HIPRC News and Notes -- June 2018
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In Focus: Firearm Safe Storage

Proposed safe storage legislation cites HIPRC research

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced the transmission of proposed safe storage legislation to Seattle City Council on May 24, citing HIPRC research as evidence of the need for change. The proposed legislation increases civil penalties and legal responsibilities for individuals who do not safely store their firearms.

“The evidence is clear: Safe storage can prevent tragic loss of life and help keep our communities safe,” said Seattle Interim Chief of Police Carmen Best in a statement from the Office of the Mayor.

Most gun-owning homes in Washington do not safely store firearms

Sixty-three percent of firearm-owning households in Washington state do not store their firearms locked and unloaded, according to a new study by HIPRC researchers. The lead author on the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, was epidemiology graduate student Erin Morgan, who is also a member of the HIPRC Student Interest Group. The senior author was HIPRC Violence Prevention section lead Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., MPH.

The study was funded by a community gift from Grandmothers Against Gun Violence last September, and the group also donated $10,000 in May supporting firearm research conducted at HIPRC and the UW School of Public Health. With the funds, Rowhani-Rahbar and Morgan will deepen their analysis into firearms among understudied populations, including households with children, veterans and the elderly. Read more about GAGV's contribution on the blog.

Safe Firearm Storage Giveaway

Hundreds of individuals and families went home with both equipment and training for firearm safe storage after a giveaway at Sportsman's Warehouse in Federal Way on May 12. A total of 321 lock boxes, 24 trigger locks, and 500 cable locks were distributed by volunteers.

HIPRC co-sponsored the giveaway with Seattle Children’s Hospital, CHI Franciscan Health, City of Federal Way Police Dept., Safe Kids Seattle & South King, Public Health Seattle-King County, Lok-It-Up, and Sportsman’s Warehouse. Pictured are HIPRC volunteers, from left, Public Information Specialist Kelsie Cleboski, Program Manager Harriet Saxe, and Research Assistant Anne Massey.

National Complete Streets study finds reduction in bicycle fatality rates

National bike-to-work initiatives encourage bicycle commutes for benefits to both health and the environment – but safety concerns may motivate some potential riders to drive rather than bike.

A new study from HIPRC researchers, led by senior research fellow Stephen Mooney, Ph.D., and published this week in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that counties that implemented Complete Streets policies saw an increase in their bike commuter population and a decrease in the rate of bicycle fatalities from collisions with motor vehicles. These findings suggest that bicycling is a safer and more attractive option in communities with Complete Streets. Read more about the Complete Streets study on the HIPRC blog.

Photo by Adam Coppola

Amazon Catalyst Award funds better air splint design

Associate member Shahram Aarabi, M.D., MPH, is part of a team awarded an Amazon Catalyst Award this spring to design a better pressure-monitoring splint for air medical travel. Currently, air splints are not usable during fixed-wing or helicopter medical transport due to pressure loss. The team, which also includes UW mechanical engineering graduate student Abhijith Shasheendra and UW Assistant Professor of Industrial Design Jason Germany, plans to create a system that will monitor and maintain air pressure inside the splint as well as provide therapeutic limb cooling.

HIPRC welcomes 2018 INSIGHT summer interns

Twenty-three undergraduate, graduate and medical students have joined HIPRC from across the country for a summer of hands-on injury research as part of the INSIGHT Summer Research Program. The interns will spend eight weeks working one-on-one with faculty mentors on a range of projects, including research into traumatic brain injury, emergency services, eye trauma, renal trauma, burn injury outcomes, fall prevention programs and others.

They will present their work at the INSIGHT Research Symposium on Aug. 3, which is open to the public and will be held at the Harborview Medical Center Research and Training Building.

In the News
  • KUOW interviewed core member Fred Rivara, M.D., MPH, about research funding challenges in one of the first installments of their ongoing series on youth firearm deaths in Seattle.
  • A new study on home firearm storage in Washington state was featured in The Seattle Times, KOMO News and The Stranger, among others. The study was led by Violence Prevention section lead Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, and the lead author was Epidemiology doctoral student and HIPRC Student Interest Group member Erin Morgan.
  • Research fellow Christopher DeCou, Ph.D., discussed Washington suicide trends and prevention with The Seattle Times, noting that suicide is still difficult to predict but often possible to prevent.
  • Associate Member Linda Quan, M.D., discussed how water safety encompasses more than just swimming lessons with The New York Times.
Map by KUOW

Event Calendar

July 4, (Wednesday): Holiday Office Closure

July 11, (Monday): INSIGHT High School Program Begins

July 20, (Friday) 1-4p.m.: HIPRC Summer Picnic. Join us for a bring-a-dish meal and canoeing at the UW Waterfront Activities Center at the UW Main Campus.

Aug. 3, (Friday) 9 a.m.: INSIGHT Research Symposium. Learn from our summer interns about their work and help celebrate the next generation of injury researchers at Harborview Medical Center Research and Training Building, 300 Ninth Ave., Seattle.

WIPs, Journal Clubs and Faculty Meetings will resume in September.

Unless noted otherwise, all events take place at HIPRC offices

View the full calendar. 

CDC releases suicide statistics report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new national report that found suicide rates rose in every state but one from 1999 to 2016. Among people who died by suicide, 54 percent had no known mental health conditions. Read the full Vital Signs report at the CDC website.

While more research on suicide is needed, experts agree that suicide is preventable. Learn more about suicide trends and prevention in Washington State at the Pacific Northwest Suicide Prevention Resource Center and UW’s Forefront.

Other Opportunities 

Volunteer: Seattle/King County Clinic
Sept. 20-23, Key Arena at Seattle Center 
Seattle/King County Clinic is seeking volunteers to support the annual event that offers free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and vulnerable populations. Volunteer registrations are now open for a variety of roles, including positions that require no prior medical training.
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Harborview Injury and Prevention Research Center
401 Broadway
SeattleWA 98122

 Mailing Address:
325 9th Ave 
Box 359960
SeattleWA 98104

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