total urban-rural disparity, whereas drowning was the great contributor to disparity among children ages 1 to 4 years. At the other end of the age spectrum, suicide accounted for the bulk of the disparity for both men and women. The report is published in the winter 2010 issue of The Journal of Rural Health.

“As good policy decisions rely on the availability of good data, the objective of this study was to provide information on urban-rural disparities in injury mortality in China, so as to offer a basis for governmental decisions related to injury interventions,” said Professor Baker. “The findings should be used to set priorities for reducing the high rate of fatal injuries in rural China.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Center-Authored Article Explores Local Perceptions of and Responses to Urban Youth Violence in Baltimore

A new paper authored by Center alumnus Michael Yonas and Center Director Andrea Gielen provides insight into the often overlooked capacity present within neighborhoods, such as innovative collaborations and public outreach with youth, neighbors, administrative and law enforcement services.

The study researchers collected qualitative data regarding the perceptions of local social networks and efforts to address youth violence through the use of in-depth interviews with prominent neighborhood individuals in low SES communities throughout Baltimore

Individuals living in “high-risk” neighborhoods (neighborhoods that score higher on rates of juvenile violence, unemployment, adult violence, and lower on rates of education and home ownership) were less likely to be engaged in neighborhood-level violence prevention efforts, and more likely to feel that addressing young people directly increases their chances of becoming a target of retribution, compared with individuals in “lower-risk” neighborhoods. The paper is published in the January 2010 issue of Health Promotion Practice.

“The health impact of youth violence in the U.S. is extensive and devastating,” said Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, professor with and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Engaging individuals living in neighborhoods classified as high-risk provides unique insight and understanding of the perceptions and dynamics associated with local violence prevention efforts,” added Michael A. Yonas, DrPH, MPH, now with the University of Pittsburgh. “Our findings suggest and advocate for the need of public health researchers and practitioners to engage neighborhood individuals as partners in efforts to address and prevent urban youth violence.”

New Research from Center for Injury Research and Policy Finds More than One Thousand Patients in U.S. Admitted Annually for Aviation-Related Injuries

The first ever published study of aviation-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. finds that on average,1013 patients are admitted to U.S. hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually, and that an average of 753 aviation-deaths occur each year. The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policy and Columbia University, also reports that the largest categories of patients were occupants of civilian, noncommercial powered aircraft (32 percent) and parachutists (29 percent). For aircraft occupants as well as parachutists, lower limb fractures were the most common injury, encompassing 27 percent of all hospitalized injuries. While burns were seen in only 2.5 percent of patients, they were responsible for 13 percent of deaths. The report is published in the December issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.

“Our findings provide valuable information, not previously available, on the number and kinds of injuries sustained in aviation-related events,” said lead author Susan P. Baker, professor with the Injury Center. “Because many injuries can be prevented through changes in the structure of aircraft, these data should be used to recognize needed improvements in aircraft design. For example, the high numbers of lower limb fractures suggest modifications should be considered to the various structures likely to be contacted by the feet and legs when a crash occurs.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

Annual APHA Meeting to Highlight Research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy

The work of researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy will be recognized at the 137th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Nov 7-11 in Philadelphia, PA. The APHA annual meeting is considered the premier public health educational forum, attracting more than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists.

Jon Vernick, MPH, JD, assistant professor and co-director of the Injury Center, will be presenting at two cross-cutting sessions, one devoted to how the legal issue of preemption affects policy across various public health issues, and the other on environmental approaches to prevention policy. In both sessions Vernick will be presenting the firearms perspective.

Vanya Jones, PhD, assistant scientist with the Center, is an author on an oral presentation on violence prevention in youth, “Barriers and opportunities to school-based parent involvement: Implications for adolescent violence prevention.”

Research conducted by Keshia Pollack, MPH, PhD, assistant professor with the Center, and colleagues on how Employee Assistance Programs address intimate partner violence (“Employee Assistance Programs and efforts to address intimate partner violence”) will be presented during a poster session.

And finally, Kira McGroarty, MPH, project director of the CARES Mobile Safety Center will be the moderator of an oral session, “Award winning health education and promotion materials.” In this session, individuals recognized for outstanding health education materials will present an overview of the health issue, theory, target population, development, implementation, and evaluation of their health material. McGroarty will also be presenting an overview of the development and implementation of the CARES Safety Center at the annual meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) in Philadelphia November 5-7, held each year in conjunction with the APHA meeting.

Center Faculty Elected to Leadership Roles in Leading Injury Professional Association?

Center Director Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, has been elected President-elect of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). Established in 2005, SAVIR is a professional association of injury researchers with a mission to promote scholarly activity in the prevention, control, acute care, and rehabilitation of intentional and unintentional injury (www.savirweb.org).

“I am honored to be chosen, and extend my sincere gratitude to the nomination committee,” said Dr. Gielen. “As a relatively young organization, we offer great opportunities for member involvement in shaping our future. I would like to encourage both new and seasoned injury professionals to join us in our efforts to promote research and collaboration with practitioners and policymakers to bridge the research – practice gap and reduce the burden of injury.”

