ICRC Success Stories - Training Impact
Since CDC began funding Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs) in 1987, the ICRCs have advanced the injury and violence prevention field. The following success stories detail the important work ICRC’s do to study injuries and violence and to put their research findings into action to save and protect lives.
Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) plays a critical role training and developing the next generation of researchers and public health professionals. The Center has graduated thousands of students at all levels of training, from undergraduate to post-doctoral since its creation in 1987. Faculty affiliated with the center offer the most graduate courses in injury and violence prevention anywhere in the world. These courses, now number 25, and cover topics such as transportation safety, youth violence, substance abuse, and trauma care, and the multiple disciplines used in injury research and practice such as epidemiology, law and policy, behavioral science, and communication. These courses reach 300–400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students annually. As a result, the center contributes to the supply of qualified practitioners and researchers dedicated to ensuring that injury and violence prevention research continues to flourish and that it tackles new problems as they emerge.
Johns Hopkins CIRP-mentored doctoral graduates (at least 3–4 per year) secure faculty positions at prestigious institutions throughout the country, most recently in Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois. They continue to conduct research, publish papers in highly regarded journals, and present their work at key national meetings. Doctoral graduates have also secured leadership positions in health care and public health settings. For instance, in the last 5 years, one of the center’s graduates has gone on to become a trauma research manager at a large Level 1 trauma center; another serves as Director of Health Research and Innovation for a global healthcare design firm. And a third is the Social Science Research Analyst for the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families. Finally, the Johns Hopkins ICRC has provided doctoral and post-doctoral training to at least seven individuals who have gone on to become directors of other ICRCs, illustrating the important role centers can have in developing and grooming the next cadre of injury prevention scholars and leaders.
The core of Hopkins’ training and professional development is its award-winning Summer Institute (SI) that has trained nearly 800 participants. This premier training program was honored in 2013 with the Ellen P. Schmidt Award from Safe States Alliance, the leading professional organization for state-based injury and violence prevention practitioners. SI alumni form a strong, active, and growing network for sharing knowledge and applying skills in their communities. SI participants and graduates hold leadership positions in federal agencies, such as DHHS, state health department violence and injury prevention programs, and in local agencies, such as emergency medical services and trauma centers.
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The University of Michigan Injury Center (UMIC) sponsors a series of day-long summits to teach diverse audiences about significant topics in injury and violence prevention, most recently sport concussions and prescription drug overdose. The Sport Concussion Summitexternal icon featured invited experts who explored the latest science on sports concussions and relevant issues beyond the playing field. The summit focused on researchers, clinicians, practitioners, policy makers, and members of the media—but also welcomed athletic trainers, coaches, athletes, students, and parents.
To further increase awareness, UMIC produced a 10-minute video called “Concussion 101,” featuring interviews with summit speakers, which has had more than 1,200 views to-date on their YouTube channel. The video has been lauded by the Brain Injury Association (BIA) of Michigan and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and has been posted prominently on both organizations’ websites. The BIA is also showing it at local movie theaters. “Our concussion summit was a great example of work only a center can do that reaches beyond a single study,” noted UMIC’s Director, Dr. Rebecca Cunningham. “It had wide appeal, using innovative strategies to reach professional, lay, and public audiences with the latest science.”
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The Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S) at the University of Rochester Medical Center conducts a bi-annual training to promote the study of public health approaches to suicide prevention. The 4-day Research Training Institute (RTI) equips injury and violence prevention professionals and researchers across the nation with information on suicide prevention science and research methods. The RTI also fosters collaborative links between the injury and violence prevention and suicide research communities to facilitate the sharing of perspectives, knowledge and skills. Researchers and practitioners apply as teams, proposing collaborative suicide prevention research projects that they develop during the RTI and through an extended period of mentoring support that follows. Examples of RTI collaborative research projects include the development of community-based suicide prevention programs, investigations into the reorganization of emergency room services, and explorations of how state agencies and researchers can more effectively work together to prevent suicide.
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