CDC and UNC partner to reduce violent deaths, injuries nationwide

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CDC and UNC partner to reduce violent deaths, injuries nationwide


Carolina’s Injury Prevention Research Center continuous funding helps state address critical research needs in injury prevention


(CHAPEL HILL, NC – Sept. 11, 2014) – Violence and unintentional injuries kill more Americans between the ages of 1 and 44 annually than any other cause. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes research by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can help prevent some of these injuries and fatalities.


The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has announced a continuation of funding for the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC), one of 10 currently funded injury centers across the country. The funding, which will support four research studies, could total as much as $4.5 million over five years.


“It’s about putting life-saving science in the hands of the people,” said Steve Marshall, IPRC director and professor of epidemiology at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. “These funds will support outreach to state health departments, local health departments and community groups so that they know what injury prevention programs are most effective and how to implement them.”


The projects are:

  • Laura Linnan, professor of health behavior at UNC Gillings, will pilot a study partnering with beauty salons as a focal point to deliver falls prevention messaging with the hope that it will prevent falls by older adults. Linnan said beauty salons have proved effective for distribution of information regarding cancer prevention and physical activity promotion and hopes similar efforts for fall prevention will follow suit.
  • Kevin Guskiewicz, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Exercise and Sport Science and senior associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, will lead a program that provides instruction on safe tackling techniques for high school football players to minimize concussions. The program will use helmet-based technology and behavioral modifications.
  • Robert Foss, senior research scientist and director at the Center for the Study of Young Drivers, will use data on police-reported crash and driver licensing to examine whether graduated driver licensing reduces prevalence of motor vehicle crashes, specifically among those in minority and economically underserved communities.
  • Christopher Ringwalt, an adjunct professor in UNC Gilling’s department of health behavior, will examine the effectiveness of recent enhancements to North Carolina’s prescription drug monitoring database. Prescription drug overdoses cause more deaths each year than any other type of injury.


The award also provides funds for two research translation cores that will increase the use of proven injury prevention strategies. The education and training core aims to increase workforce capacity in injury prevention, particularly in N.C., by educating the next generation of injury researchers and training practitioners. The outreach and translation core works to translate injury prevention research into programs and practice by working collaboratively with several organizations, including Safe Kids NC.


“UNC’s Injury Prevention Research Center is a key partner in our Strategic Advisory Council and an important collaborator in the development and implementation of North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Preventing Injuries and Violence,” said Alan Dellapenna, head of the Injury and Violence Prevention branch of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “We are fortunate indeed to have this CDC-funded center in our state.”


The UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, which was led by Carol Runyan from 1989 to 2011, has been continuously funded as a CDC Injury Control and Research Center since it was founded in 1987.


“UNC has a long history of success as one of the leading academic centers for injury prevention research,” said Vice Chancellor for Research Barbara Entwisle. “This reflects the excellence of UNC’s faculty and the vitality and commitment of IPRC’s leadership.”



About The University of North Carolina’s Injury Prevention Research Center

UNC’s Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC) works to implement prevention solutions that reduce the impact of injury and violence in North Carolina and worldwide. It works collaboratively with local and global communities to conduct research studies, and to implement evidence-based injury prevention programs. IPRC research activities are focused on six specific areas: motor vehicle-related injury, violence against children & youth, prescription medicine overdose, traumatic brain injury, intimate partner violence and falls in older adults.


Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596,