Injury Control and Emergency Health Services
Section Newsletter
Fall 2009

Notes from ICEHS Chair Joyce Pressley

Dear Injury Colleagues,

I am writing with good news and a heartwarming story as we enjoy the last few weeks of our summer vacations and begin preparing for our annual November meeting.

Although there are sometimes federal funding incentives and disincentives to states as they debate statewide legislation on injury-related issues, even with compelling data, most of the final decisions have been left to states or local governments. A change in this approach was posed a few weeks ago through an amendment attached to the defense authorization bill that would have required states, cities and counties to relinquish their control over screening criteria for persons legally allowed to carry concealed, loaded weapons within their borders.  While this amendment had its pros and cons, from an injury prevention perspective, the cons weighed heavily.

The amendment would have had the effect of rescinding currently recognized state/local government rights to decide this for themselves. Had it passed and become law, the amendment would have required states to recognize the concealed, loaded gun permits of other states even though screening criteria varies significantly across states — as does the relative proportion of their unintentional and intentional injury and firearm associated deaths. A report reached me in late July that a senate poll had showed the bill to have a 56 vote majority and that it was expected to pass before the end of the month. 

Our N.Y. State U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer, stepped up to the plate on the issue. Initially, he openly and very publicly promised a filibuster during the time of the scheduled vote. The publicity catalyzed many responses including that of mayors and governors who are among those credited. We appealed to and (express our thanks to) our ICEHS injury prevention colleagues, including Dr. David Hemenway, author of "While We Were Sleeping" and "Private Guns, Public Health," who provided materials and information to support Senator Schumer’s effort.

On the eve of the vote, Senator Schumer asked for permission to address the Senate on the issue that was not scheduled for debate until the following day. He delivered a very compelling argument in opposition to the amendment during which he promised to speak only for his five minutes the next day. In his prepared address, he urged his colleagues to give careful consideration to the amendment and its consequences. He noted that states had crafted their own concealed carry laws that [usually] made sense for their state, but that what is good for the safety of us living in large U.S. cities is not the same thing as that for rural Idaho or rural Tennessee. He noted the lineup of people who, under the amendment, could legally carry concealed loaded weapons in the 48 states included: hate groups; persons previously repeatedly convicted of illegal carrying of a handgun; violent gang members; persons convicted of violent misdemeanors; sex offenders including those convicted of committing offenses against minors; alcoholics; and dangerously mentally ill who had voluntarily committed themselves. Read his full address on his Web site:

In a follow-up letter from Senator Schumer, he wrote  “Keeping our neighborhoods safe is my primary job as a senator. Vigorously enforcing gun control legislation is an essential component of any strategy to keep our neighborhoods safe and is an important priority of mine as a senator.”  He also noted that he is “working hard to ensure that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Amendments Act receives full funding this fiscal year… NICS is the only national database that flags individuals who are precluded under current law from purchasing or possessing firearms. Since NICS is only as good as the information it contains, this important law authorizes funds for states to compile all available background data, including mental health and conviction records, into a the shared electronic NICS database. Ensuring that this information is comprehensive and up to date will better prevent criminals from illegally purchasing and possessing firearms.”

I ask each of you who feel your state is a safer place because your local mayor or governor stood up to drop them a note of thanks. Our requests on the injury prevention front have been frequent. This is a success that deserves thanks for a job well done. In particular, we owe Senator Schumer, who introduced the original Brady bill and co-wrote the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, a great deal for his extraordinary past efforts, his current effort to fund the NICS and for his future promise to remain vigilant on this issue. I have used this Chair’s letter to thank all of you who contributed time, intellect and energy to make our communities safer.

With many thanks and best wishes to our injury and violence prevention colleagues,

Best wishes,


Joyce Pressley, PhD, MPH

Chair, ICEHS


2009 APHA Annual Meeting Items of Interest

  • Registration and Lodging: Register for the meeting and make your hotel reservation soon. Note: Presenters must be individual members of APHA to present their paper(s) and must register in advance for the meeting. Session organizers and moderators are also required to be members and pay the appropriate registration fee. Hope to see you in Philadelphia
  • APHA Career Guidance Center: Don't miss this opportunity! Sign up now for a one-on-one or a group session with a professional career coach at the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition. These coaches can guide you in strategizing the next phase of your career and help you define your goals. Select a 45-minute individual session or a 90-minute group session. The group sessions are designed according to your career needs. To see which session best fits for you, please read about each coach's experience and education before setting an appointment. If you have never experienced coaching before, this is a wonderful introduction to what may become a useful service for your career!

