The Columbia SURGE (Scientific Union for the Reduction of Gun Violence) capitalizes on the university’s convening power to generate new science, new scientists, and transformative solutions to the tragedy of gun violence.
During the 7th annual Symposium of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University, Svetla Slavova, PhD, of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center received the Jess Kraus award. It is an honor the editorial board of Injury Epidemiology provides annually to acknowledge the paper which best demonstrates novelty, simplicity, and clarity while establishing the potential to impact population health.
Slavova’s paper, “Interrupted Time Series Design to Evaluate the Effect of the ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM Coding Transition on Injury Hospitalization Trends,” raised awareness about how structural and conceptual changes in the ICD-10-CM coding system must be understood to assure accurate interpretation of injury trends.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award – particularly for this paper,” Slavova said. “Improving surveillance quality is necessary for our communities to have strong data to inform their prevention activities. This recognition of the work my colleagues and I do to translate data to action confirms the importance of the work and is personally rewarding,” she continued.
Slavova is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Kentucky. She is currently principal investigator on grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. Her research interests surround improved injury surveillance data and methodology, drug overdose prevention research, analytical enhancement of prescription drug monitoring programs, and health outcomes associated with substance use and misuse.
Dr. Slavova has authored and co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications highlighting the analytical approaches to understanding and combating the opioid epidemic. In 2018, she was named Lexington Public Health Hero for her work to provide free community supplies of naloxone. She received the 2018 Distinguished Leader Award from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists for her leadership for improved drug overdose mortality surveillance. For her outstanding research achievements, Dr. Slavova was named 2019-2020 University Research Professor by the University of Kentucky.
The Jess Kraus award commemorates Professor Jess F. Kraus, PhD, MPH, a pioneer in injury research. Kraus was appointed and elected to a number of professional societies and organizations. He also served as a member of the Motor Vehicle Safety Research Advisory Committee of the US Department of Transportation as well as the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Accident Prevention. In addition, he has conducted studies on motorcycle crashes, pedestrian injuries, work-related trauma and brain and spinal cord injuries. Kraus has nearly 200 publications. Also, he teaches three graduate courses on injury epidemiology and supervises both PhD and Masters students at UCLA.
Stanford Chihuri, MPH is the 2018 recipient of the Jess Kraus award, an honor the editorial board of Injury Epidemiology provides annually to acknowledge the Journal’s paper which best demonstrates novelty, simplicity, and clarity while establishing the potential to impact population health. “I am humbled to receive this award early in my career,” Chihuri said. “Personally, I think it is confirmation of excellent mentorship, training and continuous scholarship I receive from my colleagues and collaborators.”
Chihuri’s work, “Interaction of marijuana and alcohol on fatal motor vehicle crash risk: a case-control study,” is of critical importance because of the increasing number of cities considering the legalization of marijuana. The study finds that alcohol use and marijuana use are each associated with significantly increased risks of fatal crash involvement and that when used together alcohol and marijuana show a synergistic effect on the risk of fatal crash involvement.
The award-winning author says the value of his work is two-fold: short-term it raises awareness through dissemination of its information, and long term it can help to reduce injuries, fatalities, associated costs in lost labor and healthcare as well as improve the quality of life through the implementation of evidence-based public health interventions. He went on to say the most rewarding aspect of this work is to know that it will likely change the trends in injury epidemiology down the road.
“My goal is to appraise public health concerns on the intersection of substance abuse and injury,” Chihuri said. “I want to see our work continue to assist the public, parents, and motorists in understanding the potential threats to driving safety and operation of other equipment. In addition, I want to see instructors use our work to illuminate these public health issues to trainees and future public health professionals. Lastly,” he concluded, “I want our work to contribute to the formulation and prescription of evidence-based solutions to the drug epidemic and injury.”
Chihuri is a staff associate at the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University. He received graduate training in epidemiology and biostatistics from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and has experience in data management, statistical analysis and manuscript preparation at Columbia University Medical Center.
He has worked as the biostatistician/data analyst for Dr. Guohua Li, M. Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology and Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at the University. He is skilled in performing statistical analysis such as hierarchical modeling using complex data systems and multiply imputed datasets in statistical software such as SAS, R, SPSS, etc. He is also responsible for creating and managing datasets for ongoing projects and assisting other investigators with manuscripts and reports. Stan also directs and coordinates the injury epidemiology lab at the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention.
