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July 31, 2020

Shannon Frattaroli Named Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at Bloomberg School of Public Health

Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, a public health policy researcher with 20 years of experience in the field of injury prevention and associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been named the next director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Established in 1987 by renowned epidemiologist Sue Baker, MPH, the Center has played a leading role in some of public health’s biggest injury-prevention success stories, including the enactment of laws that make driving safer by introducing graduated driver licensing for teen drivers, pioneering a widely used injury severity score system, and creating innovative prevention interventions for children and families. The Center is one of only nine centers for excellence in injury research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Frattaroli currently serves as the Center’s deputy director and director of outreach. In these roles, she provides guidance on critical injury prevention issues to policymakers, safety advocates, public health practitioners, the media, and the public. As Center director, Frattaroli will continue to apply rigorous scientific methods and bring research to public health practice and policy while keeping the Center on the front lines of addressing new injury challenges.

Frattaroli specializes in using qualitative research methods to study injury prevention policy and program implementation. In 2019, she helped launch a massive open online course (MOOC), The Opioid Epidemic: From Evidence to Impact, which features 10 online modules that provide learners with evidence-based and actionable solutions to curbing the epidemic at the local, state, and national level.

“Shannon’s ability to put evidence-based solutions into practice for such a diverse range of injury-related issues, including fire prevention, domestic violence, and home safety, is truly impressive, and we are excited about her new leadership role,” says Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM, Dean of the Bloomberg School who served as the Injury Center’s director from 1994 to 2005.

Frattaroli frequently testifies before public policy committees and has held leadership roles in several organizations and advisory bodies, including the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, the Baltimore City Fire Commission, and the West Virginia Opioid Response Expert Panel. In addition to her role in the Center for Injury Research and Policy, Frattaroli is affiliated with the Center for Qualitative Studies in Health and Medicine and the Center for Gun Policy and Research.

“Shannon is a tremendous scholar and educator who has dedicated her career to using the tools of injury prevention to save lives,” says Colleen Barry, PhD, MPP, Fred and Julie Soper Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. “The Center has flourished with over 30 years of skilled leadership with a singular focus on how to get the best evidence on injury prevention into the hands of policymakers and others who can use that information to make sound decisions around safety. Shannon is an experienced leader who will excel at continuing the Center’s work in that tradition.”

Despite considerable progress in injury prevention in recent decades, injuries both resulting from unintentional actions and those caused by violence remain a serious public health issue. Injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44. The most recent data from the CDC show that the total lifetime medical and work loss costs of injuries and violence in the U.S. was $671 billion in 2013. The costs associated with fatal injuries was $214 billion while nonfatal injuries accounted for over $457 billion.

The Center, based in the Department of Health Policy and Management, currently focuses on four core areas of injury prevention: home safety and preventing injuries that occur at home, with a strong focus on children and older adults; substance use and overdoses; transportation safety and improving the safety of motor vehicles and roads for all users; and violence, with a focus on intimate partner and sexual violence.

“As evidence-based solutions to reduce and eliminate injury continue to advance, ensuring that this knowledge is in the hands of those who can act on it—policymakers, communities, and other partners—is critical,” says Frattaroli. “Being ready for the changing risks in the home environment with the COVID-19 pandemic and the promise of driver-assisted car technology, while also remaining focused on the persistent injury problems that threaten the public’s health, will be a top priority.”

In addition to the founding director Sue Baker, the Center’s directors have included Stephen P. Teret, JD, MPH, professor emeritus, and Ellen J. Mackenzie, PhD, MSc, Dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Frattaroli will follow the Center’s current director, Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, ScM, professor in Health, Behavior and Society, who has served in that role since 2006. Gielen will continue serving as a senior adviser to the Center and advancing research and practice focused on eliminating injuries among children.

“It has been an honor to have served as the Center director for the past 14 years and to have had the privilege of working with the most incredible group of faculty, staff, and students who all share a passion for injury and violence prevention work,” says Gielen. “Together, we have been able to demonstrate impacts in prevention, treatment, and outcomes across the injury spectrum. I look forward to seeing the wonderful accomplishments to come under Dr. Frattaroli’s leadership.”

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Media contacts: Caitlin Hoffman at choffman@jhu.edu and Carly Kempler at ckemple2@jhu.edu.