September 2022 | Issue 44


A message from our new Directors, an upcoming seminar, and community-based opportunities
UPenn Injury Science Center Logo

A New Era for the Penn Injury Science Center

Dear Penn Injury Science Community,

As the new Co-Directors of the Penn Injury Science Center, we write with a mix of humility, curiosity, and excitement. Since its inception, the Penn Injury Science Center has become a vibrant and essential part of the public health mission of our community at Penn and beyond. The history of this Center is rich—starting with the Firearm Center at Penn, led by Terry Richmond, Charlie Branas, and Bill Schwab –and evolving under the intrepid leadership of Doug Wiebe into the CDC-funded Injury Control Research Center that we are today.

The Penn Injury Science Center brings together the most passionate and creative people, the best ideas, and the deepest commitment to investigating and solving some of society’s (and our local community’s) most vexing problems. As gun violence, substance use and overdose, interpersonal violence, suicide, and other forms of intentional and unintentional injury continue to plague our communities, we are ready to dig in and quintuple our efforts to be at the vanguard of public health and injury prevention science. These crises are disproportionately impacting communities of color due to years of systemic racism and disinvestment, and we are passionate about bringing together a community of researchers, clinicians, trainees, and community members to eliminate the harm and injustices of these injuries.

We are dedicated to the work to keep our Center thriving, growing, and evolving to address the social and structural conditions contributing to the health inequities related to injury. Please stay engaged with us as we envision and articulate the next era of Penn Injury Science. We are so grateful for your partnership and commitment to STOPPING IT, FIXING IT and LIVING ON.

Yours in Injury Science,

Kate and Zack
Catherine C. McDonald, PhD, RN, FAAN
Co-Director, Penn Injury Science Center
Associate Professor, Penn Nursing
Vice-Chair, Department of Family and Community Health
Associate Professor of Pediatric Nursing, Perelman School of Medicine
Zachary F. Meisel, MD, MPH
Co-Director, Penn Injury Science Center
Professor of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Vice-Chair, Faculty Affairs
Attending Physician, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
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jhu seminar series

Johns Hopkins Opioid Seminar Series

Monday, September 12th
12pm-1pm Eastern via Zoom

Shoshana Aronowitz and Margaret Lowenstein will present at the seminar series titled “How the Injury Control Research Centers are responding to the Opioid Epidemic: Reports from the Front Lines of a Public Health Crisis," organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

The title of their presentation is "CareConnect: A Virtual Low-Barrier Model for Increasing Engagement in Opioid use Disorder Care" and we urge you to tune in!

Click here for more information and links to register and add to your calendar.
savir 2023

SAVIR 2023 - Abstracts and proposals now open

Deadline for submissions: October 17th

Conference dates and location:
April 17th - 19th
Denver, CO

Authors are invited to submit abstracts and other proposals focused on research and research-based practice encompassing all aspects of injury and violence prevention. During this meeting we will highlight the many ways that scientists and practitioners advance injury and violence prevention research using findings from the lab, clinic, and community. We welcome your submissions on these and other important topics in injury and violence prevention!

SAVIR values and encourages diversity and inclusion in its membership, and strives to address health inequities and racism in public health research. Hence, we invite all abstract submitters to please review the SAVIR Conference Presenter Guidelines to Address Health Inequity and Racism before abstract submission.
Neighborhoods Together 2 (2)

Neighborhoods Together 2 Generations Together

Saturday, September 17th
6000 Block of Kingsessing Avenue

Join PISC colleagues, partners, and friends at a street event in West Philadelphia, hosted by the Beloved Care Project, to honor those lost to violence and bring resources and recreation to the community. Show support for your neighbors and fellow Philadelphians by attending for free or by purchasing a sponsorship package.

For questions or if you're interested in "tabling" the event, contact Sara Solomon 215-290-8454 or
national firearm conference

National Research Conference on Firearm Injury

November 29th-December 1st
Washington, DC

The 2022 National Research Conference on Firearm Injury Prevention will highlight the current state of the science and research on firearm injury prevention across the lifespan.
Abstract submissions are now closed, but registration is open!


Call for Papers: Annals of Surgery Open

In this "call for papers," the journal is soliciting manuscripts addressing the following topics related to gun violence and gun violence prevention: Mass shootings, Epidemiologic trends in gun violence and gun ownership, Homicides and/or suicides related to gun violence, Health policy considerations pertaining to gun violence, Intimate partner/domestic violence, Cost considerations related to gun violence (e.g., long term outcomes for individuals injured by gun violence), Social determinants of health and their relationship to gun violence
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There is no deadline for submission of papers, all manuscripts will be considered on a rolling basis.

Notice of Special Interest: Violence Research

The NIH has released a Notice to highlight interest in addressing the role of violence in health outcomes and integrating violence-related screening and interventions into health care settings, encouraging intervention research focused on addressing exposure to violence - including but not limited to child maltreatment, intimate partner violence/teen dating violence, elder mistreatment, peer violence/bullying, and community violence – to improve individual-level health processes and outcomes.

