January 2024 | Issue 60


2023 Year in Review, and a special virtual conference invitation...
UPenn Injury Science Center Logo

2023 Year in Review

This special edition newsletter recognizes the accomplishments, milestones, and impact the Penn Injury community had in 2023. As one of nine CDC Injury Control Research Centers in the nation, the Penn Injury Science Center is leading the field of injury & violence prevention through RESEARCH (Studying Ways to Prevent Injuries and Violence), TRAINING (Building the Field), and OUTREACH (Putting Research into Action).


3 Center-funded Pilot Projects

Identifying barriers

Addressing Gender and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Engagement with Harm Reduction Services for Drug Overdose Prevention
Principal Investigator Liz Nesoff began recruitment in 2023, assessing engagement with harm reduction services, drug use stigma, fears of harassment, incarceration experience, and medical mistrust among people who use opioids to address barriers in opioid harm reduction.

Opening new lines of research

Feasibility Testing of a Novel Phone Application to Track Riding Behaviors of E-Scooter Users
Principal Investigator Kevin Rix completed recruitment in 2023, assessing whether the phone application Way to Drive could be used to detect e-scooter trips, to open a new mode of transportation to study injury prevention with the app.

Understanding risk factors

Identifying Early Life Experiences and Community Resources that Shape Firearm Crime & Violence
Principal Investigators Sara Jacoby and Ruth Abaya are analyzing interviews with individuals with a history of arrest for firearm-related crimes to better understand life experiences that contribute to firearm purchase, carrying, & use.

4 CDC-funded Core Projects

Towards Making "Warm Handoff" Pathways to Treatment the Default Option for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Presenting in The Emergency Departments
Principal Investigators Maggie Lowenstein and Kit Delgado produced an Innovation in Care Delivery for OUD screening & treatment, and planning for further dissemination began in 2023.
Space-Time Characteristics of Adolescents' Cell Phone Use While Driving
Principal Investigators Kate McDonald and Kit Delgado sparked national attention and subsequent funding from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The Contribution of ACEs and Neighborhood Exposures to Health Outcomes Experienced by Seriously Injured Black Men
Principal Investigators Terry Richmond and Sara Jacoby completed recruitment and began data analysis.
Using Innovative Technology to Facilitate Fall Prevention for Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment
Recruitment continued and the research team including George Demiris, Terry Richmond, and Nancy Hodgson received a Catalyst Award from the National Academy of Medicine for the Sense4Safety intervention.

44 Presentations at SAVIR and the National Research Conference for Firearm Injury Prevention

Cassis Boateng presenting at SAVIR 2023
Desmond Upton Patton presenting the keynote at the 2023 National Research Conference for Firearm Injury Prevention

90+ Injury Publications by Center-funded researchers


2 Postdocs Completed, Faculty Positions Received

Katie Hunzinger remains local as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Exercise Science at Thomas Jefferson University's College of Rehabilitation Sciences.
Kevin Rix returns to his alma mater at the University of Texas Health Houston School of Public Health as an Assistant Professor, with affiliation to their budding injury center.

New Injury Elective Course in the MPH Program

Bernadette Hohl developed and taught the new graduate-level course, Principles of Injury & Violence Prevention (PUBH 6150).

Trainee Learning Lab

Kate McDonald and Sara Solomon welcomed their annual cohort of trainees from across the globe, gathering monthly to discuss injury-related publications with the authors themselves, offering a training and networking opportunity that has been featured as a CDC ICRC Success Story.

Technical Assistance Program from CDC Supplement

PISC and NPC teams work together during the kickoff meeting in August 2023.
The Penn Injury Science Center is partnering with the Non Profit Center at La Salle University to provide a technical assistance program to community organizations in northwest Philadelphia working in violence prevention. The program is co-designed with the community participants and begins this January 2024.

Supported by a new CDC Supplement to mentor a fellow educational institution, PISC will assist NPC in developing their own sustainable injury programming based on the findings from this new technical assistance program.