In addition to Dr. Gielen, the SAVIR Board of Directors includes Center faculty Shannon Frattaroli, MPH, PhD, who will be coordinating a new contract from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) awarded to SAVIR. Last year, Dr. Frattaroli served as the Chair of the Injury Conference Programs Committee and was awarded SAVIR’s President’s Award for her contributions to the successful national conference. This year’s initiative with the NCIPC will engage SAVIR members in promoting the national injury research agenda. “The contract from NCIPC is a great example of how injury researchers can organize to demonstrate the need for and value of our work,” said Dr. Frattaroli. “We are thrilled to be working with NCIPC on such an important initiative.”

The Center will also host SAVIR’s bi-annual national research conference in 2013 in Baltimore.

National Fire Protection Agency and Johns Hopkins Injury Center to study how best to teach children about fire safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) announced a joint project titled Strengthening the Impact of Fire and Life Safety Messages on Children. The goal is to determine the best way to communicate fire safety messages to children ages 3-9. This is the first time the groups have worked together to enhance fire safety education. The project is made possible by funding from FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, AFG Fire Prevention and Safety Grants.

“The outcomes of this study will contribute to understanding how children and their parents react to safety messages,” said Andrea Gielen, ScM, ScD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Despite the fact that injuries are the number one cause of death for children in the U.S., little is currently known about how best to reach them with safety information.” Each year approximately 290 children ages 3-9 die as a result of fire in the U.S.

To access the press release, please click here.

Center Co-Sponsors Symposium on Reducing College-Age Drinking

The Center for Injury Research and Policy is a co-sponsor of an October 6th symposium at Johns Hopkins University on underage drinking, “Reducing Drinking on College Campuses: Where to From Here?” The purpose is to bring together college administrators, community leaders, policy makers, students and faculty to discuss how to reduce the harmful use of alcohol on college campuses in Baltimore.

“It’s estimated that each year 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries, all of which could have been prevented,” said David Jernigan, MA, PhD, associate professor with the Injury Center and executive director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “By highlighting issues surrounding the use of alcohol on campuses and the existing evidence-based methods to address them, we will be well-positioned to identify the steps necessary to prevent future alcohol-related deaths and injuries among Baltimore’s college students.”

All members of U.S. Senate and House Receive Information on Injury Prevention and Health Care Reform

Continuing its work reaching policymakers and their staffs with the message that injury prevention can save lives and money, each member of Congress received a packet of injury prevention materials on Monday, including a cover letter, a copy of the Roll Call ad, a fact sheet on injury prevention and health care reform, and the accompanying press release. The ad was signed by Andrea Gielen, director of the Center, on behalf of 21 different research universities, professional organizations and advocacy groups all committed to injury prevention.

“Health care reform represents an unprecedented opportunity for reducing the burden of injuries,” said Dr. Gielen. “This is why it’s absolutely critical policy makers understand that by incorporating injury prevention into health care reform, lives and money will be saved.”

New Research from Center Faculty Finds Mandatory Alcohol Testing For Truck and Bus Drivers Reduces Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Crashes

A new paper co-authored by Center faculty member Susan P. Baker finds that mandatory alcohol testing programs for truck and bus drivers have contributed to a significant reduction in alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. The work was done in collaboration with researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.

Based on a study sample of nearly 70,000 motor carrier (heavy trucks and buses) drivers and over 83,000 non–motor-carrier (car) drivers, the estimated net effect attributed to the mandatory alcohol testing programs for drivers of heavy trucks and buses was a 23% reduced risk of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, which made alcohol testing mandatory for transportation employees with safety sensitive functions.

Findings from the study are published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Injury Center Partners with Other Leading Injury and Health Organizations to Urge Congress to Save Lives and Money by Including Injury Prevention in Health Care Reform

The Center for Injury Research and Policy is among a large coalition of research universities, professional organizations and advocacy groups that have joined together to urge Congress to include injury prevention in health care reform. To reach policymakers and their staffs with the message that research based injury prevention can save lives and money, the group is running an ad in the September 8thHealth Care Hits the Road” theme issue of Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. It is the first time these groups have come together to educate policymakers on the significant burden injuries pose to the health care system.

To access the full press release, please click here. To see a copy of the ad, access links to the partner organizations, and learn specific examples of how to include injury prevention in health care reform, please click here.

New Report Finds Deaths from Unintentional Injuries Increasing Among Many Groups

A new paper authored by Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Injury Center, finds deaths from unintentional injuries are increasing among many groups, with a threefold risk in poisoning among middle-age white women. The study also found the death rate from falls increased 38 percent for white men and 48 percent for white women 65 and older.

“The large increases in the number of deaths attributable to poisoning and falls underscore the need for more research on the specific circumstances involved,” said Professor Baker. “While we don’t know the cause behind the recent increase in falls mortality, it appears that the increase in poisonings is largely due to prescription drugs. National prevention efforts are needed to control the abuse of prescription drugs and limit access.”

