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Center for Injury Research and Policy

Our Advisory Board

Meredith K. (Meri-K) Appy, BA

Appy & Associates

Meri-K Appy is an internationally-recognized leader in fire and life safety education with a proven track record in leading organizations and teams to execute high-impact injury prevention initiatives. She is a highly respected safety expert and spokesperson, with broadcast appearances on every major network. Appy specializes in simplifying injury prevention and disaster preparedness messages, concepts and strategies for greatest impact, especially for audiences at highest risk.  She spearheaded the development and national delivery of three award-winning injury prevention programs including Risk Watch(NFPA), The Home Safety Literacy Project (Home Safety Council) andStart Safe:  A Fire and Burn Safety Program for Preschoolers and Their Families (Home Safety Council). Appy served as Vice President for Public Education at NFPA from 1989 – 2003, as President of the Home Safety Council from 2003- 2010, and as President of Safe Kids USA until December, 2011.  She currently serves on several national Boards and Advisory Committees.

M. Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES

Chief Executive Officer
Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)

Elaine Auld is the Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), the only independent nonprofit professional organization representing behavioral scientists and health education specialists in all settings. Ms. Auld oversees the SOPHE's portfolio of professional publications, meetings, cooperative agreements, and advocacy. She has spent some 30 years working in health education, with publications and interests related to credentialing and standards, workforce development, public policy, and health equity. Working with CDC, she instituted the SOPHE/CDC Fellowship in Injury Prevention in 1998, which continues to annually fund graduate students’ pursuit of unintentional and intentional injury projects and interventions from the perspective of behavioral science and health education. She has testified before the Institute of Medicine on behalf of injury prevention and co-authored with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and New York Department of Health, the publication Active Design: Injury Prevention. A companion to Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design. Ms. Auld has received numerous honors, including the American Public Health Association’s Judith R. Miller Award (2003) and Sarah Mazelis Award (2007), SOPHE’s Distinguished Fellow Award (2008), and The University of Michigan School of Public Health Alumna of the Year Award (2010).

Joyce Dantzler, MS, MCHES

Chief, Injury and Sexual Assault Prevention
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygeine

Joyce Dantzler, M.S., MCHES is the Chief of Injury and Sexual Assault Prevention at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Prior to assuming this role in July 2012, Ms. Dantzler served as the Deputy Director of the Center for Health Promotion, also at DHMH, for over twenty years.  In her current capacity she is responsible for providing leadership, direction and overall management to a number of statewide health education and health promotion initiatives including those in rape and sexual assault prevention, transportation safety, and core injury, including fall prevention initiatives.

Ms. Dantzler has worked on legislation designed to improve child passenger safety, collaborated with other state and local agencies on training and education programs for professionals, networked with state and national organizations that address issues of violence against women,  and is currently serving as a Centers for Disease Control designated Regional Network Leader for injury prevention for Health and Human Services Regions three and five.

Joyce Dantzler is a co-author on several publications and serves in an advisory capacity to public and private agencies on issues related to sexual violence prevention, senior falls prevention and smoking cessation.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Health Sciences from Towson State University and is a graduate of the University of Saint Louis’s National Public Health Education Leadership Institute. 

Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN

Executive Director
Defense Health Horizons

Linda Degutis is the Executive Director of Defense Health Horizons, sponsored by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and based at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. At Defense Health Horizons, Dr. Degutis oversees the policy analysis to address challenging issues including military women’s health and pain care in the military health system. Dr. Degutis also serves as the Chief Science Officer for The Avielle Foundation, which focuses on the relationships between brain health, compassion, and violence. Previously, Dr. Degutis acted as Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention Control at the CDC. In 2007, Dr. Degutis earned the Distinguished Career Award from the American Public Health Association’s Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section. Dr. Degutis is an Adjunct Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Mary Ann Dutton, PhD, MA

Department of Psychiatry
Georgetown University Hospital

Mary Ann Dutton, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the area of intimate partner violence and other forms of interpersonal violence. Dr. Dutton is active as a researcher, consultant, educator, and forensic expert. She is professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University where she is currently involved in research focusing on interpersonal trauma and low-income and minority women's health and mental health issues. She is Principal Investigator on several federally-funded studies focusing on longitudinal patterns of coping, health outcomes, revictimization, and coercive control among women who have been in recent violent and abusive relationships. She is also involved in several other grants focused on the traumatic experiences of violence and abuse. Dr. Dutton is working to develop community-based, low-cost, accessible and culturally competent interventions for such traumatic experiences. Dr. Dutton has trained audiences of lawyers, judges, advocates, and health professionals concerning physical violence and sexual assault, both nationally and internationally. Her workshops and lectures have focused on understanding the dynamics, traumatic impact, and interventions.  Dr. Dutton has published numerous articles, book chapters, and books.

