July 2023 | Issue 54


Healing stories, creating a Safe Path to school, and why navigating healthcare can be like the Super Mario Bros. video game...
UPenn Injury Science Center Logo

Healing stories

The Penn Medicine Listening Lab recently collaborated with the Penn Injury Science Center and SAFELab to produce a series of stories, told by the Penn Community Violence Prevention team themselves.
Each story is uniquely powerful, but taken together, with the Story Guide that includes prompts for reflection and discussion, they tell a more complete story and inspire healing.

Listen to all three stories in the Story Guide, or click on a story shown to the right (below on mobile).
The Penn Medicine Listening Lab is a powerful tool for humanizing health care, addressing inequities in our health care system, and providing a holistic view of the human interactions that define the Penn Medicine experience. Incorporating these stories in new employee orientation, medical school and nursing education/training, leadership events, meetings, and staff huddles are just a few ways this collaboration between Penn Medicine, the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Social Policy & Practice, and the Annenberg School for Communication can improve and deepen our understanding of urban injury, healing, and prevention.


July 10-11, 2023

Philadelphia Trauma Training Conference


The 6th Annual Philadelphia Trauma Training Conference will be held virtually on July 10-11, 2023. This unique training conference from Thomas Jefferson University will provide an intensive, collaborative, and engaging experience to providers, educators, and leaders across health, education, and social service disciplines, as well as to community members invested in promoting the health of their families, neighborhoods, and cities.

Click here to register - deadline is TODAY!
August 2-3, 2023


Chicago, Illinois

Hosted by the American College of Surgeons, The goal of this summit is to help the trauma research community identify and characterize current gaps in trauma health disparities research, define funding mechanisms and pathways for collaboration, and outline a research agenda targeted at reducing and eliminating health disparities in trauma care. Click here to learn more and register.
September 11-13, 2023

Safe States 2023

Denver, Colorado

Click here to register! Early bird registration due by July 9, online registration will close August 21.

Book your hotel and find other ways to be involved at the conference.
November 1-3, 2023

National Research Conference on Firearm Injury Prevention

Chicago, Illinois

The 2023 National Research Conference, organized by The Research Society for the Prevention of Firearm-Related Harms, will highlight the current state of the science and research on firearm injury prevention across the lifespan.

Click here to register by October 4.


Postdocs to Professors

Congratulations to Katie Hunzinger of the Perelman School of Medicine and Kevin Rix of the School of Nursing and Perelman School of Medicine for completing their postdoctoral fellowships at the Penn Injury Science Center and beginning their next chapters as assistant professors! Katie remains local at the Department of Exercise Science at Thomas Jefferson University's College of Rehabilitation Sciences, while Kevin returns to his alma mater at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science and School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics).

Making Better Care Easier

Patients go to the emergency department for an acute health issue and we miss an opportunity to treat their opioid use disorder - that's the problem Maggie Lowenstein and Kit Delgado of the Perelman School of Medicine set out to solve in their core research project of the Penn Injury Science Center. Learn more from the Penn Medicine press release, which was picked up by Healthcare Innovation and Penn Today.

Driving with CHD

Leigh Ann DiFusco, a Penn Injury Science Center postdoc in the School of Nursing, wrote a blog post for CHOP's Center for Injury Research & Prevention about her portfolio of research - factors that make driving more difficult or risky for teens and young adults with congenital heart disease (CHD).

Building Public Health Capacity for IPV

Millan AbiNader of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) leads Penn's participation in the Survivor Link + Public Health AmeriCorps program to provide financial support for SP2 students to build capacity in public health agencies, promote evidence-based interventions, and educate communities about intimate partner violence (IPV). Great news came recently as the new program was awarded a second year of funding.

Spirituality & Health

Cassis Boateng of the School of Nursing and colleagues assessed how religiosity relates to health seeking behaviors for mental health in a recent publication. Related to the topic of religiosity, Cassis presented at SAVIR 2023 about the role of spirituality in firearm injury recovery.

Racial Disparities in Care for Opioid Use Disorder

Gina South of the Perelman School of Medicine, Sara Jacoby of the School of Nursing, and colleagues describe the "racial empathy gap" in care for opioid use disorder, wherein Black patients are left wanting compassionate and dignified care when seeking OUD treatment, based on interviews with patients.

Bureaucratic Burdens

Shoshana Aronowitz of the School of Nursing, Zack Meisel of the Perelman School of Medicine, and colleagues assessed the various types of prior authorization requirements for Medicaid-covered buprenorphine treatment across the 50 states, which present barriers to evidence-based treatment and overdose prevention.



Free Statistical Consultation

With our commitment to develop future generations of injury scientists across disciplines, the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) provides statistics support for projects that are focused on the core mission of PISC and for which extramural resources are not currently available. Postdocs, clinical fellows, and early stage faculty that are affiliated with PISC are eligible for this benefit. This program offers statistical consultation through the BECCA Lab (Biostatistics, Evaluation, Collaboration, Consultation, and Analysis) at Penn Nursing. This could be a one-time consultation for a specific question or a series of meetings to support a project. See document linked above for more information.

Online Translation and Dissemination Course

Penn LDI and CHERISH launched a free, online course that helps researchers convert their work into a form that can be easily understood and used by policymakers and the public.
Massive Open Online Course - Firearm Injury Prevention
This free online course lays a broad foundation for understanding the science of pediatric firearm injury prevention and the latest research and evidence-based solutions. Developed by the University of Michigan's Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, in collaboration with the Penn Injury Science Center and other nationwide experts.
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.