Please click here to access the full article.

A link to the press release can be found here.

Center-authored Op-Ed on Falls and Health Care Reform Published in The Health Care Blog

An Op-Ed authored by Center director Andrea Gielen and Alicia Samuels, the director of communications for the Center, has been published in the Health Care Blog, one of the most well-read blogs on health care. The piece uses the recent falls of Hillary Clinton, Pope Benedict XVI, Barbara Mikulski and Sonia Sotomayor to highlight the public health burden of falls, and makes the case for incorporating fall prevention strategies into health care reform.

“Despite the recent falls of these very high profile leaders, we weren’t seeing anything written on the public health burden of falls or injuries. Similarly, the lack of attention to falls and other injuries in health care reform is alarming. Our hope is that this Op-Ed will raise awareness among the general public and lawmakers of the prevalence of falls, particularly among the elderly, and urge them to press for solutions we know exist.”

Please click here to access the article.

Ad Campaign Raising Awareness of CARES Mobile Safety Center

On August 2, the CARES Mobile Safety Center was featured at the Israel Baptist Church’s Community Festival in East Baltimore. One of the event organizers learned of the Safety Center through a PSA that aired on the Heaven 600 radio station. WBFF, the local Fox affiliate, attended the event and showcased CARES during their evening newscast.

In July, the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, which runs the Safety Center in partnership with the Baltimore City Fire Department, launched a city-wide advertising campaign using radio, bus shelter and billboard ads to increase awareness of the van’s availability for local events.

“We’re very pleased with the response to the ads we’ve received from the community,” said Kira McGroarty, MPH, project director for the CARES Safety Center. “We will continue to conduct community outreach to ensure Baltimore City residents are aware of resources to help prevent injuries in the home.”

Current operating costs for the safety center are covered through a generous three-year grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Since receiving funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in January 2008, approximately 4,800 individuals in Baltimore have visited the safety center.

Center Receives Five-Year Renewal from?CDC

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy is one of four injury control research centers (ICRC) nationwide selected for funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC’s Injury Center). Injury Control Research Centers conduct research in all three core phases of injury control (prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation) and serve as training centers as well as information centers for the public and health professionals. The Hopkins Center was one of the first centers for excellence in injury research funded by the CDC and has been in existence since 1987. The work of the Hopkins Injury Center spans the spectrum of unintentional and intentional injury across the lifespan and across the globe, with a strong focus on translation research as well as education and outreach to promote effective programs and policies.

“We are thrilled our 5-year competitive renewal was chosen for funding,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM,?Director of the Injury Center. “The funding will allow us to continue our lifesaving work bridging the gap between injury-related research and practice locally, nationally and internationally. On behalf of everyone at the Injury Center, I would like to thank CDC for their continued support.” The center was awarded $4.87 million over 5 years.

Dr. Ileana Arias, Director of the CDC’s Injury Center added, “Connecting research to communities is a primary focus for CDC and we are pleased to announce the new ICRCs, as well as those renewed. I consider each to be a part of this critical research network. Their work will fill a critical gap and can help shape a better understanding of how to improve the lives of those affected to help them live to their full potential.”

In addition to Johns Hopkins, the University of North Carolina was renewed. The two newly designated ICRCs are Brown Center for Violence and Injury Prevention, Washington University, St Louis, MO and Emory Center for Injury Control, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Each will be funded for five years.

For more information on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, please click here.

Center Partners with City Health and Fire Departments to Raise Awareness of Childhood Injuries

On Friday, June 26th, the Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Center for Injury Research and Policy hosted a press conference at the Oldetown Fire Station to raise awareness of childhood injuries. Along with Kira McGroarty, MPH, project director for the CARES Mobile Safety Center, the panel shared helpful tips for preventing accidents in the home, lead poisoning education and fire prevention strategies. The press release can be accessed here. Several Baltimore outlets covered the event, including the Baltimore Sun.

Mobile Safety Center Focus of New Ad Campaign

In partnership with CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield and the Baltimore City Fire Department, the Injury Center has launched a city-wide advertising campaign to raise awareness of the Johns Hopkins Children ARE Safe (CARES) Mobile Safety Center. Radio and billboard ads will spread the message that the safety center is available to visit community and neighborhood events to provide free, personalized injury prevention education and low-cost safety products. The ad campaign is scheduled to run for 4 weeks and is the first time the groups have used radio and billboards to promote this unique community resource. Because injuries disproportionally affect low-income families, the ads will be concentrated in neighborhoods with high poverty.

“The generous grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which supports our mobile safety center and these outreach activities, allows us to make Baltimore City residents aware that resources are available to communities throughout the city to help prevent injuries,” said Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “While injuries are the number one cause of death in childhood through early adulthood, we know that many could be prevented by better access to life saving safety products and effective injury prevention education.”

To see the complete press release, please click here.

