Injury Control and Emergency Health Services
Section Newsletter
Winter 2008

Notes from the Chair

It is my aim over the next two years as Chair of ICEHS to contribute to the advancement of the field of injury, violence, emergency health services and preparedness. I believe that the optimal approach to meeting such a lofty goal is to provide enhancements to the structure of ICEHS that will foster opportunities for each member of ICEHS to make their individual and collective contributions. Several changes are underway that aim to catalyze discussions, strategic planning, advocacy and action on key issues.


First, in an attempt to provide the structure and opportunity for more members to become engaged in section activities, we have begun an earnest attempt to reinvigorate the ICEHS committee structure. In support of this and other section activities, we will conduct what is believed to be the first ever survey of ICEHS member interests and expertise. I challenge each of you to complete the 10 minute survey indicating committees and working groups you would like to see within ICEHS; areas and activities in which you would like to participate; and areas of expertise you would be willing to share through policy comment or as a scientific program reviewer.


This new approach is expected to foster the identification and development of new leaders in our field and to advance injury issues as more and more members take advantage of the collegial committee atmosphere. In addition to providing a mechanism for members to indicate their interest in getting involved with the section, this database is expected to provide information with which to make section appointments, enlist committee membership, match program abstracts to reviewers who bring expertise to the content areas they are reviewing and to answer policy-related queries from APHA, legislative and regulatory bodies, and the press.


While new substantive committees may be formed based on the interests of members conveyed in the survey, there are several existing standing committees that are essential to the functional operation of the section. I have requested that each committee chair enlist at least 5 or more volunteer members to participate in their committee’s activities and that they work to engage members by conducting at least quarterly conference calls.


The membership and policy committees are off to a great start as Chairs Nancy Nachreiner and Sue Gallagher initiated monthly conference calls in December. I challenge other committee chairs to follow the lead of Nancy and Sue with building a committee and holding calls at least quarterly. This is a great way to build collaborative relationships and to get better acquainted with your fellow members of ICEHS.


Another such opportunity is the Ninth World Injury Conference which will convene in Merida, Mexico in mid-March. If you are planning on traveling to Merida and would like to help organize a section networking social one evening or have your name added to the list of invitees, do get in touch.


I look forward to seeing many of you in Merida and to working with all of you.


With sincerest regards,


Joyce Pressley, Ph.D., M.P.H.

ICEHS Section Chair

Section Awards Presented at Annual Dinner

Several leaders in the field of injury were recognized at the 135th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The ICEHS Section awards recognized:


Linda Degutis, 2007 ICEHS Distinguished Career Award Recipient


Distinguished Career:  To recognize an individual, near the end of his/her career, for outstanding dedication and leadership in injury control and emergency health services with contributions and achievements that have a significant and long term impact on the field. Recipient does not have to be a section member.


David Hemenway, 2007 ICEHS Excellence in Science Award Recipient


Excellence in Science:  To recognize an individual, at mid-career, for outstanding dedication and leadership in the science of injury control and emergency health services with contributions and achievements that have a significant and long term impact on the field. Recipient must be a section member.




Larry Cohen, 2007 ICEHS Public Service Award Recipient


Public Service:  To recognize outstanding dedication and leadership in injury practice and advocacy with contributions and achievements with a significant and long-term impact on the field of injury control and emergency health services. Recipient must be a section member.

Ellen Yard, MPH Wins ICEHS Student Paper Competition

Ms. Ellen Yard, MPH, a doctoral student at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio won the ICEHS Best Paper Award for her paper titled: Effects of Time in Competition, Phase of Play, and Field Location on Injury Severity in High School Football. Ms. Yard is a student of Dr. Dawn Comstock. The Student Paper Competition Award is supported, in part, by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.


Ted Courtney, Director of Research Operations for the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Sue Gerberich and Lenora Olson, Co-Chairs, ICEHS Student Paper Competition present the award plaque to Ellen Yard.



J. Lee Annest, Director of Statistics and Programming at the CDC, reports that WISQARS has now been updated with 2005 mortality data from NCHS' National Vital Statistics System and is now available on the internet.

