Where We’ve Been

The Emory Center for Injury Control (ECIC), now known as the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory (IPRCE), was formed in 1993 by Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann, Dr. Philip Graitcer, and Ms. Lisa Simmons with a mission to reduce injury-related morbidity, mortality, and associated costs. Jointly supported by the Emory School of Medicine and the Emory Rollins School of Public Health, the ECIC began to address the most pressing issues of unintentional injury and violence by bringing together the leading professionals in specialized areas of injury prevention. These leaders came from numerous disciplines at various academic institutions, public agencies, and community organizations. As a result, the professional diversity of its leadership team allowed the ECIC to take on an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to reducing the impact of injury and violence. To accomplish its vision, the ECIC approached injury control and prevention with three Core Activities: Research, Education and Training, and Community Outreach, each area having its own leadership, structured committee, and programs. Through these Core Activities, the ECIC was able to make a considerable impact by facilitating collaboration, supporting innovative research, training practitioners and researchers, and helping bridge the gap between science and practice.

ECIC Milestones

Under the leadership of Dr. Kellermann, the ECIC began to make headway in fulfilling its mission for injury prevention, particularly by raising awareness in the community and influencing public policy.

  • In 1994, the ECIC co-sponsored the Super Bowl XXVIII Keep AHead program, a statewide bicycle safety program to increase awareness of head injury issues and the value of bicycle helmets.

  • The ECIC became a key partner for strategic planning, advocacy, and implementation of injury prevention activities when it was designated a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center and Pan American Health Organization Collaborating Center in 1995.

  • In the same year, the ECIC established the "Cops and Docs" Georgia Firearm Notification System that linked 34 law enforcement agencies, 21 emergency medical centers, and 5 medical examiners in the Metro Atlanta area. This system allowed the ECIC to compare firearm related incidences to trends of gun violence activities for more effective law enforcement and prevention.

  • In 1996, the Director of the ECIC, Dr. Arthur Kellermann, formally evaluated the child fatality review process that was established in 1990 to prevent the faulty assessment of cases of child abuse and neglect. In "The Best of Intentions: An Evaluation of the Child Fatality Review Process in Georgia," Dr. Kellermann uncovered that some counties had failed to take the law seriously and had not made any meaningful changes to policy. He then provided recommendations for improvement of the review process.

  • The Injury Control Fellowship was developed in 1996, and the current Associate Director of Education and Training, Dr. Sheryl Heron, became the first inaugural fellow. The fellowship was created to foster and advance Emergency Medicine physicians' knowledge of injury and violence. Designed to be completed in 1-2 years, the fellowship also includes an MPH degree.

  • In 2002, Dr. Debra Houry became the Associate Director for the ECIC. As Associate Director, she developed and began offering the Violence as a Public Health Problem course in the Rollins School of Public Health. The course focused on epidemiology, surveillance, and prevention of interpersonal and self-directed violence.

  • The ECIC then began to expand its horizons abroad in 2005 with the award of the NIH Fogarty Training Grant, which was jointly awarded to Emory¿s Department of Emergency Medicine to provide injury-focused public health training and mentorship to physicians from the Republic of Mozambique. During the 7-year program, the ECIC trained 10 Mozambican physicians in injury prevention.

  • Locally, the Co-Associate Director of community Outreach, Dr. James P. Griffin Jr. founded the Metropolitan Violence Prevention Partnership (MAVPP) aimed at eliminating gang, school, street, sexual, child maltreatment, elder abuse, suicide, workplace, and family violence in the metro Atlanta Area. The ECIC became the research arm of the MAVPP.

  • Leadership of the ECIC was handed off to Dr. Debra Houry in 2006. Under Dr. Houry, the ECIC began a huge expansion to encompass over 170 faculty members at 12 institutions, more than 20 community groups, and several government agencies. As Director of the ECIC, Dr. Houry envisioned the Center pushing the traditional boundaries of academic-based research centers by translating ground-breaking research into effective programs. In the coming years, the ECIC continued to make considerable impact through new programs, alliances, and public policy.

  • In 2008, the ECIC launched the Summer Scholarship Program, which supported 2-5 graduate and undergraduate injury-related research projects each summer and was open to students from all of the area colleges and universities. Due to the ECIC¿s remarkable track record and innovation, it was selected to host the 2009 National Meeting for the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR) in Atlanta in partnership with the CDC¿s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

  • The Center experienced a crucial milestone when it was awarded a 5-year Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) grant from the CDC, and became recognized as one of the 11 ICRCs in the country. This grant allowed the ECIC to make great strides in expanding its administrative infrastructure and managing an increased portfolio of programs and services available to its growing community of researchers, practitioners, and students.

  • 2010 marked the beginning of an important partnership with the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine (WestJEM) with the publication of the ECIC's first special issue. Since then, the ECIC has published many more journal issues with complete editorial control over the issues and themes each year.

  • From 2010-2011, the Faculty Mentorship Program, Practicum Program, and Practitioner Training Program were launched, furthering the ECIC's influence on professional development in the injury prevention field. The Faculty Mentorship program was designed to enhance the development of individual mentees through a paired relationship with a senior faculty member. The Practicum Program matched community-based and state-level organizations with MPH students to work on injury-related projects, and the Practitioner Training Program offered a skill-based training program to train local, state, and regional public health practitioners in injury prevention and the principles and skills of public health.

  • In May of 2010, the ECIC formed the Emory Safety Alliance (ESA), a group of 25 departments and centers at Emory University working to sustain a "culture of safety" in alignment with Emory's Strategic Plan. The ESA was formed to streamline documentation of data sources, programming, and initiatives related to safety promotion and injury reduction and to ensure centralized collaboration. Through the efforts of the ECIC and the ESA, Emory became a designated Safe Community on April 24th, 2012 by the National Safety Council. Emory University was the first in Georgia, the second academic institution, and the 20th in the U.S. to be recognized as an national Safe Community.

  • The ECIC's first Injury & Violence Prevention Certificate Program was launched in September of 2013 at Emory University and was designed to give MPH and PhD students a foundation in theoretical and epidemiologic concepts of injury prevention and control.

  • Later that year, the ECIC members on the Georgia Concussion Coalition helped support the passing of the 2013 Return to Play Act (HB248) that requires public and private schools with youth athletic activities and public recreational leagues to provide information to parents on the nature and risks of concussion and head injury. The law also required that schools establish a concussion management and return to play policy.

  • From 2015-2016, Dr. David Wright becomes Interim Director and reorganizes the ECIC as IPRCE. He established task forces to address the top 5 causes of injury (Violence, Drugs, Transportation, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Falls) in Georgia.

  • Dr. Jonathan Rupp was hired and becomes IPRCE Director in 2018. Growth of the task forces helped the passage of HB673 Georgia's Hands-free Law in 2018.

  • In July 2019. Emory University was awarded $4.2 million over the next five years to fund the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory (IPRCE). IPRCE becomes one of nine centers in the U.S. being funded by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under the Injury Control Research Center program.