New Center Research Finds Sightseeing Helicopter Crashes in Hawaii Decrease Following FAA Regulations; Proportion of Fatal Crashes Increases

A new paper authored by Center faculty member Sue Baker, MPH finds that an emergency rule intended to reduce the number of deaths and injuries associated with Hawaiian air tours was followed by a 47 percent reduction in sightseeing crashes. However, the proportion of crashes that resulted in lives lost actually increased after the rule change due to an increase in crashes that resulted from poor visibility, which tend to be exceptionally fatal. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 71 in 1994 in response to a spate of crashes of helicopter sightseeing tours that year. The regulation established minimum flight altitudes and clearances from terrain, emphasized passenger safety precautions, mandated performance plans prior to each flight, and required flotation equipment or the wearing of life preservers on flights beyond the shoreline.

“Our data suggest the FAA should reconsider the Rule’s clause that established a minimum flying altitude of fifteen hundred feet, as we know higher altitudes are associated with more cloud cover,” said Professor Susan P. Baker, director of the study’s research and professor with the Injury Center. Clouds obscuring mountain peaks and passes are particularly common in Hawaii. The report is published in the July issue of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine.

For the complete press release, please click here.

Children's Safety Center Featured on Local News

The Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Center, along with center staff member Stephanie Parsons, was featured prominently in WMAR TV’s recent segment on car seat safety. WMAR is the ABC affiliate in Baltimore. Stephanie, a health educator and certified child passenger safety technician, conducted three different car seat inspections on camera and informed viewers on the importance of having their car seats installed and inspected by a professional. The story’s online component directs viewers to the Center’s Website for more information on car seat inspections. To watch the video, please click here.

New Report Recommends Interventions to Increase Childhood Physical Activity Include Injury Prevention Strategies

Physical activity in children is often encouraged without first measuring the risk for injury and implementing strategies to reduce those risks, according to a new essay published in Preventing Chronic Disease authored by Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. While many studies have highlighted the benefits of physical activity for youth, little attention has been paid to the importance of preventing injuries during physical activity.

“As interventions are developed to increase physical activity among children by promoting the use of playgrounds, bicycles, and participation in sports, information about preventing injuries during these activities is scarce,” said Dr. Pollack. “This is alarming because injuries are a reason that people stop participating in physical activity.” The paper reports that parents often cite both traffic safety concerns and crime as reasons for their children not walking to school and participating in outdoor activity.

To Pollack, the situation represents an opportunity for injury prevention and childhood obesity professionals. “Both fields share a common goal of improving health, and public health programs to improve child health should therefore be coordinated. By teaming together, we will pave the way for new partnerships, stretch scarce public health resources, and tackle these serious public health threats facing our nation’s children.”

Center Faculty Bridging the Gap Between Research and Policy

While policies to prevent and control injury can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of researchers, direct and regular communication between researchers and legislators is uncommon. A new paper published in Injury Prevention co-authored by Center researchers Keshia Pollack, PhD, MPH and Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH describes their innovative work volunteering as staff for Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim during the 2008 legislative session, in which they made significant contributions to formulating injury prevention legislation. The paper highlights their roles in the deliberative processes surrounding two legislative proposals- one concerned with all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety and the other with child passenger seat requirements.

“Throughout our experiences with the legislature, we interacted with the lead sponsors of the bills, communicated the most current and rigorous research to them, attended Committee hearings, and provided testimony,” said Dr. Pollack, an assistant professor with the Injury Center. “In this way, we were able to ensure research discoveries are shared and realized by the people whose lives will be improved through injury prevention policies.”

Explaining their role in the child passenger safety seat bill (SB 789/HB1312)), the researchers described how their testimony focused on 5 key points: the strong empirical evidence supporting booster seat effectiveness, the recommendations of several national organizations, Maryland’s low rate of booster seat use and the role of legislation in increasing compliance, the ability of parents to understand the (then) current guidelines, and how the proposed law would allow the state to compete for new federal funds. “It was extremely gratifying that despite a last-minute effort by opponents to weaken the bill, the science ultimately prevailed,” said Dr. Frattaroli, also an assistant professor with the Injury Center. “When we as researchers are able to move the science into the policy arena, lives can be saved and the true potential of the field of injury prevention can be realized.”

The paper also includes strategies to encourage researchers to engage in more direct roles in the policymaking process, such as the need for institutions to assess the contributions that researchers make to the policy process, and to include those metrics as part of the promotion process. To access the complete article, please click here.

New Center Research Finds Media Ignore Health Consequences of Drinking and Driving Among Young Celebrities

A new report by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that media ignore the health consequences of drinking and driving among young celebrities. Center researchers analyzed news coverage following the drinking and driving (DUI) arrests of celebrities—Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan—and found that only 4 percent of the reports made any mention of injury or potential injury from the DUI events. In 2005, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 16,885 deaths in the U.S. “Media are an important source of information about the consequences of alcohol consumption, and influence how individuals define acceptable behavior,” said Katherine Smith, PhD, lead author of the study and assistant professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society and Center for Injury Research and Policy. “While the celebrity DUI stories raised awareness of the issue of drinking and driving among young people, an opportunity to educate this audience on solutions to prevent DUI was missed.” The results of the study will be published in the May 2009 issue of Alcohol and Alcoholism and are available on the journal’s websitein advance of the print publication.

