February 2024 | Issue 61


Designing for better opioid use disorder care, and a public safety emergency declared...
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Designing for better care

The frequency of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) being discharged "before medically advised" increased from 2016 to 2020, nearly doubling in some contexts, according to a recent study featured in Penn Medicine News, led by Kit Delgado. Withdrawal symptoms and pain are often cited as the reasons for these patients' early discharge.

Leaving the hospital before medically advised is not only associated with a greater risk of death and readmission, it's also a missed opportunity to help patients with OUD.

Towards Making “Warm Handoff” Pathways to Treatment the Default Option for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Presenting in The Emergency Departments

The "Warm Handoff" project is one of the Penn Injury Science Center's core research projects associated with its status of a CDC Injury Control Research Center. The goal of this project was to redesign treatment protocols in the emergency department, so when a patient with OUD presents to the emergency room, it's an opportunity to treat their OUD in addition to what brought them in.

This research first assessed barriers and facilitators to initiating treatment for opioid use disorder in the ED, then tested multiple strategies to improve treatment initiation. With the findings from these first two studies, the researchers then redesigned how screening and treatment for opioid use disorder was handled in the ED and the electronic medical record.

This resulted in an increase in screening for OUD and in prescriptions for live-saving medications, like buprenorphine and naloxone.

Redesigning systems for better treatment means more patients receiving the care they need.

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February 8 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Firearms and traumatic experiences throughout migration (Webinar)

Virtual (via webex)

Hosted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Community Pediatrics (COCP) with support from the AAP Council Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention (COIVPP) and the AAP Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health (COICFH), Drs. Bertha Bermúdez and Laura Vargas will present their research, respectively, about the experiences of migrants who are waiting on the Mexican side of the U.S./Mexico border and on the experiences of recently arrived immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean to the U.S.

February 9 | 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.

View the event flyer for more details and to register as a presenter or attendee (OPENS PDF)
February 22 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Equity in Action Visiting Scholar

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral (19 S 38th St)

The program will feature a presentation on gun violence by Shane Claiborne, a live blacksmith demonstration transforming a gun into a garden tool, music from Common Hymnal, and guest speaker Reverend Sharon Risher - daughter and cousin to three victims of the Emanuel 9 murdered by a white supremacist at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

March 7 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Injury Control Research Centers Webinar Series

Virtual (via Zoom)

Every month, there’s an injury presentation from the nation’s Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs).

The 2024 webinars will showcase the partnerships that ICRCs have formed to grow injury prevention programs in peer institutions.
The next presentation (March 7) is from the University of Iowa and Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Register for the webinars here
March 7 | 8:00 pm

Osler Circle - performing to benefit CHOP

23 E Lancaster Ave, Ardmore, PA

Everybody's favorite CHOP-based Beatles band Osler Circle will be at the Ardmore Music Hall, on Thursday March 7th at 8:00pm. Bring your dancing shoes!

Featuring a host of CHOP-affiliated performers, including one of our senior scholars and advisory board members, Joel Fein. Proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Tickets are available at oslercircle.org or the Ardmore Music Hall website
April 15 - 17

SAVIR 2024

Chapel Hill, NC

The theme for the 2024 SAVIR Annual Conference is "Advancing injury prevention through community-engaged research”. The conference will highlight ways in which researchers are engaging communities in a meaningful way to advance injury and violence prevention.

Visit the conference webpage for more information. As a PISC affiliate, you may be eligible for discounted registration - contact us to learn more.
May 3 | 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 9 - 11

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.


CIRP's Next Chapter

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced their five-year strategic plan, which includes Founder Flaura Winston passing the directorship to Scientific Director Kristy Arbogast and Associate Director Rachel Myers. The Penn Injury Science Center looks forward to continued collaboration with our peers in injury prevention in the next five years.

Public Safety Emergency

Mayor Cherelle Parker declared a public safety emergency during her January 2nd inaugural address. The order calls for a report from the police commissioner in 30 days with a plan of how to reduce violent crime within the first 100 days of the administration. The mayor's declaration comes almost one year after Elinore Kaufman served as a moderator of the Restoring Safety Forum which posed questions about public safety to then mayoral candidates.

Structural Disease

Elinore Kaufman recently spoke with Penn LDI about addressing firearm injury at the source.
“As a trauma surgeon, I pride myself on fixing problems, and at Penn, we provide state-of-the-art acute care to our injured patients; including 80 people actively enrolled in our recovery program. But violent injury is a structural disease."

STAT Wunderkind

Emma Sartin was named a STAT Wunderkind for her multidisciplinary approach to understanding racial disparities in child traffic injuries. The award recognizes the best early-career researchers in health and medicine in North America.

Interpreting Social Media

SAFELab, led by Desmond Upton Patton, created an app to avoid misinterpretation of social media data. In a time when law enforcement actively monitors social media and considers activity as evidence, and reporters use social media in storylines, InterpretMe aims to reduce bias from out-of-context interpretations.

Missing ACEs

Nazsa Baker led a paper examining how the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) questionnaire relates to the life experiences of violently injured Black men, finding that men in this study inhabit marginalized identities and experiences that are not captured by the current ACEs.


Carmen Alvarez demonstrated the initial effectiveness of Cuidándome (quee-DAN-doh-meh, “taking care of myself”), a 10-week, patient-centered, trauma-informed intervention for Latina immigrant survivors, to prevent the long term health impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).


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.
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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.


Project Manager, Research
The Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine is hiring a Project Manager for Dr. Liz Nesoff's program of research. Dr. Nesoff is a social epidemiologist focused on the intersection of substance use, the neighborhood environment, injury prevention, and health disparities.

Click here to learn more and apply
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.
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!
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.
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 for DataLab CoLab Coordinator


Join us on Tuesday, February 20th from 2:30 to 4:00

Incubators at the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) are open to the PISC community in order to provide a venue for discussion and collaboration. Presenters have found sessions helpful in discussing new ideas, participating in dialogue on an emerging research concepts, refining their research proposal, questions or manuscripts, and receiving input about analytic approaches or interpretation of findings.

If you are interested in attending or presenting, please contact Andrew Belfiglio at andrew.belfiglio@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.


Battling Fentanyl

The Tradeoffs podcast dives into the current challenges of medically managing opioid use disorder, including patient fears of precipitated withdrawal and the need for providers to adapt. These alternatives can help patients overcome their fears, Ashish Thakrar said, but too few doctors are aware of these approaches right now. “The scope of the problem is just so huge that we cannot rely on only addiction specialist clinicians to do this,” Thakrar said. “We need to do everything we can to support primary care clinicians and generalists to do it as well.”
"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.