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.
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
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