To view the complete press release, please click here.

New Report from Center Researchers Finds Mobile Vans Effective Method for Delivering Safety Information and Products

New research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that mobile safety centers are effective tools for reaching families with lifesaving injury prevention education and safety products. While mobile vans are frequently used for providing asthma and dental health information and services in urban communities, this is the first study to document the benefits of mobile units for injury prevention services.

Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Center, along with her colleagues, analyzed data collected between 2004-2006 from individuals who visited the Johns Hopkins CARES (Children ARE Safe- Mobile Safety Center,) a partnership program with the Baltimore City Fire Department and other local organizations. Among study participants, 96 percent reported learning something new as a result of their visit to the mobile safety center, and 98 percent reported they would recommend the mobile safety center services to a friend or family member.

“Injuries are the number one cause of death among children in the U.S., and disproportionally affect poor and minority children,” said Dr. Gielen. “Our findings document that mobile safety centers can effectively reach community members with information on how to prevent injuries in their homes, as well as deliver low-cost safety products directly to families.” Previous research showed that access barriers such as lack of availability in convenient locations and high costs are particular problems for low-income families in using products such as car seats and bike helmets that are proven to reduce injuries and save lives.

To access the article published in the April 2009 issue of Injury Prevention, click here. For more information on the Johns Hopkins Children ARE Safe (CARES) Mobile Safety Center, please click here.

New Center Research Addresses the Effect of Neighborhood Violence on Mothers Health

A new paper authored by researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that mothers with high exposure to neighborhood violence are more likely to rate their health as poor and to report negative health outcomes, including sleep behaviors. Specifically, the research found that mothers who experienced exposure to high neighborhood violence had greater odds of reporting less than 7 hours of sleep per night, and also were more likely to report interrupted sleep. These findings suggest that neighborhood violence may negatively impact a mother’s ability to fully care for and protect their children. Interestingly, while 20 percent of the mothers in the study were classified as experiencing the highest level of neighborhood violence, only 12 percent classified themselves in the lowest category of perceived neighborhood safety. Previous research has indicated that mothers may report higher ratings of neighborhood safety to self-validate their decision to remain in a violent neighborhood, perhaps in part due to their inability to move to a new neighborhood.

The study is published in the April issue of the Journal of Urban Health. The lead author is Sara Lindstrom Johnson, PhD, who completed her Doctorate with the Center in 2009. Additional authors are: Barry S. Solomon, Wendy C. Shields, Eileen M. McDonald, Lara B. McKenzie, and Andrea C. Gielen. The complete abstract to the article can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19343500.

Raskin Symposium Explores Topic of Airplane Crash Survival

On April 1, close to fifty students, faculty, and injury control professionals paid tribute to the late Daniel J. Raskin by attending an annual lecture endowed by Danny’s mother, the late Vivian Raskin, in honor of her son’s life work. Raskin was a highly skilled human factors investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board and a tireless advocate for transportation safety and injury prevention. He was killed as a volunteer firefighter in 1990 by a preventable explosion of faulty equipment. The goal of the symposium is to educate public health professionals and the broader community about current research, policy and programs to reduce injury.

The symposium, “Surviving Airplane Crashes: Miracles or Science” featured two former colleagues of Daniel, Nora Marshall, Chief of Human Performance and Survival at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Robert S. Dodd, ScD, MS, Chief of Safety Studies and Statistical Analysis at NTSB. Ms. Marshall spoke about “What’s New in Accident Survival” and Dr. Dodd discussed "Crash Survival Improvements and Politics".

The Center for Injury Research and Policy hosts the annual event. Sue Baker, MPH, a professor with the Center, commented on how the theme of the lecture paralleled Danny’s work in injury prevention. “Nora and Bob both spoke about the opportunities for survival following a plane crash, a topic that doesn’t receive much attention in the press. By giving examples of the types of changes required to prevent future aviation-related deaths, they taught us all a great deal about the kinds of next steps we need to pursue to save lives.”

For more information on the NTSB, click here.

Center faculty member and student recipients of SAVIR awards

Two individuals affiliated with the Center for Injury Research and Policy were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field of injury prevention at the annual meeting of The Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR), held March 3-6 in Atlanta, GA. SAVIR is devoted to promoting scholarly activity in injury control and addressing issues relevant to the prevention, acute care and rehabilitation of traumatic injury.

Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, was awarded the first-ever SAVIR President’s Award in recognition of her dedication and leadership in the organization and in the field of violence and injury prevention. In addition to serving on the board of SAVIR, Shannon played a key role in organizing the 2009 annual conference, which drew close to 250 injury control researchers, practitioners, and advocates from across the country.

Also recognized for her work was Jennifer Piver-Renna, a doctoral student with the Center. Jennifer received the Best Student Abstract award for her research exploring screening and brief interventions in trauma centers. This abstract was part of the research Jennifer did for her dissertation with the Center, which she recently completed.