Access to Care and Firearm Mortality

Elinore Kaufman and a host of PISC Scholars past and present, as well as other colleagues, demonstrated the association between longer ground transport time and greater odds of death due to interpersonal firearm violence, a potentially modifiable factor to improve firearm injury survival.
access to care and firearm mortality

Exposure to Violence and Depression in Adolescents

Joel Fein and colleagues used a nationally representative sample to assess the relationship between gun or knife violence exposure and depression, providing evidence for violence exposure as a cause of depression.
Depressed Woman Covers Her Face by Hand

Hypertension Challenges for ACE Survivors

Carmen Alvarez and colleagues explore the differences in self-care behaviors and attitudes among patients with hypertension who did and did not experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), revealing that ACE survivors may need additional resources for depression management and coping strategies for self-care.
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Psychiatric Symptoms after Youth Concussion

Kate McDonald, Kristy Arbogast, and colleagues demonstrate elevated anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents with acute concussion, compared to nonconcussed peers, suggesting that depression screening should be incorporated into adolescent concussion care.
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Adolescent Impulsivity

Dan Romer was featured in Penn Today for a recent paper demonstrating a link between early impulsivity and later risk for antisocial behavior and alcohol use among adolescents, highlighting potential for early intervention.
teenagers sitting, drinking beer from glass bottle and smoking cigarette

Reflecting on Implementation Science

Meghan Lane-Fall and other leading implementation scientists provide a "pre-mortem" debate on the promises and pitfalls of the field of implementation science to date.
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Place-Based Interventions for Violence Prevention

Chris Morrison, Charlie Branas, and colleagues published a review of the scientific literature on place-based interventions and violence, describing study design challenges and potential future directions.
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Perceptions of Opioid Risk Communication

Zack Meisel and colleagues examine patient perceptions of two different methods of communicating opioid risk: a probability tool versus a narrative-enhanced probability tool (with past patient videos).
emergency dept

Perceptions of Receiving Naloxone and Education

Maggie Lowenstein, Jeanmarie Perrone, Kit Delgado, Anish Agarwal, and other colleagues explored how patients receive naloxone and the accompanying provider conversations (or lack thereof).
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Historical Redlining and Current Firearm Violence

Chris Morrison, Sara Jacoby, and colleagues add a layer of understanding to the impact of historical racist redlining practices on present day firearm violence by assessing the relationship in different cities and the dose-responsive relationship on a zip code level.

Rethinking "Recidivism" in Firearm Injury

Sara Jacoby led a commentary that argues "recidivism" as a less than ideal metric for evaluating success in tertiary firearm injury prevention, as well as the insinuation it makes about racialized criminality and how it reinforces stigma.
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Statistical Consultation for PISC-Affiliated Postdocs, Clinical Fellows, and Early Stage Faculty

With our commitment to develop future generations of injury scientists across disciplines, PISC is now providing statistics support for projects that are focused on the core mission of PISC and for which extramural resources are not currently available. This program offers statistical consultation through the BECCA (Biostatistics, Evaluation, Collaboration, Consultation, and Analysis) at Penn Nursing.
lets connect nationwide childrens

Let's Connect - Mentoring from Nationwide Children's

Let’s Connect is a free consultation and mentoring service for injury professionals and trainees to connect with faculty and senior staff in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH. Injury professionals and students are often looking for a coach, mentor, or consultation outside of their institution. Let’s Connect provides an opportunity for them to connect via phone or Zoom with CIRP faculty and senior staff as part of the Center's professional mentoring and collaboration process.

New Heatstroke Prevention Toolkit

While summer rages and thermometers blaze, keeping kids from overheating is a top priority. The toolkit contains a customizable press release, newsletter/blog article, social media posts, graphics, and links to additional resources which provide more information about heatstroke safety.
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Coming Soon... PISC BOX!

We are developing a shared folder in Penn Box with curated resources for PISC scholars and affiliates. This will include fun things like Zoom and LinkedIn backgrounds, as well as helpful instructions for new employee orientation, how to obtain software, arranging travel and conference registration, and more. If you have ideas for what to include in PISC Box, please contact


urban health lab
opportunity for health lab
Community Coordinators, Urban Health & Opportunity for Health Labs

The IGNITE study, administered by the Penn Medicine Urban Health Lab and Opportunity for Health Lab, is evaluating the relationship between environmental and economic interventions in Black neighborhoods and health. The labs are looking to hire individuals on a temporary, part-time basis to help with face-to-face recruitment in eligible neighborhoods around West, Southwest, and North Philadelphia. Click here for more information and the application link.
chop circle
Program Coordinator, CHOP Gun Safety Program

The CHOP Gun Safety Program promotes safe firearm storage by screening for the presence of firearms in places children live and play, counseling families around safe storage practices, and distributing firearm locking devices at the point of care. They seek a part-time Project Coordinator to help implement this program across the CHOP enterprise and in our community. The coordinator will work closely with the medical lead for this program to identify areas for expansion; collaborate with medical directors, ancillary staff and providers across a variety of inpatient and ambulatory settings; coordinate provider trainings; oversee supply of gun locks and safes; evaluate outcomes data and adjust program accordingly; and pursue future funding options. There is also potential for collaborating with research partners and working with students.
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Penn Community Scholars Applications Open for One More Day!
The Penn Community Scholars Program was developed to foster and promote community-academic partnerships and community-based participatory research. This 12-session (mostly) virtual training is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of community members to serve as equal partners in research. If you or someone you know may be interested in applying, please help us spread the word!