Community Outreach Workers, Violence Interruption, Part-Time
The Penn Injury Science Center is looking to hire two part-time Community Outreach Workers to join the Penn Community Violence Prevention team. The ideal candidates will have deep connections in West / Southwest Philadelphia communities where they will work to get people most at risk for violence on a better path through case management.

Click here to learn more and apply.

CDC Health Scientists, Division of Injury Prevention
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are looking to fill two Health Scientist positions in the Applied Sciences Branch. Learn more and apply for the first opening here and the second opening here. Apply by July 10!

Postdoctoral Fellows, Columbia Center for Injury Science & Prevention
The Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City invites applications for an incoming cohort of Postdoctoral Research Scientists (Postdoc) with specific interests in injury and violence prevention. Click here to learn more (opens PDF)
Assistant Director, Penn Center for Community Health Workers
Penn Center for Community Health Workers at Penn Medicine is looking to fill an Assistant Director role within the center immediately. This critical leadership role would include supervising a team of Community Health Workers (CHWs) while they provide life-changing work in the community, overseeing programmatic outcomes to ensure our continued success, and being an intricate part of a team that has supported over 18,000 historically underserved patients in Philadelphia. The attached job announcement shares a bit more about the role, and anyone interested should send their resume and cover letter to: PCCHWhiring@PennMedicine.upenn.edu, Attention: Assistant Director Position. Click here to learn more (opens PDF)
national health corps philadelphia
Community Health Fellowship
The Health Federation of Philadelphia is recruiting applicants for the National Health Corps Community Health Fellowship (an AmeriCorps program) to serve positions of Digital Health Navigator, Health and Wellness Navigator, Immigrant Health Navigator, and Wyss Wellness Center Community Health Navigator. Members receive accredited training, supervision, and experience needed to jumpstart meaningful public health careers as well as a stipend of $25,500 over the course of their service term (the equivalent of $15 per hour) with access to benefits, and a $6,495 Federal Education Award at the successful completion of their service term. To apply, please visit: https://www.nationalhealthcorps.org/apply/chf


Contract Opportunity for Community-Based Organizations - Safe Path Program

The Penn Injury Science Center is partnering with the School District of Philadelphia to support the expansion of the School District’s Safe Path Program.

The program partners with Community-based Organizations (CBOs) to provide a positive, trusted adult presence for students as they travel to and from school to reduce negative experiences for students. We are seeking to contract & partner with qualified CBOs to implement the program in several school communities across Philadelphia for the 2023-24 school year and beyond. Contracted CBOs will employ staff to serve as Path Monitors.

Interested? Click here to register and learn more.

CDC K01 - Understanding Drug Use and Overdose Risk and Protective Factors

The purpose of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) is to provide support for an intensive, supervised/mentored career development experience in substance use and/or overdose prevention research leading to research independence. NCIPC supports K01 grants to help ensure the availability of an adequate number of trained scientists to address critical public health research questions to prevent polydrug use and overdose. This funding would support research that aim to better understand and identify risk and protective factors related to any drug use/overdose (e.g., opioids including fentanyl and stimulants, etc.), substance use disorders (SUD), and stigma (e.g., how do certain factors impact stigma). Research can focus the examination of potential moderators or mediators between the relationship between risk and protective factors and drug use and outcomes. Applications are due December 1, 2023 for a maximum award of $150,000.

CDC R01 - Evaluation of Policy-Level Interventions to Prevent Overdose

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC, Injury Center) is soliciting investigator-initiated research to rigorously evaluate effectiveness of policies for reducing drug use and overdose as well as the effect of these strategies on reducing or worsening existing disparities in medical care and health outcomes. Equally important to quantifying the impacts of these policies on health outcomes is understanding their implementation and how implementation affects achieving the intended outcomes of the policy among groups experiencing disproportionate burden of overdose and/or groups that are at greater risk of experiencing adverse outcomes related to substance use due to social determinants of health. The proposed research should evaluate the impact of a selected local, state, tribal, federal, or organizational policy (e.g., school or health systems) aimed at reducing or regulating substance use or reducing drug overdose, on rates of at least two overdose outcomes (i.e., nonfatal overdose, fatal overdose, substance use disorders, substance use, initiation of substance use among youth).
Applications are due February 8, 2024 for a maximum award of $350,000. Click here to learn more.

CDC R01 - Community-Based Strategies for Overdose Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC, Injury Center) is soliciting investigator-initiated research to partner with communities to develop and rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of new, innovative, under-developed, or untested community-based strategies/interventions/programs/practices to reduce overdose. Strategies/interventions/programs/practices may include, but are not limited to, those that focus on preventing drug use initiation and drug use, reducing non-infectious harms related to drug use, reducing stigma or other barriers to harm reduction or substance use disorder treatment, and increasing linkage to and retention in care. Research should focus on groups experiencing disproportionate burden of overdose and/or groups that are at greater risk of experiencing adverse outcomes related to substance use. Research should also involve engaging individuals in the focus population (e.g., people with lived experience with substance use). Applications are due February 8, 2024 for a maximum award of $750,000. Click here to learn more.

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.


Innovation for the Invisible

Anita Ravi, keynote speaker for the 2023 symposium of the Penn Community Scholars Program, presented a Ted-style talk at the National Committee for Quality Assurance's 2023 Quality Talks Conference. The presentation uses the Super Mario Bros. video game as an analogy for the patient experience of those who are marginalized by the healthcare system (like trauma survivors), and how we could approach care differently.
PISC LinkedIn blockley hall cropped for website

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.
Question, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email andrew.belfiglio@pennmedicine.upenn.edu about any concerns or content you’d like to see in the next newsletter.