The award Jess Kraus, PhD, MPH commemorates Professor Jess F. Kraus, a pioneer in injury research. Kraus was appointed and elected to a number of professional societies and organizations. He also served as a member of the Motor Vehicle Safety Research Advisory Committee of the US Department of Transportation as well as the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Accident Prevention. In addition, he has conducted studies on motorcycle crashes, pedestrian injuries, work-related trauma and brain and spinal cord injuries. Kraus has nearly 200 publications. Also, he teaches three graduate courses on injury epidemiology and supervises both PhD and Masters students at UCLA.
Stanford Chihuri, MPH recently presented his research at the 6th annual Translating Injury Science into Prevention Symposium presented by the Columbia University Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention. Click here to see his presentation and those of other presenters at the symposium.
New Tools Offered to Translate Injury Research into Effective Prevention
Public health professionals from around the region have new tools in their repertoire for translating injury research into effective prevention. Bullying and youth suicide, the contributions stable safe communities can add to violence and suicide prevention, a data driven approach to saving lives when it comes to motor vehicle safety, ways to address the opioid epidemic, and a detailed look at what we might learn from assaults against US law enforcement officers in the line-of duty were topics addressed by experts in each respected field of study during the 5th Annual Translating Injury Research into Effective Prevention Symposium of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University held in New York.
The annual Symposium offers the opportunity for health care and community workers to meet injury prevention colleagues, network and learn the cutting-edge and best practices in injury control and prevention. Close to 75 people attended the meeting this year and no one left without pausing to think including those presenting.
Northshore University hospital Trauma Surgeon Ormar Bholat, said bringing together people with multiple points of view, discussing the issues at hand and having the opportunity to come up with solutions to complex problems is great.
“Every time you get a fresh set of eyes on something there is the potential to come up with a new and innovative way of solving it. I think just about every presenter said I had not considered that I will go back to my data and look at that. Maybe that’s something people just say, but I believe that for these people it is something they are going to do,” Dr. Bholat continued.
He concluded by saying its great to be an epidemiologist but there is a layer of separation there and getting the doctors and health care professionals to come together gives a whole new point of view and I think that’s helpful. It is a sentiment share by many others.
Cassandra Crifasi, PhD, the winner of this year’s Jess Kraus award for best paper in Injury Epidemiology for her research on injuries among law enforcement officers agreed. “I liked t he range of topics. It was a good breadth of Injury topics, but then there was the application how was this research is being translated into something that’s going to make an impact,” she said. “That’s what’s important to us so it was great to have a whole day of that.”
Gail Lynah, RN, a clinical nurse instructor at Bellevue Hospital Center attended for the second year and brought colleagues. “We tend to work in silos sometimes and this touches on so many aspects that I wouldn’t normally think about. We got a wealth of information in a short time period,” she says. She said she learn things that would be helpful professionally but she was most impressed with things she learned that she could use in her personal life as well. She said she travels down Queens Blvd, “the Blvd of death” everyday and that she recognized the changes made that were presented in the NYC’s Data Driven Approach to Saving Lives presentation and that gave her a whole new perspective what took place.
Even the experts learned how they might assist in impacting the work done by each other. Madelyn Gould, PhD who spoke on suicide and bullying said work done on the development of green spaces and safe places by Gelman Professor and Department of Epidemiology Chair Charles Branas could greatly impact her work on suicide prevention.
All of the presentations are available on the Center’s website at: https://www.cuinjuryresearch.org/resources/conference-materials/2017-conference-materials
Guohua Li, MD, DrPH
M. Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology
Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University
722 West 168th Street, Rm 524
New York NY USA 10032
Jess Kraus Award Winner Acknowledged
Assistant Professor and Researcher Cassandra Crifasi, PhD, MPH of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health accepted this year’s Jess Kraus Award on behalf of her colleagues Keisha Pollack, PhD, MPH and Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH. The award was presented May 25, 2017, at the 5th annual Columbia University Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Symposium, Translating Injury Research into Effective Prevention. The award is given annually to acknowledge the best paper published in the journal Injury Epidemiology. Their paper, “Assaults against US. law enforcement officers in the line-of duty,” was selected by the journal’s editorial board based on its novelty, simplicity, clarity and potential impact on population health.
