HIPRC News -- April 2020
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With current public health recommendations for COVID-19 suppression, HIPRC has moved to fully remote work and online events until further notice. To contact the center or our faculty, email is best.   

To learn how you can help UW Medicine, visit the UW Medicine Emergency Response page. 

Injury Prevention during COVID-19

Keeping Your Family Safe During COVID-19

As communities experience stress and isolation during the current public health crisis, many individuals and families may face increase risks of certain injuries. 

Learn more about prevention and local Washington resources from HIPRC’s COVID-19 injury prevention briefs on: 

  • Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
  • Safely Storing Medications and Firearms
  • Preventing Violence in the Home
  • Helping Families Cope with Stress

Downloadable pdfs in English and Spanish are available at HIPRC's COVID Safety Website – please distribute widely. 

INSIGHT High School Program Now Online 

For 2020, the INSIGHT High School Program has been adapted to an online format to follow public health guidelines. As it will be conducted remotely, the program is now accepting applications from across the country.

The INSIGHT High School Program is an intensive four-week program designed to introduce students to public health and biomedical research and medicine. Students will take a deep dive into injury prevention research through various activities.

The program is open to high school students entering grades 10-12 or recently graduated. Session A is full, but Applications for Session B (July 20-Aug. 14, 2020) are open now.

In Focus: Global Injury

HIPRC seeks to lower the burden of injuries globally, including for people who live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Injury is a leading cause of death and disability around the world, and HIPRC partners with universities, health organizations, and other agencies to better understand injury in varied contexts. 

The Global Injury section at HIPRC is led by Charles Mock, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of global health, surgery, and epidemiology at the University of Washington. 

Partial List of Current Projects:  

  • Estimation of population-based rates of surgery: defining benchmarks for global surgery. (PI: Adam Gyedu, MD, MPH
  • Strengthening Injury Control Research in Ghana and West Africa, funded by Fogarty International Center at NIH. 
    • Injuries to gold miners in Ghana. (PI: Emmanuel Kweku Nakua, Ph.D.)  
    • Pedestrian injuries in Ghana. (PI: James Damsere-Derry, Ph.D.
    • Traditional bonesetters in the Northern Region of Ghana: Opportunities for linking with the formal health sector. (PI: Tolgou Yempabe, MD, MPH)
    • Violence against women with disabilities in Kumasi, Ghana. (PI: Amy Budu Ainooson, MPH
    • Violence against young people in Kumasi, Ghana. (PI: Nathaniel Adu-Boakye, MD, MPH
    • Health and safety of road construction crews in Ghana. (PI: Isaac Yankson, MPH
    • Seat belt use on buses in Ghana. (PI: Paul Okyere, MPH
  • Stove burn injury prevention in Ghana and Nepal, funded by UW Office of Global Affairs’ Global Innovation Fund. (PI: Barclay Steward, M.D., MPH
  • Motorcycle taxi safety program in Uganda. (PI: Kennedy Muni, Ph.D.
  • PEGASUS Project: Argentina, which aims to improve outcomes after severe pediatric traumatic brain injury with support from a grant by the National Institutes of Health. (PI: Monica Vavilala, M.D.
  • “Ensuring equal access to trauma care in Washington State through system modeling,” with potential application toward developing trauma care in low-resource settings around the world, funded by the UW Population Health Initiative. (PI: Rebecca Maine, M.D., MPH

Graduate Certificate in Global Injury & Violence Prevention  

The Global Injury section works closely with the existing Global Initiative for Violence and Injury Prevention, a collaboration of HIPRC, the Department of Global Health, and other departments and schools at the University of Washington. This initiative created the Graduate Certificate in Global Injury & Violence Prevention

Firearm deaths in the home due to suicide and criminal homicide are more common than self-defense homicide 

Availability of firearms at home have been repeatedly associated with an increased risk of suicide and homicides inside the home. 

In a new study, researchers at HIPRC’s Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program updated a previous study looking at the risk of firearm-related suicide, homicide, and unintentional deaths in the home compared to self-defense homicides (from 1978 to 1983). HIPRC researchers updated these results based on firearm deaths in King County from 2011 to 2018. The research was featured in UW News. 

The study was led by HIPRC postdoctoral research fellow Elissa Butler, M.D.  INSIGHT alumna Hanne Boveng, whose work during the 2019 INSIGHT program contributed to the study, is a co-author on the paper. Other HIPRC-affiliated co-authors include FIPRP Director Fred Rivara, M.D., MPH, FIPRP Co-director Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., and HIPRC Director Monica Vavilala, M.D. 