  • New Epi Books: APHA Press has three books in production of interest to epidemiologists and other health professionals that will be available at the Annual Meeting: Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control, 3rd edition by Patrick Remington, Ross Brownson and Mark Wegner and two books by Steven S. Coughlin, Ethics in Epidemiology and Public Health Practice, 2nd Edition and Case Studies in Public Health Ethics, 2nd edition. 

·         Section Scavenger Hunt: Joyce has signed up the ICEHS to participate in a new scavenger hunt at the Annual Meeting.  Conference attendees will receive a scavenger hunt form that includes information about each of the APHA Sections (the information on the form will be supplied by each section). Conference attendees will then visit your Section booth, and find the answer to the question, either by talking to someone, or because you have strategically placed the answer somewhere in your booth. Once a conference attendee completes all the answers, they submit their card, and if they have all the right answers, they are placed in the drawing to win a prize – such as:

• A 2010 conference registration.

• A year’s membership to the Section of their choice.

• Or…some other gifts that we identify.


·         APHA Candidate Forum: There has been a change in APHA election campaign procedures this year that requires all candidate questions for the candidate forum be submitted in advance. The deadline for submission of candidate questions was Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.

Candidates for Executive Board and President-Elect participate in a forum that includes a segment of questions from Council members. In the past, these were submitted “live” during the session, and the candidates were given only a few minutes to formulate their answers. Over the past year, the Nominations Committee solicited feedback from past candidates and, in response, has instituted a new procedure for the 2009 elections.

This involves two changes:

1) Questions for the candidates will be collected in advance, consolidated and condensed by the Nominations Committee to no more than six, and sent to the candidates about a month before the Annual Meeting. [The Saturday forum will have roughly the same structure – separate segments for each candidate to deliver a prepared statement and to respond to questions.]

2) Different sets of position-specific questions will be given to the Executive Board and President-Elect candidates.

 If you have ICEHS Section questions, please send them to Anara Guard at She will see that they reach the person who is submitting them on behalf of the Section. There will be no live questions this year.  


Physical Activity SPIG Announces Annual Meeting 5K Fun Run/Walk

~ submitted by James Konopack

While in Philadelphia for the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting, join your colleagues for the Second Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 10. The 5K (3.1-mile) route will feature views of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps of which were made famous in the movie Rocky. More information about this activity, including a course map, will be published in the Fall newsletters of the Physical Activity SPIG and other Sections and SPIGs and will be made available at the Annual Meeting. In the meantime, please contact Genevieve Dunton (  or Jim Konopack ( with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

***Disclaimer: APHA is not responsible for the development, implementation, or coordination of off-site events sponsored by APHA Sections during the Annual Meeting. The listing of off-site events here is for informational purposes only and does not imply affiliation, cooperation or endorsement of such venues, hotels, activities or events by APHA***

Call for ICEHS Web Site Resources

~ submitted by Motao Zhu

The ICEHS Section requests information on books and monographs for inclusion in our Web site resources section. Any book in injury, violence, emergency health services, and emergency preparedness published within the last 15 years or to be published is of interest.


Please provide the following information: 1) Title; 2) Name of Authors; 3) Publisher; 4) Year of Publication; and if available a 5) Summary: up to 100 words with Table of Contents (or up to 150 words without Table of Contents).


This is a great opportunity for book publicity. Please send as much information as you have available to Motao Zhu, who is heading the effort to build the resources section of our Web site.



ICEHS Chair-Elect Jenn Taylor Wins Golden Apple Award

The Drexel University School of Public Health presented its 2009 School Awards on Thursday, June 4, 2009. Traditionally bestowed in the days before graduation, the awards recognize graduating students and faculty for their achievements and service to the School of Public Health and local community.

The Golden Apple Award - a vote of the graduating class for excellence in teaching, advising, and mentoring - was presented to ICEHS Section member Jennifer Taylor, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health.  While the data are not available, Jenn hopes the award was given in relation to the new injury course she launched this year.  She developed the syllabus with her colleague – and ICEHS Section member - Dr. Maria Bulzacchelli from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


Congratulations, Jenn on this well-deserved recognition!