“On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate Shannon and Jennifer on their achievements,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Injury Center. “We look forward to continuing our involvement with SAVIR when we host the 2013 annual meeting.” Additional information on the 2013 meeting in Baltimore, MD will be forthcoming.

For more information on SAVIR, please click here.

Center Director Andrea Gielen a Speaker at Annual Meeting of American Academy of Health Behavior

Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy was a featured presenter at the 9th annual meeting American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) which took place March 9-11 in Hilton Head, SC. AAHB serves as a professional society for health behavior scholars, and promotes the application of behavioral science research to practice in order to improve the public's health.

Dr. Gielen, an elected Fellow of the Academy, was one of three speakers invited for the session on knowledge translation, "Sustaining Health Behavior Changes in the Real World: Translational Approaches". Dr. Gielen’s presentation, “Translation Research in Child Injury Prevention: Case Study of Serving Low Income Urban Families”, focused on her research in Baltimore with Center faculty Frattarolli, McDonald, Shields and Center alumni Lara (Trifiletti) McKenzie and Maria Bulzacchelli.

Research translation is an emerging and important priority for the Center. “Because science has taught us so much about how to prevent injuries, the real opportunity to reduce the burden of injury lies in the translation of research into action,” said Andrea. “We need to work with communities to deliver effective programs, products, and policies that make a difference to those who need it most.”

Two Center Affiliated Faculty Named Global Health Research Ambassadors

Adnan Hyder, MD, PhD, MPH and Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, have been named global health research ambassadors by Research! America’s Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research. Named for the Honorable Paul G. Rogers (1921-2008), former Florida Congressman and and Research! America chair emeritus, the Society works to increase awareness of and make the case for greater U.S. investment in research to fight diseases and injuries that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest nations. Research! America works with the Ambassadors to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach to policymakers, opinion leaders and the media.

Both Drs. Campbell and Hyder are experts in their fields -- domestic and intimate partner violence (IPV) and the impact of injuries and violence as a public health problem in the developing world, respectively. Dr. Hyder is Associate Professor in the Department of International Health and Dr. Campbell is Professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. As core faculty in the Injury Center, both have contributed greatly to the Center’s mission to reduce the burden of injury and violence.

Joined by the other ambassadors, they will meet with policymakers to make the case for an increased U.S. investment in global health research on injuries. “It’s terrific to see injuries and violence so well-represented by these distinguished scholars,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. “This is a great opportunity to advocate for enhanced US support for global health in general, and in particular, for the prevention of injuries and violence around the world.”

For more information on the Global Health Research Ambassadors, please click here.

New Center Study Highlights the Complexity of Ending Abuse in Intimate Partner Violence Survivors

A new study co-authored by Patricia Mahoney, MA, research associate, and Andrea Gielen, ScD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, and published in "Violence and Victims" quantitatively addresses the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) stages of change for women's experience of ending abuse within intimate relationships. The TTM conceptualizes behavior change as a process that occurs in five stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. The underlying premise is that people in different points of the behavior change process can benefit from different types of interventions tailored to their stage of readiness. It is estimated that more than 5 million women are affected by intimate partner violence each year in the U.S.

The authors found that compared to women in action and maintenance for leaving an abusive relationship, a higher proportion of women who are categorized into preaction stages would like informational resources, whereas a large proportion of women in maintenance for leaving an abusive relationship would like a chance to talk with a peer advocate. The results also support the significant role relationships with friends, family and healthcare professionals play, as well as the importance of information distribution in keeping women safe. "This work adds to the body of literature on defining stages of change for IPV victims," said study co-author Patricia Mahoney. "Further research is necessary to develop tailored interventions to most effectively assist women in moving forward on the path to safety."

Health Department, Fire Department and Center for Injury Research and Policy Team Up for Fire Safety Prevention Wednesday

On February 18th, the Baltimore City Fire Department, the Baltimore City Health Department, and the Center for Injury Research and Policy came together to teach Baltimore families how to reduce their risk of injury from home fires. Over fifteen hundred house fires occur each year in Baltimore, and the majority of these fires are preventable. This marks the first time the Center has partnered with these two groups to provide fire prevention education to the community, and was part of the Baltimore City Health Department's Prevention Wednesday public education campaign.

In addition to collaborating on an educational flyer focusing on steps to take to reduce the likelihood of injury from home fires, the three groups hosted a press conference featuring representatives from each organization. Eileen McDonald, MS, Associate Scientist with the Center for Injury Research and Policy and Director of The Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Centers, spoke on behalf of the Injury Center and reminded all Baltimore City residents that having smoke alarms without batteries is the same as not having alarms at all. This message is important because Center research found that while 90 percent of homes have smoke alarms, 50 percent of the alarms did not function properly. Eileen also spoke about the referral services offered through the Center's three Safety Centers.

Underscoring the importance of partnerships, Eileen later stated that "forming and developing collaborations with other community groups is an integral part of what we do to deliver on our mission to reduce the burden of injuries. By working together, we are able to accomplish more than we are working alone."