States don’t define legal liability for returning firearms to a suicidal person 

A new study explains the widespread gaps in laws regarding temporary transfers of firearms. 

Researchers at HIPRC Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program and Washington State University found the U.S. has no clear laws regarding liability when someone returns a firearm that was temporarily surrendered to reduce suicide risk.  

The lead author on the study is Molly Gibbons, a researcher in HIPRC’s Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program and a UW School of Law student. Co-authors include core member Mary Fan, J.D., FIPRP Co-director Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., and FIPRP Director Fred Rivara, M.D., MPH

Featured Staff: Navigating research during COVID-19 

As Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s research scientist, Brianna Mills, Ph.D., works closely with faculty, staff, trainees, and students to stay on top of any research question that may arise and answering it as well as possible. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Mills immediately switched gears to accommodate research activities going on at HIPRC. 

“I think one of the strengths of HIPRC as a research center is, you know, we’re always planning for contingencies,” Mills said. Read more about how Mills and HIPRC are adapting to a changing research landscape during COVID-19 on the blog

HIPRC member awarded ITHS catalyst funding  

Core member Elizabeth Killien, M.D., MPH, has received an Early Investigator Catalyst Award from UW's Institute of Translational Health Sciences. The funding will support a project on the epidemiology of pediatric intensive care use over time, which will be conducted in collaboration with researchers at Washington University in Saint Louis. 

Event Calendar

April 29 (Wednesday) 1-2 p.m. PST: Work-in-Progress – "The Development of Guidelines for Treatment of Chronic Pain After TBI" with Jeanne Hoffman, Ph.D., and Jennifer Zumsteg, M.D. 

May 8 (Friday) 1-2 p.m. PST: Journal Club – Injury Care with Sam Mandell, M.D., MPH, FACS 

May 13 (Wednesday) 1-2 p.m. PST: Work-in-Progress – "Estimating time to reinjury among injured workers using state wage data: Does choice of timescale substantially affect reinjury risk estimates?" with Jeanne Sears, Ph.D. 

May 20 (Wednesday) 1-2 p.m. PST: Work-in-Progress – "Religiosity and Firearm Safety Behaviors" with Kelsey Conrick, MPH 

May 25 (Monday): University Holiday 

To support social distancing, all center events have been moved to online formats. Please contact for access instructions for specific events. 

View the full calendar. 

In the News
  • Core member and pediatrician Beth Ebel, M.D., discussed coping strategies and injury prevention, including locking up firearms and medication, for families during COVID-19 with KOMO News

  • Core member Steve Mooney, Ph.D., discussed the importance of epidemiologists using the data they have access to, with recognition of its flaws, in an article at Fast Company

  • HIPRC trainee Vivian Lyons, Ph.D., co-wrote an editorial in The Stranger calling for updated blood donation policies to reduce stigmatization of gay and bisexual men. 

  • Associate member Caleb Banta-Green, Ph.D., was interviewed about the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with opioid use disorder with UW News and Direct Relief

    File Photo

SAVIR conference moves online

The Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research has moved their annual conference, April 27-29, 2020, to an online platform. Conference registrants will have access to online posters, abstracts, and recorded presentations for one year following the conference.

Individuals who registered for the in-person conference have been automatically registered for the e-conference.

To learn more or register, visit the SAVIR conference website.

Funding Opportunities

HIPRC Exploratory Research Projects 

Application Deadline: June 26, 2020 

Eligibility: University of Washington faculty or staff; fellows and graduate students eligible to apply with a UW faculty sponsor 

The Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC) is seeking applications for funds to support pilot projects aligned with our mission to reduce the impact of injury and violence on peopleʼs lives through research, education, training and public awareness. HIPRC has the overarching goal to engage communities in order to achieve health equity across the lifespan. 

All submitted projects should engage with injury or injury prevention. 

Other Opportunities 

Call for Papers: Gun violence epidemiology and prevention
Deadline: Ongoing

This collection from Injury Epidemiology aims to bring together a selection of the latest research and developments surrounding gun violence and gun violence prevention.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Domestic violence
  • Mass shootings
  • The long term health effects of gunshot wounds
  • The spatial patterns of injury incidence as a result of gun violence
  • The cost associated with firearm related injuries
  • The role of firearms in suicide
HIPRC is a joint initiative of the University of Washington School of Medicine and Harborview Medical Center.
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