Trainee Highlights

Cassis Boateng of the School of Nursing was featured in Penn Today for the paper he led, which found that spirituality (both theistic and non-theistic) can promote recovery and build resilience in Black men in Philadelphia healing from a firearm-related injury. "Combining culturally sensitive spiritual resources and psychotherapy may lead to effective trauma-informed care," said Boateng, a CDC supplement awardee.
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.
Helena Addison of the School of Nursing was lead author on a publication that explores resident perspectives on police presence during a mental health crisis response. The need for police presence was recognized by many, though it also was associated with discomfort among younger and Black residents. Support was high for co-deployment of police with mental health professionals.
Isabella Ntigbu is a medical student in the Perelman School of Medicine completing a research year before entering their final year. At the Penn Injury Science Center, Isabella is helping to lead the Technical Assistance Program with the Non Profit Center at La Salle.


Podcasts, Webinars, Commentaries, and Stories

New podcasts & webinars featuring the works of Terry Richmond, Liz Walshe, Flaura Winston, Dan Romer, and Allison Curry were published in 2023 and can be streamed on the Penn Injury Science Center website.
Members of the Penn Community Violence Prevention team shared their stories with the Penn Medicine Listening Lab, in partnership with SAFELab.

The collection of stories can be used for reflection and discussion amongst teams who work in violence prevention and recovery.
Penn Injury scholars were an active voice in the news media, including commentaries such as "How to address the quiet crisis of veteran suicides" wherein Gabi Khazanov highlights an important but seldom discussed health disparity.

Maternal & Child Health Symposium on Gun Violence

The Drexel MCH Symposium (in partnership with PISC) highlighted strategies to understand and reduce the impact of gun violence on children, youth, and families.
Ruth Abaya was the invited keynote speaker.

Outreach Incubators - connections made, grants received

Community Action Board member Tyrique Glasgow, who presented at the inaugural Community Outreach Incubator in 2022, received over $900K from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to develop the PHREE card (which he pitched at the Incubator) and to provide support for YCF's ongoing programming.
Community Action Board member Marcella Nyachogo presented at the 2023 Community Outreach Incubator to expand and improve the Survivors Network at the Lutheran Settlement House, and is now working with the Outreach Core and PISC scholars to develop a pilot evaluation.

Community Violence Intervention Hub is growing!

The Penn Community Violence Prevention team (from left to right: Sara Solomon, Elijah Tadlock, Denise Johnson, Andre Ali Martin) expanded their caseload, providing trauma-informed violence prevention and interruption for youth in West-Southwest Philadelphia.
Safe Path will begin serving more neighborhoods thanks to a grant received by Bernadette Hohl, meaning more students will be safe while walking to and from school in Philadelphia.
The Penn Trauma Violence Recovery Program increased their capacity for serving injured patients. With more violence recovery specialists and psychologists added to the team, the program is helping patients recover, return to life, and mitigate the risk of re-injury.

Connected, Committed, and Ready for 2024

The Center rounded out 2023 with the Fall Gathering which included a community partner panel and group discussion on how PISC can be a leader in equity-centered, actionable injury science (read the full recap). Co-Directors Kate McDonald and Zack Meisel invited colleagues of old and new to engage with PISC in 2024 so you can tap into the benefits, resources, and connections of the Penn Injury Science Center.
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January 19th, 2024 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Incentivizing Recovery

Virtual Conference

Contingency management (CM) is a proven and promising treatment for certain substance use disorders. However, major gaps in knowledge regarding the economic, conceptual, policy, political and legal barriers have prevented widespread implementation.

A keynote presentation by Alison Buttenheim will be followed by two panels of leading experts in the field.

Click here to learn more and access the special invitation provided by the Penn Injury Science Center
February 9th, 2024 | 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

14th Annual Community Driven Research Day

CHOP Roberts Center, 2716 South St

COMMUNITY DRIVEN RESEARCH DAY encourages collaborations between researchers and community based organizations who have research questions that they are interested in answering, specifically in ways that address social determinants of health.