ICPHSO Call for Research Presentations/Papers

~ submitted by Carol Pollack-Nelson

(ICPHSO) International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization
Annual Meeting and Training Symposium
Feb. 15 - 18, 2010 Washington, D.C.

The International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization (ICPHSO) is announcing a call for research presentations/papers for its February 2010 symposium, to be held in Washington, D.C. ICPHSO is an international organization devoted to promoting health and safety associated with consumer products that are manufactured and distributed throughout the world. Conference attendees include industry members, consumer organizations, government representatives, test laboratories, standards-setting organizations, researchers and academia.

Each year, a Research Panel is convened where researchers discuss their findings from studies relating to consumer product safety. For the 2010 symposium, the Research panel will be held on Feb. 16, 2010. Three papers will be selected for participation in this 1.25 hour session. Each speaker will have 15 minutes to present their findings, followed by Q&A.

Research studies should pertain to the field of human factors and product safety including: Consumer product safety, effectiveness of warnings, supervision and injuries, consumer behavior, perception, motivation, and reaction times, anthropometry relating to product design, and risk-taking.

Abstracts of no more than 350 words should be submitted before Oct. 2, 2009 to: Carol Pollack-Nelson, PhD, Independent Safety Consulting, 13713 Valley Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. Abstracts should include the following: Objective of the research, Brief background, Method, Results, Conclusion. On a separate page, please submit an author biography including current affiliation and contact information. Authors will be notified by November 2, 2009 as to whether or not their submission has been selected. Papers that are selected must be submitted in final form, electronically by February 1, 2010. Power Point presentations must also be submitted via email at that time. Accepted papers will be published on the ICPHSO Web site following the conference.

Papers will be selected through a peer-review process based on their contribution to the field, clarity of presentation and quality of the research. Final papers should be prepared according to the editorial style of the Fifth Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20002; 800-374-2721).

For further information, please contact: Carol Pollack-Nelson, PhD, at or by calling (301) 340-2912. For more information about ICPHSO, please go to


WHO Study Reveals that Pedestrians, Cyclists and Motorcyclists Paying the Toll

~ submitted by Joyce Pressley

The first global assessment of road safety finds that almost half of the estimated 1.27 million people who die in road traffic crashes each year are pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. While progress has been made toward protecting people in cars, the needs of these vulnerable groups of road users are not being met.

The global status report on road safety, released in New York on Monday, 15 June by Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, provides the first worldwide analysis of how well countries are implementing a number of effective road safety measures. These include limiting speed, reducing drink-driving, and increasing the use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets.

Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the report - which contains a global overview of the results, one-page country-by-country profiles, and a statistical annex with the key statistics for each country - presents information from 178 countries, accounting for over 98 percent of the world’s population. It uses a standardized method that allows comparisons between countries to be made.

The key messages of the report are:

    • Road traffic injuries remain a global public health problem, especially in low-income and middle-income countries.
    • Nearly half of those dying on the world's roads are vulnerable road users.
    • Few countries have comprehensive road safety laws that are well enforced.
    • Few countries have reliable data on road traffic injuries.

New data from the report include:

    • Less than a third of countries meet basic criteria for reducing speed in urban areas.
    • Less than half of countries use the recommended blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.05 grams per decilitre as a measure to reduce drink-driving.
    • While helmet laws exist in more than 90 percent of countries, only 40 percent have a law that covers both riders and passengers while also requiring that helmets meet a specified standard.
    • Only 57 percent of countries have laws that require all car occupants to wear seat-belts. This figure is only 38 percent in low-income countries.
    • Half of all countries do not have laws requiring the use of child restraints (e.g., child seats and booster seats). This figure masks considerable variation, with relevant laws in 90 percent of high-income countries but only 20 percent of low-income countries.
    • Only 15 percent of countries have comprehensive laws which address all five of these risk factors.
    • Where laws on these risk factors are in place they are often inadequately enforced, particularly in low-income countries. For example, only 9 percent of countries rate their enforcement of speed limits as over seven on a scale of zero to 10, while the corresponding figure for enforcement of seat-belt laws is 19 percent.
    • More than 90 percent of the world’s road deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, while these countries only have 48 percent of the world’s vehicles.

Since 15 June the report has drawn significant media attention in many of the world's leading newspapers and on radio and television news programs in many regions.

