Traumatic Brain Injury


Traumatic brain injury is a silent epidemic and a major public health problem.  Even mild TBI may result in family disruption, lost work time, and poor performance.  In Georgia, over 50,000 people suffer from a traumatic brain injury and approximately 3,000 will sustain a permanent disability. Currently, an average of 150,000 people has a permanent disability as a result of a brain injury.  The number of permanently brain-injured people in Georgia is larger than the number of residents in Athens, Georgia. 


Task force goals are data driven and aim to dramatically reduce traumatic brain injury in Georgia.  The initial objective is to identify data sources and analyses that provide accurate information on traumatic brain injury and death in Georgia, assess the strengths and limitations of the data, and develop an action plan.  The priorities and action plan depend upon what data exist and its strengths, limitations, and accessibility.

Recent Presentations

Congratulations to Emory EM Resident Dr. Rachel Koval Patzer for winning the American Public Health Assocation's Injury Control and Emergency Health Services section Student Oral Presentation award at this year's meeting in Atlanta! Dr. Patzer's presentation, "Prospective assessment of concussion screening in the emergency department," was co-authored with Dr. David Wright and Dr. Tim Moran.


Tamara Espinoza, MD – Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine

Jonathan Ratcliff, MD – Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine 

Leadership and Program Support

Sharon Nieb, PhD – IPRCE Associate Program Director

Member Organizations

Brain Injury Association of Georgia

  • Jane Jackson – Executive Director

Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission

  • Craig Young, BA – Executive Director

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

  • Claire Creech, MPH – Rehabilitation Satellite Manager

Emory School of Medicine

  • Tamara Espinoza, MD – see above
  • Jonathan Ratcliff, MD – see above
  • David Wright, MD, Associate Professor, Vice Chair of Research, Emergency Medicine

Emory Rollins School of Public Health

  • John Carter, PhD, MPH – Professor Emeritus

Georgia Department of Education

  • Krista Lowe, RN, BSN, M.Ed – School Nurse Specialist

Georgia Department of Public Health

  • Chinyere Nwamuo, MPH – CORE Grant Manager, Injury Prevention Program

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Michelle LaPlaca, PhD – Associate Professor

Gwinnett Medical Center

  • Kristin Crea, ATC – Director, Sports Medicine and The Concussion Institute

Marietta City Schools

  • Jeff Hopp, LAT, ATC – Head Athletic Trainer

Safe Kids Georgia

  • Mahwish Javed, MS, MPH – Program Coordinator

Savannah Memorial

  • Amanda Ramirez, BSN – Manager of Trauma Outreach and Education

Shepherd Rehabilitation Center

  • Emma Harrington, ME – Director of Injury Prevention and Education
  • Tolu Oyesanya, PhD, RN – Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Ford Vox, MD – Medical Director 

Meeting Structure

Monthly – 90 minutes