“Much of the existing literature on assaults against law enforcement officers (LEOs) has focused on fatal assaults. But we know that for each fatality, there are many more assaults that result in injury but not death,” Dr. Crifasi explained. “The goal of this study was to examine differences in characteristics between fatal and nonfatal assaults to determine which characteristics increased the odds that an assault would be fatal.”
Because evidence in previous literature suggests traffic stops are dangerous for LEOs, Dr. Crifasi and her colleagues expected to see an increased likelihood in assaults resulting in fatalities when LEOs were conducting traffic stops. They also expected to see an increased likelihood for assaults in situations where LEOs were responding to domestic disturbances, because they are regularly cited by law enforcement as dangerous situations. Those calls did not increase the odds of a fatality. They were surprised to find higher odds for LEOs becoming victims of homicide when they were ambushed or experienced an unprovoked attack. Those were times when they were caught off guard or had limited opportunity to defend themselves. She presented her findings upon receiving the award.
Dr. Crifasi says receiving the award means a great deal to her. “It is a really big honor,” she said. “This is work that I have been doing for a few years so just getting the paper published was exciting and then getting the award with my co-authors took it to another level. I feel really proud of the work we’re doing. It is just a really high honor.”
Professor Jess F. Kraus, PhD, MPH, is a pioneer in injury research. He has been appointed and elected to many professional societies, organizations and groups. Has served as a member of the Motor Vehicle Safety Research Advisory Committee of the US Department of Transportation and the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Accident Prevention. In addition he has conducted studies on motorcycle crashes, pedestrian injuries, work-related trauma and brain and spinal cord injuries. He nearly 200 publications. He also teaches three graduate courses on injury epidemiology and supervises both PhD and Masters students at UCLA.
Her presentation and others from the symposium can be reviewed by going to:
Guohua Li, MD, DrPH
M. Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology
Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University
722 West 168th Street, Rm 524
New York NY USA 10032
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- SUICIDE MONTH
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- TECH ENDS SUICIDE
- UPCOMING RESEARCH
Download the Suicide and Injury Prevention issue of The Injury Times
- UNINTENTIONAL DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS
- LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA LAWS
- STATEN ISLAND OVERDOSE PREVENTION
- DRUG FREE SCHOOL ZONE
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- DESIGNER DRUGS CREATE NEW SAFETY RISKS
- SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND TRANSPORTATION
- MEASURES TO CONTROL SYNTHETIC DRUG USE
Download the Prescription Drug and Substance Use Safety issue of The Injury Times
by E. Lenita Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Phenomenal and empowering are just two of the words attendees used to describe the 3rd Annual Innovations in Translating Injury Research into Effective Prevention Seminar sponsored by the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Research at Columbia University. The daylong event offered injury prevention colleagues the opportunity to network and learn about cutting edge research and best practices in injury prevention.
American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma representative Glen Tinkoff, MD, FACS, FCCM says this seminar was paramount. “This is a major university and a major city with presentations made by professionals who understand the language, the need and the operations of injury prevention,” Tinkoff said during an interview prior to the seminar.
“It is paramount because we have not been in the public eye and that has been a problem with injury prevention with our outreach to our communities, our politicians, our legislators and our patients. We are not informing them well and so these venues are exceptionally important.”
Dr. Guohua Li, the Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University and the editor of The Springer Open-Access Journal, Injury Epidemiology understands the value of communication, partnerships, the Center and its work; and, he says the Center is doing what it can to contribute to change. “The significance of Columbia’s CDC funded Injury Control Research Center has been immeasurable. The Center has helped us to put injury prevention on the academic map of the University and the Mailman School of Public Health, develop well-structured coursework for Doctoral and Masters Students, add injury prevention to the mission statement of Columbia; and, most importantly when it comes to outreach, the Center helped expand and address priority areas of injury facing the nation and its most vulnerable population groups while strengthening collaborative efforts with colleagues at the University, in the region, in health departments, and in communities not only in this area but across the country.”
