Violence Prevention


Violence inflicted on others and against oneself is a significant problem in Georgia.  Georgia experiences over 1,900 suicides and homicides per year, with a total of 9,500 deaths from 2008 to 2012.  Additionally 56% of the deaths are from suicide and 34% are from homicides.  Suicide rates are higher in less populated counties while homicide is more centralized in urban areas.  Firearms are the weapon most used for both suicide and homicide.  Thirty-four percent of homicides occurred at the victims’ residence, 34% were precipitated by another crime and 12% of homicides involved intimate partner violence. 


Task force goals will be data driven and aim to dramatically reduce violence injury in Georgia.  The initial objective is to identify data sources and analyses that provide accurate information on violence 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.


Omar Danner, MD – Director of Trauma, Morehouse School of Medicine

Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH – Assist Dean, and Professor, Emory School of Medicine

Lauren Hudak, MD, MPH – Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine

Leadership and Program Support

Sharon Nieb, PhD – IPRCE Associate Program Director 

Member Organizations

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

  • Angela Boy, DrPH – Program Manager
  • Jackie Davis, PhD, MPH – Consultant

DeKalb County Board of Health

  • Brandi Whitney, MPH, MCHES – Health Promotion and Prevention Coordinator

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

  • Cari Clark, ScD, MPH – Associate Professor
  • Sandra Gomez Ventura, PhD, MPH – Fellow
  • Carol Koplan, MD – Adjunct Assistant Professor

Emory University School of Medicine

  • Claire Abramoff, MD – Resident, Emergency Medicine
  • Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH – see above
  • Stephanie Holt, MD – Assistant Professor
  • Lauren Hudak, MD, MPH – see above
  • Ameeta Kalokhe, MD – Assistant Professor
  • Nadine Kaslow, PhD – Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Dorian Lamis, PhD – Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • James O'Shea, MD – Assistant Professor
  • Becky Roffman, MS – Research Manager
  • Jennifer Stevens, PhD – Post Doctorate Fellow, Department of Psychiatry

Emory University School of Nursing

  • Trisha Sheridan, DNP – Assistant Professor

Georgia Attorney General’s Office

  • Camila Wright, JD

Georgia Coalition against Domestic Violence

  • Jan Christiansen, BA – Executive Director

Georgia Department of Public Health

  • Rana Bayakly, MPH – Chief Epidemiologist
  • Michael Bryan, MPH - Epidemiologist

Georgia Division on Aging – Forensic Unit

  • Patricia King, RN – Team Lead

Grady Health System

  • Jasmine Usher – Injury Prevention Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Williams, MPH, CHES – Injury Prevention Coordinator

Jennifer Ann’s Group

  • Drew Crecente, JD – Executive Director

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Omar Danner, MD – see above

Meeting Structure

Quarterly – 90 minutes

Area Focus Groups – Monthly – 90 minutes