While road traffic death rates in many high-income countries have stabilized or declined in recent decades, research suggests road deaths are increasing in most regions of the world and that if trends continue unabated, they will rise to an estimated 2.4 million a year by 2030. In addition, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year and are an important cause of disability. In many countries support services for road traffic victims are inadequate. These avoidable injuries also overload already stretched health-care systems in many countries.

The global status report on road safety aims to help countries assess their road safety progress since the release of the World report on road traffic injury prevention and related United Nations General Assembly and World Health Assembly resolutions and encourages increased investment in road traffic injury prevention. In addition, the report will be an important contribution to discussions in the forthcoming First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

Related Links

Global status report on road safety

First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety


Drive Safely Work Week: October 5-9, 2009

~ submitted by Bella Dinh-Zarr


Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) is the annual campaign sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), Oct. 5-9 2009.


The campaign tells employers: "Getting home safely is the most important thing your employees will do today. In today's lean business environment, protecting your employees from traffic crashes is more important than ever. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury in the workplace and cost employers more than $60 billion annually, in the U.S. alone."


This year's campaign educates employees on the dangers of distracted driving, the leading cause of traffic crashes. DSWW also focuses on eco-friendly driving - driving smart - to conserve fuel and reduce the impact driving habits can have on the environment.


The campaign tool kit is entirely Web-based, providing downloadable messages, graphics, activities and interactive tools for each day of the campaign week. Tool kit components include:

Fact/tip sheets on the campaign issues

Interactive quizzes and tools

Daily activities and communications messages Downloadable graphics Resources for global employers


To preview the campaign materials, visit


For more information on NETS, visit

Safe Transportation Means Better Public Health

~ submitted by Bella Dinh-Zarr

Every year 1.3 million people die and up to 50 million are disabled in traffic crashes worldwide, millions don’t receive medical supplies or are unable to access care due to unsafe roads, and countless others are left stranded without transportation options such as safe bicycle and pedestrian paths or public transport. Making roads safer has a positive impact on the environment, medical spending, quality of life and overall public health.

Right now, we can urge the president and Congress to commit to making roads safe around the world during the upcoming first UN-sanctioned Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.  House Concurrent Resolution 74 (H. Con Res. 74), which outlines these needs and urges U.S. involvement in global road safety, needs sponsors! 


APHA has created an Action Alert so that you easily can contact the president and your Members of Congress in support of strong U.S. commitment to road safety as a public health issue, especially at the November 2009 Ministerial Meeting and Decade of Action for Road Safety (2010-2020).  


Please act now by clicking on the link below (or pasting into your browser) so we can start preventing deaths and injuries on our roads!


You can also access this link via the APHA Web site ( by going to “Advocacy & Policy” then “Take Action”.  For more information, contact Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH, at or (202) 701-5656.


Take Action for Global Road Safety – It’s a public health, human rights and economic development issue!

Suicide Prevention Web Seminar - October 28, 2009

~ submitted by Oksana Kurylak


Did you know that 1 in 10 suicides are by people seen in an emergency department within two months of dying?  Learn how you can prevent suicide using a quick life-saving tool in your practice.


The ENA Injury Prevention Institute will be hosting a Suicide Prevention Web Seminar on Oct. 28, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. CST.  FREE Special incentive:  First 150 people who register for the Suicide Prevention Web Seminar receive FREE access to secondary certificate program ($495 value).  

For more information, or to register visit :


Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues or anyone who may be interested.

Sports Injuries Caused 1 in 5 Emergency Department Visits for Kids

~ submitted by P. Hannah Davis

Sports-related injuries such as bruises, scrapes and broken bones accounted for 22 percent of hospital emergency department visits for children ages 5-17 in 2006, according a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The Federal agency's analysis also shows that in 2006:

Boys had three times more visits to treat sports injuries than did girls (147 visits per 10,000 children vs. 50 visits per 10,000 children).

  • Teens were five times more likely than children to be treated for sports injuries in emergency departments (154 visits per 10,000 15 to 17 year-olds vs. 30 visits per 10,000 5 to 9 year-olds).
  • Some 81 percent of all visits were for bruises, sprains and strains, arm fractures, or cuts and scrapes to the head, neck or chest.
  • Only 1.3 percent of visits resulted in hospital admissions, mostly for leg and arm fractures. In nearly 99 percent of visits, the children were treated and released.

These findings are based on data presented in Sports Injuries in Children Requiring Hospital Emergency Care, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #75). The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.