Barbara Barlow, MD, Columbia’s Injury Control Research Center Associate Director and Co-Director of Outreach says this is what the CDC wants. “The CDC wants you to have more than research and data. They want you to use the data to translate into action to improve community health and safety for children and their families,” Barlow says, “Most of the people attending the Columbia seminar like many health care professionals have never walked outside of their hospital walls, and that is what outreach is all about.” She went on to say the doctors, nurses and the community outreach workers need to walk outside the hospital walls and help the communities they serve in and help solve their health problems. “To just treat trauma and not try to prevent it is just absolutely immoral. As a physician you have an obligation not only to treat disease, sickness and injury but also to contribute to the community’s health and wellbeing.”
The Center, seminar and Injury Free outreach efforts are resources that could probably be of use to every injury prevention group in the Northeastern part of the country according to New York State Department of Health Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Director Kitty Gelberg, PhD, MPH. “People need to recognize your existence, reach out to you and work with you. This wealth of experience and knowledge is not just State based,” she said. “If you go into injury prevention and you feel like you are alone doing this, it gets very overwhelming very quickly because of all of the different types of injuries. It helps to realize there are already people out there doing this, you are not alone, you don’t have to recreate the wheel, the template is there and you can follow it.” She says she believes that was the message for attendees and it came across very well.
Just over 60 people attended the event, and they heard from a variety of industry experts. In addition to having Kim Wiley-Schwartz, the Assistant Commissioner for Education and Outreach of the New York City Department of Transportation who spoke on The Vision Zero initiative: An update on New York City‘s approach to reducing traffic fatalities and injuries, and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Assistant Commissioner Hillary Kunins, MD, MPH, MS who spoke on Prescription drug initiatives in New York City, those in attendance heard from six physicians and injury prevention outreach professionals from the Injury Free Coalition for Kids®, a national injury prevention outreach program that is among the country’s premier injury prevention programs and the outreach arm of the Injury Center.
In addition to presentations, attendees had the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions on a variety of injury topics including trauma center verifications, Department of Transportation and Department of Health injury prevention initiatives including violence and road safety. They also had the opportunity to talk about: child injury prevention, elderly falls, violence prevention initiatives, ACS Trauma Center certification and publishing and disseminating injury and injury prevention science.
“This seminar was great. I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot. The speakers are informative, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable,” Deborah Travis, Trauma Program Manager of St. Lukes Hospital said. “I am new to injury prevention and it has helped me to verify that I am on the right track and given me some new ideas.” Her sentiments were echoed by Dekeya Slaughter of Bellevue. “I have attended previous seminars, but in my new role as Injury Prevention Coordinator this one provided me contacts I can call. It has been great.”
Few would question the need for more seminars like this one. Tinkoff says most recent research shows there are only so many lives we can save in acute care and injury prevention is the new frontier in reducing the burden of injury in the US and worldwide. He concluded the interview by saying until it is better addressed injury will remain the biggest killer of our population between the ages of 1 and 44 and it will continue to rob the population with more years of life lost than any other entity that we have.
The course Director was Joyce Pressley, PhD, MPH Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management at CUMC, and Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University, Outreach Co-Director.
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Download the Occupational Safety issue of The Injury Times
The Injury Free Coalition for Kids joined forces with the Allstate Foundation to build a safe place for the children in the Village of Freeport, New York, to play. More than 150 volunteers came together to build a Little Hands playground that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy just over a year ago.
“It is really important for children to have safe places to play,” explained Dr. Barbara Barlow, Associate Director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University, and Founder and Director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. She went on to say playgrounds provide outlets for children to exercise, express themselves, and to be healthy both physically and emotionally.
Young people played a role throughout this process. Winners of an art contest from the Freeport Recreation Center’s Summer Camp provided the inspiration for four panels of artwork on the playground.
Although young people were not allowed in the build area, Girl Scouts from Brownie Troop 2328 kept workers hydrated by handing out bottles of water. It was Troop Leader Carole James, an Allstate Insurance employee, who prepared the proposal for the Foundation to install the playground.
Among other joining Injury Free to build the playground were close to 80 Allstate agents, claims representatives, accountants, owner Agents, and other employees of the Corporation. The Friends of Freeport, an organization made up of neighbors helping neighbors after the storm, also worked throughout the day. Everything was done under the direction of Vanessa Martelli of Universal Play Systems.
This playground is one of more than 50 the Allstate Foundation and Injury Free have built across the country. At least 10 of them were constructed to give children safe places to play after natural disasters. The playground was dedicated October 31, 2013.