To see an example of how local media covered the event, please click on the following link http://wjz.com/seenon/fires.baltimore.2.938234.html

Center Doctoral Student Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

Jennifer Piver-Renna, a doctoral student with the Center for Injury Research and Policy, was recently awarded a student fellowship in Injury Prevention from the Society for Public Health Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The fellowship is designed to support the training of a new generation of injury prevention researchers and practitioners who work in the behavioral sciences.

As part of the award, Jennifer also received a stipend to support her dissertation research examining the adoption and implementation of alcohol screaning, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs in Mid-Atlantic Level 1 trauma centers. "Jennifer's case study will yield new insights into how hospitals can best implement SBIRT programs, which help reduce injuries by making alcohol screening a routine part of medical care," said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Center and Jennifer's advisor. "On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this impressive recognition."

More Than 150 Children and ParentsTake Part in "Give the Gift of Safety" Event

On December 16 the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health teamed up with CareFirst, Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Herring Run Head Start for the first "Give the Gift of Safety" Holiday Safety Health Fair. The event featured the CARES mobile safety center , which was specially outfitted to reflect the risks that household items typically associated with the holidays, such as candles and holiday decorations, pose to families. In addition to the mobile safety center, the health fair also provided free home safety kits to all families, raffle giveaways of safety products and activities that focused on injury prevention. Read More>>>

Two New Reports Show the Impact Injuries have Here and Abroad

The first report, authored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, focuses on the burden of unintentional injuries globally. The World Report on Child Injury Prevention finds that unintentional injuries kill 830,000 children every year, and that 95 percent of all injuries to children occur in poor and middle-income countries. The report provides the first comprehensive global assessment of unintentional childhood injuries and prescribes measures to prevent them. It concludes that if proven prevention measures were adopted everywhere, at least 1,000 children's lives could be saved every day. Click here to view the first report.

The second report, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries Among 0-19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000-2006," provides an overview of child injuries related to drowning, falls, fires or burns, transportation-related injuries, poisoning, and suffocation, among other causes. The report finds that on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age died each year in the United States from an unintentional injury, and that injuries due to transportation were the leading cause of death for children. Click here to view the second report.

"Not only do these reports raise the awareness about the magnitude, risk factors and impact of child injuries globally," noted Center director Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, "their call to action is clear: Because much is known about how to prevent injuries and improve trauma outcomes, we must act now to reduce the burden of child injury."

New Study from Center Faculty Keshia Pollack finds Overweight Children at Increased Risk of Arm and Leg Injuries Following Motor Vehicle Crash

Children who are overweight or obese are over two and a half times more likely to suffer injuries to their upper and lower extremities following a motor vehicle crash compared with normal weight children, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. Overweight and obese children were overall more likely to experience injury to any body part following a crash; however this difference was not statistically significant. This is the first study to look at impact of body mass index on older kids involved in car crashes. Read More>>>

Sue Baker Awarded Highest APHA Award in Injury Control

On October 28th, faculty member and past Center director Susan Baker received the American Public Health Association's highest award in Injury Control, the Injury Control Distinguished Career Award. This award is in recognition of her outstanding dedication and leadership in injury control and emergency health services with contributions and achievements that have a significant and long-term impact on the field.

"Simply stated, Sue helped to put scientific study and prevention of injuries on the map", said Jon Vernick, JD, MPH, deputy director of the Center. "From her research on children and automobile crashes which provided the scientific basis for all U.S. states passing child passenger protection laws, to her pioneering work in aviation safety, the impact of Sue's research has undoubtedly reduced the burden of injury in the U.S. and abroad. On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition".

Sue Baker Named a Public Health Hero by Research!America

Center faculty member and former director Susan P. Baker has been named a Public Health Hero by Research!America, the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance. The honor comes in recognition of her research in injury prevention and driving safety which has resulted in national passenger protection laws and thousands of lives saved.

In order to bring recognition to the public health professionals who work tirelessly every day to protect us, Research!America designates the Monday before Thanksgiving as Public Health Thank You Day. Sue is one of eight individuals selected to be highlighted this year in honor of their tremendous accomplishments in the field of public health.

On Public Health Thank You Day, "we recognize our 'health protection heroes' who work tirelessly every day to promote the health of people of all ages," said Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director. "The 14,000 public health professionals at the CDC.... say 'thank you' to each of these heroes on the frontlines of health. As a result of their dedication, we are all able to live healthier, safer, and longer lives."

More information on Public Health Thank You Day and Research!America's Public Health Heroes can be found at the Research!America Website.

Another Center-Affiliated Student Recognized with Prestigious Award

Samantha L. Illangasekare, MPH, a PhD candidate in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society and advisee of Center director Andrea Gielen, has recently been awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral Fellowship National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The objective of the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship is to provide support for promising doctoral candidates who will be performing dissertation research and training in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes during the tenure of the award.

Samantha's research will describe for the first time the syndemic of violence, substance abuse and HIV among low income urban women. Working with faculty affiliated with the Lighthouse Studies at Peer Point, a community-based research center within the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Ms. Illangasekare will recruit and interview women to determine the prevalence and mental health impacts of these co-occurring conditions.