Lois Fingerhut, Special Assistant for Injury Epidemiology and Chair of the International Collaborative Effort on Injury Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, reports a new feature in CDC's WONDER that may be of importance for those interested in injury mortality data and how rates compare with other causes of death. To use this new system, go to  and click on Mortality- underlying cause of death and then choose Mortality for 1999 - 2004 with ICD 10 codes you will be taken to what appears at first to be the traditional mortality pages for WONDER, but if you scroll down you will find a brand new Section 5 that will allow you to select injury categories either by intent or by mechanism (or both) according to the external cause of injury matrix for ICD-10. Lee Annest reports that the wonderful WONDER team will soon be adding the ICD-9 version.

What this allows one to do is not only compare injury deaths and rates by mechanism and/or intent categories with each other but also among other categories in the 113 standard cause of death list. For example, comparisons can readily be made between motor vehicle traffic deaths, poisoning deaths, cancer deaths and heart disease deaths. This is a tremendous asset to those of us the injury epidemiology field who have not had this simple interactive tool before. Both the mechanism and the intent groupings are in Section 1- Organize table layout. You will notice that all of the non-injury categories are listed in the category of Injury mechanisms and all other leading causes to allow the user to select what comparisons are wanted. Likewise, all non-injuries are combined into one group in the Intent category. In addition, HELP screens are available throughout the section.

Most importantly, Lois Fingerhut reports that none of the original capabilities of the underlying cause of death part of WONDER have been lost--this is an add-on feature.

APHA supports UN Resolution of Road Safety

Dr. Georges Benjamin, APHA’s Executive Director, supported the United Nations Resolution on Global Road Safety with a letter to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Excerpts from Dr. Benjamin’s letter are included below.

On behalf of the American Public Health Association, I write to encourage your support to make road safety a priority for the United Nations (UN). Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. As the voice of public health, APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policymakers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. As one of the first U.S. nongovernmental organizations to become involved in global health, we continue a longstanding commitment to global health issues like road traffic safety. We support measures aimed at raising awareness and action in order to address the public health impacts associated with road safety.


Road traffic crashes cause 1.2 million deaths and 3050 million serious injuries annually and cost countries 13% of their GDP. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for young people worldwide. Without immediate attention, it is anticipated that this figure will double in less than 20 years. Given the number of injuries and deaths due to road traffic crashes, it is clear that road safety is a critically important public health, transportation, and economic concern.


Supporting the UN road safety resolution is significant because it calls for a meeting of all Ministers responsible for road safety for their governments. The result of this high level meeting will draw necessary attention and investment to road safety and injury prevention projects worldwide. Official UN recognition of road safety will serve as a catalyst to push road deaths to the forefront of government and public priorities, resulting in saved lives, fewer injuries, and healthier people and economies.


APHA joins the other members of the Make Roads Safe Campaign for Global Road Safety in urging your support of the road safety resolution that will be debated in March of this year.

Update on External Cause Coding - The Public Policy Committee Needs You!

APHA approved a revised position statement, “Improving external cause coding in hospital discharge data.” This provides an opportunity for ICEHS members interested in policy or data issues to join in a wide array of collaborative efforts aimed at implementation of the recommendations.


The Public Policy Committee needs members of ICEHS to provide the infrastructure for the development and distribution of injury related policy initiatives. The Policy committee mission is to develop public positions on issues of relevance and benefit to members of ICEHS and advocate for their implementation as well as support relevant policy positions of other private organizations, public agencies or APHA sections.


In the spring of 2008, The CDC is expected to publish the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on the “Recommended Strategies to Improve E coding in State Based Hospital Discharge and Emergency Department Data Systems.” In addition to recent external cause coding position statements by APHA, CSTE, ASTHO, STIPDA and SAVIR, the MMWR this article will be the catalyst to enhance and improve E coding in the United States. It is expected to highlight ongoing efforts and to make three sets of recommendations:  (1) improve communication among stakeholders, (2) improve collections of E codes, and 3) improve the usefulness of E coded data for injury prevention efforts.


