The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is one of the state agencies funded by CDC to have a Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core VIPP). The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy (JHCIRP) has had a long and fruitful relationship with the DHMH injury program. This relationship dates back to the early pioneering work of our first director, Professor Sue Baker, who discovered the significantly elevated risk of death experienced by infants traveling unrestrained in cars. These data were key to promoting Maryland’s child passenger safety legislation, as well as DHMH’s successful education and car seat loaner program, Project KISS – Kids in Safety Seats, led by Dr. Andrea Gielen, current center director and former health educator at DHMH.
The Center also serves as a resource on state policy matters to the Secretary’s office and others within the DHMH. JHCIRP research faculty were asked to prepare comments on proposed regulations banning the sale of crib bumpers in Maryland, which ultimately were successfully promulgated. The Center also led a group of faculty from across the School of Public Health to provide comments on DHMH’s IPV Assessment Guidelines for Health Care Providers. Dr. Gielen is on the Leadership Team for Project Connect, an intimate partner violence (IPV) initiative of the DHMH Maternal and Child Health Bureau and Futures Without Violence. Drs. Frattaroli, Castillo, and Gielen have also provided input on the evaluation of DHMH’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which launched in 2013.
Today, there are numerous examples of such successful collaboration between research and practice in Maryland. Dr. Fowler sits on DHMH’s Falls Advisory Group. Ms. Joyce Dantzler, a member of the Center’s Advisory Board, directs of the Center for Injury and Sexual Assault, where the Core VIPP is administratively located. Drs. Gielen, Fowler, and Haider are Board Members of the Partnership for a Safer Maryland, which serves as the injury prevention planning group for the Core VIPP. Dr. Shannon Frattaroli, JHCIRP’s Associate Director for Outreach, led a team who facilitated two rounds of strategic planning for the Partnership. JHCIRP faculty also provided technical assistance in preparing DHMH’s successful application to serve as a Regional Network Leader, which has allowed a number of practitioners from states in the region to participate in the Center’s Summer Institute and receive additional technical assistance.