Department News and Updates
The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy Awarded $4.2 Million from CDC to Study Injury Research and Prevention Including Medication Storage and Opioid Prescription Laws
The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has received a five-year grant of $4.3 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study effective solutions to the costly impact of injuries.
The award will focus on interventions and translation of research specifically in medication storage and disposal among older adults in tribal communities, child sexual abuse prevention strategies, promoting the use of safety technologies to better protect teen drivers and determining the impact of opioid prescribing laws on fatal motor vehicle crashes. Additionally, the new funding will support new online and in-person learning opportunities that expand partnerships, training and technical assistance to community stakeholders.
Founded in 1987, the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy prioritizes research in home safety, substance use and overdose, transportation safety and violence with a focus on groups that are at higher risk for experiencing certain types of injury, including children, older adults, veterans and trauma survivors.
“There are proven effective solutions to many injury problems,” says Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, center director, professor and principal investigator. “However, access to those solutions is often not equitably distributed across the population. We place a high priority on addressing inequities in our research projects, as well as in our training and outreach activities with practice partners that share our commitment to reducing disparities in injury rates.”
Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, associate dean for faculty development, director of the Institute of Health and Social Policy and professor in the department, will lead a major new initiative funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to house the Health Policy Research Scholars national program center at the Bloomberg School. The program will support doctoral students who are underrepresented in nonclinical disciplines such as economics, sociology, and political science, as well as more traditional public health fields such as epidemiology and nutrition. It is a four-year, competitive leadership training program in health policy that complements the students’ doctoral training.
The department welcomed Daniel Polsky, PhD as the School’s 40th Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in March 2019. He is also has an appointment at Carey Business School. Dr. Polsky is a national leader in health policy and economics. His work focuses on exploring how healthcare is organized, managed, financed and delivered, especially for low-income and vulnerable populations. He joins Hopkins from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a professor in both the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School. He was the executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, a leading research center focused on an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare delivery and policy. Recently, Dr. Polsky was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, serving on its Health and Medicine Committee, and its Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. He also currently serves on the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Health Advisors.
Darrell Gaskin, William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor presented by the U.S. government to scientists who demonstrate leadership in research, science and technology.
Since 1996, the award has been given to scientists, engineers and others whose leadership and research provide outstanding contributions to science, technology, education and mathematics. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the award with participating departments and agencies. The National Institutes of Health nominated Dr. Gaskin for this award.
Dr. Gaskin works to promote policies and practices that improve access to care and quality of care that focus on improving racial and economic disparities in health care. He is director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. His research primarily focuses on hospital quality disparities, access to health care for minority, low-income, uninsured and other vulnerable populations as well as evaluating strategies to address cardiovascular disease risk factors. His research has helped in identifying and understanding the impacts of geographical place and contextual factors on disparities and has encouraged policymakers to support community-level interventions to address them.
Department Chair Helps Author New Report on The Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Care Settings
Colleen L. Barry, PhD, Fred & Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the department was a member of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine consensus panel that authored a new report on the evidence base for medications to treat opioid use disorder. The report titled Medications for Opioid Use Disorders Save Lives concluded that withholding or failing to provide medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder in any care setting is denying medical treatment. It also highlights major barriers to the use of medications to treat opioid use disorder, including stigma towards substance use, inadequate education and training of professionals responsible for working with people with opioid use disorder and current regulations about these medications not supported by research. Dr. Barry and the committee highlighted the critical need to greatly expand lifesaving medication treatment for opioid use disorder.
This spring, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research launched the first massive open online course (MOOC) on gun violence prevention. The free 6-week course titled Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Change provides students of all ages with knowledge about the scope of gun violence in America, relevant legal issues, evidence-based data surrounding current and proposed gun violence policies and an understanding of interventions that have demonstrated the greatest impact. Daniel Webster and Cassandra Crifasi, the center’s director and deputy director, both professors in the department, created the course to help people understand the research on gun violence and the broad range of potential strategies to address the problem. Currently, the course has more than 3,100 people enrolled across North America, Europe, Asia and South America.