For 2008, the Public Policy Committee focus includes:

  1. Implementation of recently approved APHA policy resolution on “Improving external cause coding in hospital discharge data”
  2. Promotion of  awareness of the MMWR article devoted to external cause coding to be published in the Spring of 2008
  3. Development of an external cause coding campaign tool kit
  4. Promotion of ICEHS membership participation in relevant APHA advocacy initiatives.


According to Sue Gallagher, co-chair of the committee and a member of the Action Board of APHA, “This is the most important work in which the ICEHS section will engage to improve the quality of non fatal injury data for both practitioners and researchers over the next five years.”


The committee is recruiting additional energetic and collaborative ICEHS members to carry out these tasks:

  1. Participate in a monthly conference call
  2. Identify 20 organizations and draft a letter for APHA to send them re joining us on promoting external cause coding
  3. Conduct follow-up phone calls with each recipient of the letter
  4. Identify key organization responsible for hospital discharge data in each state and draft a letter for APHA to send them re promotion of external cause coding
  5. In conjunction with STIPDA ask each state injury program director to do a follow-up call or meeting.
  6. Develop three to five talking points relevant to external cause coding  for dissemination at the national state and local levels
  7. Develop one page fact sheet with what ICEHS members can do at the local and state level to promote external cause coding
  8. Revise the external cause code brochure “E Codes – the Missing Link in Injury Prevention”
  9. Solicit funds or voluntary support for printing and dissemination of campaign materials.
  10. Send campaign tool kit to all ICEHS members and identified national organizations.


Members interested in pursuing this exciting push forward for injury prevention are asked to contact


Sue Gallagher ( or

Fred von Recklinghausen (

Proposed APHA Forum on Built Environment Standards and Law

As part of APHA’s effort to enhance crosscutting activity among various APHA sections, work is underway to establish a new Forum on Built Environment Standards and Law.  APHA requires that at least 75 APHA members indicate an interest in being a member of such a Forum and, already, nearly this number have signed on, especially among those attending the APHA conference in November.  Other interested members of the ICEHS are now specifically invited to add their names in support of this new Forum as they are counted on for significant input to the work of the new Forum.  As we all appreciate, injury prevention can be affected by ones environment and the design, construction and use of built environments in the form of dwellings and many other facilities are impacted by laws and standards taking many forms.


Membership in a forum neither affects ones section membership(s) nor involves any cost.  Interested members are asked to contact Forum organizer Jake Pauls at to be put on the list of interested APHA members.  Simply send an Email to with “Forum” in the subject line and, in the body of the Email, your full name and your state of residence/work (as shown in your APHA membership file).  Later this year you will have the opportunity to comment on the application being submitted to APHA so please take this first step to make sure that the interests of injury prevention are well represented in this new Forum.

Celebrate National Public Health Week 2008 - Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance

The health effects of climate change will take center stage during National Public Health Week, April 7-13, 2008. As part of the weeklong observance, themed "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance,"  APHA will lead the charge in helping people, communities, and families recognize that adapting to climate change and mitigating its impact is critical not just for the health of our planet, but for the health of the people in our nation and around the world.


Changes in our climate are causing more severe weather events. Extreme weather conditions, such as heat waves, high winds, snowstorms, floods and hurricanes have the potential to dramatically affect the health and safety of both individuals and our communities. Changing ecosystems allow for emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases, such as dengue or malaria, which are changing the spectrum of disease risks affecting populations. In poorer parts of the world, drought and floods often force people to move away from lands no longer producing enough food often resulting in hunger and malnutrition. Moreover, contaminated drinking water can result in outbreaks of diarrheal diseases leading to dehydration or death.


Few Americans will ever see the melting Greenland ice cap up close, or interact with an arctic polar bear facing extinction as its habitat melts.  But local public health professionals around the country increasingly will be dealing with the impacts of climate change on the ground, every day. Join APHA as we work to create a healthier planet. Visit the official National Public Health Week Web site at to check out the climate change blog and brochure, sign up to be a National Public health Week partner, or add your week's event to the national calendar.  For more information about National Public Health Week, contact .