Applications are due Friday 9/2
EmPOWERED to Serve
The American Heart Association – Greater Philadelphia Region has an exciting opportunity for community-based organizations (CBOs) to execute the EmPOWERED to Serve Community Health Lessons, supported by a national sponsorship from Amgen. The EmPOWERED to Serve Community Health Lessons offer a way to engage and motivate communities to create a culture of health. This initiative will serve to enhance the education of under-resourced and communities of color through a target market community impact strategy.

$2,500 stipend will be awarded to CBOs to support program implementation. If you are interested in participating, please let us know before Monday, September 19th. There is an orientation scheduled for September 23rd. Contact Jennifer Litchman-Green at 570-470-6985 or by Sept 19th if you’re interested.


PISC Exploratory Grant for Penn Faculty

The Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) invites proposals for our CDC-funded Exploratory Grants Program and will fund one project at $16,000 direct costs this cycle. The purpose of this program is to support Penn faculty in conducting a rigorous study to serve as the basis to seek long-term extramural funding to grow their area of science. The PI or all MPIs must be a member of the standing or research faculty of Penn.

Exploratory projects are expected to support the mission of PISC - which is to reduce injuries and violence through the highest caliber science. Applicants are encouraged to include more than one discipline and to demonstrate a rigorous approach to solve an important scientific problem in injury science.

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Monday, October 10, 2022.

LDI Funding for Health Research-Focused Events at Penn

The Leonard Davis Institute is seeking proposals to fund working groups or other convenings at Penn that will help catalyze and support new research across Penn’s health policy and health services research community. They are accepting applications from LDI Senior Fellows on a rolling basis, with preference given to proposals that include the involvement of Senior Fellows who are junior faculty and bring together Senior Fellows from across schools and disciplines. Proposals should seek to develop sustained new collaborations or lines of inquiry at Penn or develop new partnerships or collaborations for research outside of Penn.

Funds of up to $10,000 are available, although lower-budget proposals are more likely to be funded. Funds may be combined with other sources of funding.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Penn INSPIRE Center Pilot Grants for Suicide Prevention

The NIMH-funded Innovation in Suicide Prevention Implementation Research (INSPIRE) Center, in partnership with the Department of Psychiatry and the Perelman School of Medicine, invites proposals for pilot projects. The INSPIRE Center’s goals are to develop and adapt suicide prevention interventions for underserved groups, and to design and test implementation strategies to optimize how evidence-based suicide prevention practices are brought to scale efficiently and effectively.
Pilot projects that bring to bear implementation science and interdisciplinary approaches on suicide prevention research are best suited for this opportunity. Priority will be given to pilots that address suicide prevention among underserved populations, are likely to lead to external grant funding, and have high-impact publication potential.

Especially encouraged are proposals that address areas of particular interest in suicide prevention:
  • Digital mental health
  • LGBTQ+ mental health
  • Black mental health
  • Lethal means counseling
  • Integration of prevention interventions in non-specialty settings
$150,000 will be distributed in this round of pilot funding, with up to one year of funding for each pilot project. Available funding for each pilot project will depend on project scope, but it is expected that most funded projects will be awarded around $50,000.

Proposals are due September 15, 2022.

Understanding Suicide Risk and Protective Factors among Black Youth (R01)

The National Institutes of Health has released RFA-MH-22-140, Understanding Suicide Risk and Protective Factors among Black Youth (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) aims to advance translational research to better understand factors that confer risk and resilience for suicide among Black youth. This FOA encourages research that is designed to identify neurobiological, behavioral, social, and structural/systemic mechanisms underlying risk and protective factors for suicide among Black youth, with consideration for the identification of novel targets for future development of prevention and intervention efforts.

Understanding Suicide Risk and Protective Factors among Black Youth (R21)

The National Institutes of Health has released RFA-MH-22-141, Understanding Suicide Risk and Protective Factors among Black Youth (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). This FOA aims to advance translational research to better understand factors that confer risk and resilience for suicide among Black youth. R21 exploratory grant awards in response to this FOA are intended to conduct preliminary work regarding the assessment and characterization of risk and protective factors, with consideration for the identification of novel targets for the future development of prevention and intervention efforts.


Blog post: Opportunities in Reducing Firearm Deaths

Following the publication of a recent article in JAMA Network Open with a team of PISC Scholars, Elinore Kaufman and Michelle Degli Esposti describe in an LDI blog post how the findings identify opportunities for teasing out what makes the difference in firearm mortality outcomes, whether it's policy, economics, programming, interagency coordination, leadership, or something else.
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About Us

The Penn Injury Science Center is funded by a grant from the CDC and brings together university, community, and government partners around injury and violence intervention programs with the greatest potential for impact. We promote and perform the highest quality research, training and translation of scientific discoveries into practice and policy in order to reduce injuries, violence, and their impact to our region, the US, and locations around the world.
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