Susan S. Gallagher, MPH

Assistant Professor and Director
Tufts MS Program is Health Communication
Tufts University School of Medicine

Susan S. Gallagher, is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Master’s degree program in Health Communication at Tufts University School of Medicine.  She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of child and adolescent injury prevention, community-based intervention trials, and in building capacity for injury prevention in both the public and private sectors.  Her expertise ranges from surveillance of injuries to program development, implementation and evaluation to policy analysis.  She has co-authored more than 30 peer reviewed journal articles on injury prevention and is the co-author of the textbook:  Injury Prevention and Public Health – Practical Knowledge, Skills and Strategies. 

Ms. Gallagher received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Simmons College and a Masters degree in Public Health from Boston University.  Ms. Gallagher holds appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, in the Department of Socio-Behavioral Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, and in the School of Communication at Emerson College.  In 2003, she was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow and worked in the U.S. Congress in the office of Senator Dick Durbin, now the Majority Whip.

Allen W. Heinemann, PhD, ABPP

Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Director, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Profile at Feinberg School of Medicine

Allen W. Heinemann, PhD, is the director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s (RIC) Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research, a rehabilitation focused research unit which measures the impact of medical rehabilitation over the long term in patients with disabilities. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Institute the ‘Best Rehabilitation Hospital in America’ every year since 1991. He is also a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Dr. Heinemann completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas with a specialty focus in rehabilitation, and an internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is the author of more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Heineman is the editor of Substance Abuse and Physical Disability and serves on the editorial board of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as many other journals. He is the recipient of numerous research grants from the federal government and private foundations for his rehabilitation outcomes research. Dr. Heinemann was named a Fellow of The American Congress of Rehabilitation in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of rehabilitation medicine. Dr. Heineman is the recipient of the Roger Barker Distinguished Career Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology.

Michael J. Mello, MD, MPH, FACEP

Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Community Health
Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Profile at Rhode Island Hospital

Michael J. Mello, MD, MPH is Director of the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital and a practicing board certified emergency medicine physician with 21 years of clinical experience. He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Community Health at the Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University where he also co-directs its required clerkship in community health for medical students. He has additional experience as an educator as Director of the Collis Injury Prevention Research Fellowship for physicians. Dr. Mello obtained a BA from Boston University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Cincinnati. He did his internship and residency at Brown University-Rhode Island Hospital then returned to Boston University to obtain his Master in Public Health concentrating in Health Policy and Health Services Administration. His research has focused on unintentional injury prevention and alcohol’s role in injury occurrence. He has received PI research support from CDC, NIH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other foundations. He is an associate editor for Academic Emergency Medicine, peer reviewer for several emergency medicine and public health journals, and served on scientific review panels for CDC and NIH.

As Director of the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital for the past ten year, he has been active in creating partnerships with state health departments, community groups, and other health providers to increase their attention to injury and violence prevention and has established several injury prevention community programs in Rhode Island. He has been the Chair of the Executive Committee for Rhode Island’s Injury Community Planning group for the past five years, and has been an active member of Rhode Island’s NVDRS Advisory Board, Coalition for Traffic Safety, and Child Death Review Team. Dr. Mello is a past national president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, a member of the national board of directors of Injury Free Coalition for Kids and the board of directors of New England Injury and Violence Prevention Research Collaborative.

John A. Morris, Jr., MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery
Director, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care and
Director, Trauma, Burn & LifeFlight Patient Care
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

John Morris is Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Informatics and Director of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  He received his MD degree from the University of Kentucky School of Medicine.  Following completion of a Trauma and Burn Fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco, he joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1984.   Dr. Morris has been the director of Vanderbilt’s Trauma Center since its inception, as well as medical director of the LifeFlight Air Medical Transport Program and has also served as Medical Director, Division of Emergency Medical Services for the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment.  Dr. Morris is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is active in regional and national trauma organizations.  His research interests include injury prevention, surgical critical care, and outcomes.

Modena H. Wilson, MD, MPH

Senior Vice President
Professional Standards
American Medical Association

Modena Wilson joined the American Medical Association as Senior Vice President for Professional Standards in 2004 where she oversees Medical Education; Ethics Standards; and Science, Quality, and Public Health. Prior to joining the AMA, Dr. Wilson was the Director of the Department of Committees and Sections for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Wilson received her MD from the University of Kansas and her residency training at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison.  She received both an MPH degree and a certificate in Business of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University, where she was Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Wilson also was affiliated faculty with the Center for Injury Research and Policy, and her research focused on childhood injury prevention. She first authored with colleagues at the Center the textbook, Saving Children: A Guide to Injury Prevention. Dr. Wilson has served on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Advisory Council of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and as President of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, among many other national leadership positions.