Natasha Williams

Component Affairs Coordinator

American Public Health Association

ICEHS Annual Meeting News: Booth Wins Third Best APHA Exhibit

The ICEHS booth won third best exhibit at the APHA 135th Public Health Expo in Washington, DC. Long-time member, and former chair, Anara Guard, says this is the first time that the ICEHS section has received recognition for the quality of their booth.


This year’s booth effort involved a greater number of members in pre-meeting planning, preparation, set up and staffing than in previous years. Nancy Nachreiner, worked with Section Chair-Elect, Joyce Pressley, in the months preceding the annual meeting to develop new approaches aimed at attracting and engaging members. Joyce Pressley spearheaded ICEHS brochure updates with particular focus on current ICEHS advocacy activities and membership benefits. Section Chair, Erich Daub, assisted with duplication of the brochure in adequate quantities resolving the brochure and membership material deficiencies identified from the previous year. Nancy Nachreiner prepared staff orientation materials and organized resource materials into easy reference binders. Lois Fingerhut, T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, John Lundell, and Joyce Pressley assisted with booth set up and Leslie Ray and Holly Shipp with tear down, shipping, and storage.


Renee Johnson, Erich Daub, Kathleen F. Carlson, Mira Grice and others organized a booth-based book raffle of injury and violence-related books written and donated by members, former members and colleagues in the field. NCHS/CDC provided highlights of their forthcoming injury chartbook for distribution. Make Roads Safe –The Campaign for Global Road Safety donated globe pens and conducted a Join The Campaign for Global Road Safety in which they collected signatures for a petition that will be presented to the UN with the goal of making road safety a priority issue in 2008. Among other items, the booth distributed computer keyboard calendars, the updated brochures, color-coded daily sheets of injury, violence and emergency health and preparedness-related sessions, awards nomination forms, membership materials, and snacks.


It is never too early to volunteer to participate in this exciting endeavor for the San Diego meeting in October 25-29, 2008. Preparation begins months in advance. Members wishing to contribute to this award winning effort should contact Nancy Nachreiner ( to make their interests known.

Call for Abstract Reviewers for APHA 2008

The Injury Control & Emergency Health Services (ICEHS) Section is preparing for the 136th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, which will take place on October 25-29, 2008, in San Diego, CA.  This year's theme is "Public Health Without Borders."


This newsletter contains many ways you can participate in section activities and in the upcoming Annual Meeting. One of the most important and rewarding contributions is being part of the program committee through participation as a Scientific Program Abstract Reviewer. This abstract review phase is crucial in the program development process, and we believe that your input and evaluation will be of great value in creating a good foundation and ultimately a meaningful program.


Using an electronic on-line system, all reviewers will be asked to read and evaluate 3-10 abstracts within a month-long timeframe.  Abstract assignments will be sent to reviewers on March 3 with reviews due by March 28, 2008.


If you would like to work on this important activity please contact Doug Wiebe at


Doug Wiebe

ICEHS Program Chair

ICEHS Membership Drought Hits Nine States

Are you involved in Injury Prevention, Emergency Health, Preparedness, or Violence Prevention? Do you know at least one other person who also shares this interest? Then we need you! We are looking for energetic volunteers who may be interested in spending a few hours a quarter to  assist membership efforts.


Based on data obtained from APHA, nine states have no ICEHS members. These include: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont. In addition, another 27 states have ten members or less. Fourteen states constitute approximately 75% of our membership. We know that great things are being done by individuals working in these fields, and we are looking for ways to better engage current and potential members and to have better representation across the country, as well as internationally). 


During 2008, the membership committee plans to work with liaisons from other APHA sections and organizations. We are looking for contacts who may be interested in spending some time within their own region to assist with membership efforts. Volunteers from all regions are needed; however the most urgent needs are from the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest Regions. By organizing our efforts on a more local level, we can make an important difference on a national level.


Please contact Nancy Nachreiner ( for further information. We welcome your participation with the membership committee!