Click here for more details and to register as an attendee
May 3rd, 2024 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Evidence-Driven Approaches to Preventing Firearm Deaths


Join Penn LDI, the Penn Injury Science Center, and a panel of experts to learn about the current landscape of evidence-based approaches, their impacts, and their potential to reduce the number of individuals who die from firearm violence each year.

Click here to learn more and register
December 9th-11th, 2024

National Research Conference for the Prevention of Firearm-Related Harms

Seattle, WA

The 2024 National Research Conference for the Prevention of Firearm-Related Harms will highlight the current state of the science and research across the lifespan. Click here to receive updates on when registration opens, calls for abstracts are released, and when the conference hotel is announced. Learn more about previous conferences here.


Guide for Citing PISC Funding

Have you received funding support or infrastructure support from the Penn Injury Science Center? If yes, the CDC funding needs to be acknowledged! Refer to this guide to know when and how you should cite the PISC R49 Center grant (R49CE003083).

Professional Photo Booth

Co-sponsored by Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and the Undergraduate Assembly, the photo booth is open during regular Career Services business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located in the Career Services office, the first come, first serve photo booth — called the Iris Booth — can be used by Penn undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, alumni, faculty, and staff for high-quality headshots.

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.
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.


Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics Faculty Positions
The Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine brings together experts in three basic sciences to generate knowledge that improves health for all by formulating important research questions; producing and deciphering biomedical and population-health data; and developing, applying, and teaching state-of-the-art research methods.

There are open faculty positions within each discipline. Click here to learn more.
Faculty Position, University of Iowa
The Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health is recruiting for an open-rank tenure-track faculty position. We welcome applicants with experience in any area of epidemiology, including injury. One area of particular priority is preventive and interventional epidemiology, which could include injury prevention-focused studies.
Click here to learn more and apply.
Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates
The Research for Inclusivity and Driving Equity (RIDE) Research
Experience for Undergraduates NSF (REU) Site will provide
undergraduate students an immersive and interdisciplinary
experience in community engaged research focused on improving the transportation experience for underserved and underrepresented communities.
The program runs from June 3 to August 2, 2024 and includes a weekly stipend and housing/travel accommodations.
Learn more and apply here
Communications Director, Center for Health Justice
The Communications Director is a unique opportunity to help devise and execute a comprehensive communications strategy that promotes the vision, builds the reputation, and expands the impact of the newly formed Center for Health Justice (CHJ), whose vision is to achieve health through racial, economic, and environmental justice for Black, Brown, and other people and neighborhoods harmed by structural inequities. The Center sits within the Center for Health Care Transformation and Innovation (CHTI) and has two focus areas – transformation of health systems operations (Health Justice Transformation) and rigorous research and community action (Urban Health Lab).
Learn more and apply here.
Research Assistant, Nudge Unit
The Clinical Research Assistant in The Nudge Unit will be working on a multi-year PCORI grant-funded study to test strategies to increase the number of patients with opioid use disorder who engage in buprenorphine treatment after an ED visit.
Learn more and apply here.
national health corps philadelphia
Community Health Fellowships
National Health Corps: Community Health Fellowship (NHC: CHF), Greater Philadelphia is a community health service program that trains local residents as Community Health Workers (CHWs) committed to addressing the unmet needs of underserved populations while creating pathways to quality public health careers for individuals who reflect the communities they serve.
Our program partners with non-profit organizations (called host sites) to place NHC members in Community Health Worker, Digital Health Navigator, and Medical Interpreter roles that support organizational capacities to address health inequities.

Current NHC: CHF member positions include:
Contact Kiera Kenney, NHC: CHF Program Director for more information! KKenney@healthfederation.org, 215-567-8005
DataLab CoLab Coordinator
DATA Co-Lab is a data-informed community engagement initiative hosted by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in the District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab and is funded by Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency “PCCD”. This initiative fosters partnerships between the DATA Lab and community-based organizations by hosting monthly workshops to provide data tools and engage in participatory research exercises. The main priorities of the DATA Co-Lab are: 1) to enhance the community partners’ capacity to use data to inform programming and advocacy efforts within their communities and 2) to elevate the experiences of community stakeholders and needs of various communities to inform DAO data analysis and data-driven policymaking. This project is intended to be place-based and community-driven.