Osteoporosis-Linked Fractures Rise Dramatically

~ submitted by P. Hannah Davis


The hospitalization rate of patients admitted for treatment of hip, pelvis and other fractures associated with osteoporosis increased by 55 percent between 1995 and 2006, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle and weak. Fractures associated with osteoporosis can be slow to heal, and they also can cause debilitating pain, disability, deformities and occasionally death.


The federal agency's study also found that fractures associated with osteoporosis:

  • Accounted for one-fourth of the roughly 1 million hospitalizations in 2006 of patients with osteoporosis.
  • Cost hospitals $2.4 billion in 2006.
  • Caused women to be six times more likely to be hospitalized than men.
  • Involved mostly older patients: 90 percent of hospitalizations were for age 65 and older, and 37 percent for patients age 85 and older.
  • Were highest in the Midwest (107 per 100,000 people) and lowest in the West (68 per 100,000 people).
These findings are based on data presented in U.S. Hospitalizations Involving Osteoporosis and Injury, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #76). The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured. The report also uses statistics from a special disparities analysis file created from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2006 State Inpatient Databases.

Childbirth Injuries Fall Sharply but More Could be Prevented

~ submitted by P. Hannah Davis

Injuries to mothers during childbirth decreased significantly between 2000 and 2006, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The number of mothers who experienced injuries while giving birth vaginally without the use of forceps or other instruments dropped by 30 percent. For mothers giving birth vaginally with the use of instruments or by cesarean section, injuries declined about 20 percent.

Despite the declines, nearly 158,000 potentially preventable injuries occurred to mothers and infants during childbirth in U.S. hospitals in 2006. Specifically:

  • Women covered by Medicaid were less likely to be injured while giving birth than privately insured mothers (127 vs. 185 injuries per 1,000 vaginal deliveries with instruments, respectively).
  • Mothers ages 25-34 had the highest rate of injury during vaginal delivery with instruments (193 per 1,000 such deliveries), and mothers ages 15-17 had the highest rate of injury during vaginal delivery without instruments (48 per 1,000). Mothers ages 35-54 had the highest rate of injury during cesarean section (5.5 per 1,000).
  • Mothers living in the highest income communities suffered 44 percent more obstetric injuries during vaginal delivery than those from the poorest communities. Black and Hispanic mothers experienced fewer childbirth-related injuries than whites (108, 130, and 162 per 1,000 vaginal deliveries with instrument, respectively). Asian-American mothers had the highest rate of childbirth-related injuries (203 per 1,000 vaginal deliveries with instrument).

AHRQ had more limited data on injuries to newborns during childbirth. The Agency found that:

  • Injuries were highest to infants born in rural areas (2 per 1,000 deliveries for rural areas vs. 1.5 per 1,000 for large metropolitan areas) and the Northeast (2 injuries per 1,000) vs. the West (1.4 per 1,000).
  • White infants had higher injury rates than other racial groups (1.9 per 1000 vs. 1.4 to 1.5 per 1,000).
  • Injury rates were higher for infants with Medicaid coverage than those with private insurance (1.7 per 1,000 vs. 1.5. per 1,000).

These findings are based on data presented in Potentially Avoidable Injuries to Mothers and Newborns During Childbirth, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #74). The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured. The report also uses statistics from a special disparities analysis file created from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2006 State Inpatient Databases.

Position Announcements

Faculty Position, Injury Prevention and Control


The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Injury Research and Policy


The Department of Health Policy and Management of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is seeking a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor with expertise and interest in injury prevention and control.  The successful candidate will contribute to the Department’s multi-disciplinary research and educational initiatives. The person in this position, will be a core faculty member of the Center for Injury Research and Policy and will hold the Leon Robertson Career Development Chair in Injury Prevention for the first three years on the faculty. 


Applicants must have strong quantitative research skills. Candidates with strength/ expertise in research involving vulnerable populations, program and policy evaluation, applied economic analysis, and/or translation and dissemination studies are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants must hold a PhD, DrPH, MD, or equivalent degree, have clear potential for a distinguished record of scholarship, show promise of excellence in teaching, and demonstrate potential for collaborative and interdisciplinary work.  Experience in the practice of public health or public policy is desirable.


The Johns Hopkins University actively encourages interest from women and minorities and is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received.  Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information for two references to:


Susan P. Baker, MPH, ScD (Hon.)

Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

624 N. Broadway, Baltimore MD 21205

Phone (410) 955-2078, Fax (410) 614-2797


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.