Call for Abstracts for 2008 Student Paper Competition

Purpose of the Student Paper Competition:

The purpose of the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section (ICEHS) Student Paper Competition Award is to foster and reward quality research efforts among students involved in the field.


The Student Paper Competition was implemented at the 1992 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. In 2008, one or more monetary awards and plaques will be presented for the seventeenth time at the annual meeting.

Requirements for Submitting Applications and Criteria for the Award:

Applicants must submit an abstract according to the APHA abstract guidelines published for the ICEHS (to the person/address identified on the website). Those who have completed their programs within the last year, and have not previously presented the same data at a professional meeting or published the data, are welcome to participate. Following notice of acceptance of the abstract for either oral or poster presentation, by the Scientific Program Chair, applicants must send a completed manuscript, organized and presented according to standard journal format (e.g., American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Epidemiology, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Injury Prevention, or other pertinent peer-reviewed journal). An original and four blinded copies of the manuscript are to be submitted to Dr. Gerberich, for receipt no later than September 01, to the address identified below. With submission of the final paper, applicants must include an application form identifying the school and program in which they are (have been) enrolled, the degree pursued, the expected date of completion, and the name of their advisor; a statement signed by the advisor must identify any co-authors involved and the proportion of effort contributed by the student who must be identified as the primary author. The reviews for this competition will be conducted by at least three external peer-reviewers. It is anticipated that one or more awards will be presented at the annual American Public Health Association meeting.

Students must be primary or secondary members of the ICEHS Section of APHA to participate in this competition. Membership must be confirmed prior to the annual American Public Health Association meeting.

For further information, contact:

Susan Goodwin Gerberich, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Co-Chair, ICEHS Student Paper Competition

School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

MMC 807, 420 Delaware Street S.E.

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

Telephone:     612-625-5934



Lenora Olson, Ph.D.

Co-Chair, ICEHS Student Paper Competition 

University of Utah School of Medicine and

Intermountain Injury Control Research Center

P.O. Box 581289

Salt Lake City, Utah 84158-1220

Telephone:     801-585-9160



2008 PREVENT Child Maltreatment Institute Participants Sought

The 2008 PREVENT Child Maltreatment Institute: Enhancing Leadership for Child Maltreatment Prevention* offers state of the art training to experienced teams from across the country, who are working to stop child maltreatment before the first victimization or perpetration occurs.  The Institute will expand skills to lead evidence-based efforts in the primary prevention of child maltreatment and provide teams with an intensive and supportive environment in which to work together with a trained coach on a prevention initiative.  Participants can expect to enhance core competencies in the primary prevention of child maltreatment at the state and/or national level, including:


  • planning and evaluating effective policy interventions and programs;   
  • stimulating organizational and social change;   
  • critically evaluating the literature and translating science into practice;   
  • effectively communicating with media and policy makers through media and legislative advocacy,
  • implementing promising practices, and
  • enhancing skills in achieving program sustainability.

The PREVENT Child Maltreatment Institute will include two (2) intensive three-day, on-site sessions separated by six months of working as a team at home, with selected distance education calls and guidance from an experienced coach focused on a team-developed project.  The first three-day session will be held April 21-23, 2008 for Cohort 1and April 22-24, 2008 for Cohort 2 at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, Chapel Hill North Carolina.  The second session will be conducted in October, 2008.

Multi-organizational teams of up to 5 people will be selected based on their experience working together, demonstration of leadership in child maltreatment prevention AND readiness to take an increased leadership role in making social and organizational changes to prevent child/ maltreatment./ While we will consider multidisciplinary teams from local communities, the most successful applicants will be teams working in large metropolitan areas, or at the state, regional or national level that have already established working relationships. Selected teams are responsible for travel, lodging, evening meals, and a one-time non-refundable $750 team registration fee. For more information and to submit an application, please see the attached flyer and visit


The 2008 PREVENT Child Maltreatment Institute is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and is operated by The University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center, a partner in the National Training Initiative for Injury and Violence Prevention (NTI).  

PREVENT was launched in 2003 with support from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at CDC and has trained more than 900 violence practitioners in 44 states in the primary prevention of different types of violence.