The project is hiring a DataLab CoLab Coordinator.


Overdose Prevention and Community Healing Fund

The City of Philadelphia has once again opened applications for its Overdose Prevention and Community Healing Fund, which is administered by the Scattergood Foundation. The deadline to apply is Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 5pm ET.

You can apply for either general operating expenses (up to $20k) or to fund specific program activities (up to $100k). There will be an info session on December 6th for those who are interested in applying. For more information, please visit the Scattergood Foundation's website.

Anti-Violence Funding from PCCD

The deadline to apply is Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 9:00 PM (ET). You will apply using this SurveyMonkey form. The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) created application instructions to assist you.

Grant streams available:
Please note that you can only submit one application for this cycle, meaning that you must pick one of the two grant streams to apply for. You can still be a sub-grantee on other/multiple applications, but your organization can only submit one.
  • VIP Competitive Grants Program: Under this solicitation, eligible applicants can request funding for a wide range of programs that address community violence intervention and prevention efforts. VIP Grants will be based on applicants’ current operating budgets, with no applicant able to request more than 50% of their operating budget, up to $950,000 total, over an up-to-36-month project period. There is no match requirement for projects under the VIP track.
  • Coordinated Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Strategies Pilot Grants Program: This initiative invests in collaborative community violence intervention and response strategies within focused service areas. Grants will support local planning and implementation of short-term intervention, mid-term prevention, and long-term strategies designed to increase local coordination to more effectively prevent, intervene, and respond to gun and group-related violence. CCVI projects are eligible to request up to $3 million in total funding to implement key project activities (with consideration of size of proposed service area) over a 36-month project period. CCVI track projects must provide a match of at least 10% match funding in Year 2 and 25% match funding in Year 3. Match funding may be cash, in-kind, or a combination of both

Multiple Injury-Related CDC Funding Opportunities

Overdose Prevention:
CE-24-011 – Grants to Support New Investigators in Conducting Research Related to Understanding Drug Use and Overdose Risk and Protective Factors (K01)
CE-24-012 – Rigorous Evaluation of Policy-Level Interventions to Prevent Overdose (R01)
CE-24-013 – Research Grants to Identify Effective Community-Based Strategies for Overdose Prevention (R01)

Violence Prevention:
CE-24-029 – Grants to Support New Investigators in Conducting Research Related to Preventing Interpersonal Violence Impacting Children and Youth (K01)
CE-24-030 – Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury (R01)
CE-24-034 – Rigorous Evaluation of Policies for their Impacts on the Primary Prevention of Multiple Forms of Violence (U01)

NINR R01 - Firearm Injury Prevention in Community Healthcare Settings

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) has posted a Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement. The purpose of this initiative is to advance research that reduces firearm injury and disparities through the development and evaluation of firearm injury primary prevention interventions leveraging community healthcare settings. Projects that include translation into routine practice are also invited. Following the public health model from the 2019 Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention, primary prevention refers to events happening prior to discharge of a firearm, such as safe firearm storage and handling, safety training, screening, community-building and investment, and programs addressing social determinants of health or unmet social needs. Prevention interventions at multiple levels are needed to address firearm morbidity and mortality due to both intentional injury (including suicide) and unintentional injury. Click here to learn more.


Virtual Driving Simulator

Liz Walshe is featured in a video abstract from the journal Pediatrics about a recent publication with Flaura Winston, Dan Romer, and Allison Curry. The driving simulator distinguishes classes of driving behavior which are associated with varying levels of crash risk in the first year post-licensure.
"Science isn't finished until it's communicated"
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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.
Question, Comments, or Suggestions?

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