"Samantha's work will yield new insights into intervention opportunities to reduce the burden of intimate partner violence and improve women's health", said Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, director of the Center. "On behalf of the Injury Center, I congratulate her on this impressive accomplishment and recognition from NIMH."

Two Center-affiliated students awarded CDC Dissertation Awards

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has awarded dissertation grants to Hopkins public health students Sarah Lindstrom and Susan Ghanbarpour. These represent the only dissertation funding awarded this year by NCIPC.

Ms. Lindstrom is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society and advisee of Center director Andrea Gielen.? Her dissertation work aims to understand what factors of the school, social and physical environments encourage or discourage violence from occurring at school, and how these factors contribute to the occurrence and severity of that violence. Ms. Lindstrom is using concept mapping, an innovative research method rarely used in injury research, to explore these issues with samples of students recruited in Baltimore City.

Ms Ghanbarpour is a DrPH student in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health working with faculty member Daniel Webster's Center-funded intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention trial. Her dissertation is an outgrowth of this project and is partially supported by the Center. Her research seeks to answer 4 main questions on IPV: 1. What safety behaviors do women in abusive relationships know about and practice, and how effective do they believe them to be? 2. What are the issues and circumstances that influence women's decisions to practice particular safety strategies? 3. What did women think about a risk assessment and safety planning intervention they received? 4. What are the critical elements of a customizable safety planning tool designed for use by professionals who serve IPV victims?

"Training the next generation of leaders in injury prevention and policy is an essential ingredient to the continued success of our efforts in reducing injury and its impact on society," said Andrea Gielen ScD, ScM, director of the Center. "On behalf of everyone at the Injury Center, I congratulate Sarah and Susan on their well-deserved recognition from NCIPC."

New Study from Center Faculty Bishai and Gielen finds Grandparents a Safe Source of Childcare

Contrary to popular belief, grandparent care is not associated with more childhood injuries, according to a new report from the Center for Injury Research and Policy. In fact, for working parents, having grandparents as caregivers can cut the risk of childhood injury roughly in half. The study is among the first to examine the relationship between grandparents' care and childhood injury rates. The results are published in the November 2008 issue of Pediatrics.

Read More>>>

New Study from Center Professor Susan Baker Shows Increase in Suicide Rates

The rate of suicide in the United States has increased for the first time in a decade, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. The increase in the overall suicide rate between 1999 and 2005 was due primarily to an increase in suicides among whites aged 40-64, with white middle-age women experiencing the largest annual increase.

Read More>>>

$1 Million Grant Awarded to Injury Center

Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has received a $1 million Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to support research to help reduce the number of firefighter fatalities due to heart attacks. The Bloomberg School is collaborating with the National Volunteer Fire Council in this research effort. Project director, Keshia Pollack, PhD, assistant professor with the Department of Health Policy and Management, will work with her team and NVFC to identify barriers that limit the implementation of wellness and fitness interventions among firefighters and fire departments in Maryland and Arizona.

Read more>>>

Home Safety Council Recognizes Center Director

The Home Safety Council awarded the Home Safety Research Award to Center for Injury Research & Policy Director Andrea Gielen, ScD, ScM, at its annual Salute to Home Safety Awards Dinner, June 5, 2008, in Washington D.C. The Home Safety Research Award honors individuals whose research on injury prevention contributes to reducing deaths and injuries from falls, poisonings, fire and burns, drowning and airway obstruction.

The recent dramatic increase in the fall death rate in older Americans is likely the effect of improved reporting quality, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. The report finds the largest increase in the mortality rate occurred immediately following the 1999 introduction of an update to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), suggesting a major change in the way deaths were classified. Several research studies, including one by the report’s authors, found that rates of fatal falls among seniors had risen as much as 42 percent between 2006 and 2006. The results are published in the May-June issue of Public Health Reports.

“We had been perplexed by the sudden increase because neither the nonfatal fall rate nor the fall-hospitalization rate increased significantly,” said Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “By ruling out these variables, we found that a change in how the underlying cause of death gets reported explains much of the widely-reported increase.”

Each year, one in three older adults in the U.S. falls, making falls the leading cause of injury deaths for older Americans. The annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $55 billion by 2020. Accurate interpretation of recent trends is critical for understanding the effect of ongoing measures designed to prevent fall injuries in the elderly.

“Falls in older adults are indeed a major public health problem, and this report should not suggest otherwise,” concluded Baker. “In fact, it’s likely that for some time we’ve been under-reporting just how many older Americans die as a result of a fall, a hypothesis   supported by international comparisons. Additional research and resources are needed to address this problem.”

To access the complete press release, please click here.

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The morning of July 20, 2004, Connie was driving her usual route to work on a scenic, two-lane, winding road in the horse country of Virginia, when a young man driving the opposite way fell asleep at the wheel and crashed head-on into her car.  At that moment, Connie’s life depended on the U.S. trauma system. 

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