Board of Director Bio's

(Listed alphabetical by last name)

Mary Aitken, MD, MPH

Mary is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Director of the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and is an Adjunct Professor in the UAMS College of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. With more than 20 years’ experience with injury prevention for children in rural and under served environments, she has a strong research and programmatic interest in motor vehicle and all-terrain vehicle safety. More recently her team has developed a focus on infant safety and safe sleep and she lead an NIH-funded study of an intervention to improve teen mothers’ understanding of safe sleep practices. At the state level, she advocated for policies to improve Arkansas’s motor vehicle, bicycle, and ATV policies, with some demonstrated progress. She has leadership experience at the institutional, state, and national level through service with the AAP, Injury Free Coalition for Kids, and other groups. 
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Carri Casteel, PhD, MPH

Carri Casteel, MPH, PhD is an Associate Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa (UI) and the Associate Director for Training and Education at the UI Injury Prevention Research Center. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Her primary research interests are in workplace violence prevention, older adult falls prevention, intervention evaluation studies and translational research methods. Dr. Casteel is on the editorial board of the journal, Injury Prevention, and currently serves as the President of SAVIR.
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Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN, FRSPH (hon)

Linda is Past President of APHA, and current Executive Director of Defense Health Horizons, a project focused on identifying policy options for improving the military health system, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. In addition, she is the Chief Science Officer for The Avielle Foundation. She is a consultant specializing in policy, advocacy, and injury and violence prevention, with current work in prevention of injury, suicide prevention and intervention, and violence prevention. She is also involved in several initiatives to increase funding for injury and violence research. Previously, Dr. Degutis served as Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at the CDC where she led initiatives in preventing violence and injuries, both domestically and internationally, focusing on interventions to address risk factors and developing closer linkages between research and practice. Prior to joining CDC, she was Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Public Health, Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing at Yale University, where she served as Research Director for EM and Director of the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in Senator Paul Wellstone's (D-MN) office. Dr. Degutis served on the Executive Board of APHA and served as its chair. She is an active member of the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section and co-chairs the Advocacy and Policy Committee of SAVIR. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of DePaul University’s College of Sciences and Health, PIRE, and the JHU IPRC as well as the editorial boards of Injury Prevention, Public Health, and Injury Epidemiology. Dr. Degutis was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine in 2014. Dr. Degutis received her BS degree with a major in nursing from DePaul University and her MSN and DrPH from Yale University.
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Shannon Frattaroli

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Michael Gittelman, MD, FAAP

Mike Gittelman, MD, FAAP, is a pediatric emergency room physician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, in Cincinnati, Ohio and he is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University Of Cincinnati School Of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College and his medical school training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA and a fellowship in Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Prior to their formation of a Council, he served as the Chairperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. He is a Board Member and President of the AAP’s Ohio Chapter, and he is a Co-Director of the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. His area of research expertise has been to study the impact of screening and counseling families about injury risk, in the office and ED setting, in an attempt to promote safer behaviors and prevent future injuries. With the Ohio Chapter of the AAP, he has developed a state-wide bicycle helmet intervention, a gun safety program in the pediatric office setting and an injury QI program for practicing pediatricians. He has published his efforts involving educating residents about injury prevention, working with high-risk communities in an effort to reduce pediatric injuries, and his risk prevention counseling research in peer-reviewed journals. 
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Joyce Pressley, PhD, MPH

Joyce Pressley, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management at Columbia University Medical Center where she teaches injury epidemiology, serves as the Co-Director of the Outreach Core for the Injury Center and Chairs the SAVIR Council of Centers. She served several years on the Occupant Protection Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies before recently becoming its Chair. She is a former Chair of APHA’s Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section and previously served as an APHA Governing Councilor and as Chair of the Scientific Program Committee.  Dr. Pressley’s experience in research and community-based injury prevention programs crosses the disciplinary boundaries of health policy, epidemiology, emergency medicine, critical care, economics, health planning and management. She previously served as the Principal Investigator of the injury core of an NIH-funded center grant on health disparities. She has published in the areas of motor vehicle safety, injury-related costs, home safety including window falls, trauma care, impact of injury-related laws, methodological issues and injury disparities in vulnerable populations.
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Marizen Ramirez, PhD, MPH

Since 2011, I have served as co-chair of SAVIR’s Training and Infrastructure Committee (TIC). While in this role, the TIC authored a paper, “Injury  control training in the USA”; established an online call for webinar proposals; developed an extensive contact list for marketing webinars; and organized pre-conference workshops and roundtable discussions for our conference in New Orleans.

As an active member of SAVIR since 2009, I hope to achieve three goals: 1) increase the visibility of our field, highlighting the rigorous science of injury prevention and control, 2) continue drawing others from various disciplines into SAVIR to facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration, and 3) provide mentorship to the next generation of injury prevention experts. An initiative conceptualized by the TIC is the creation of a “Careers in Injury and Violence” webpage to provide information about career opportunities. I hope to pursue this and other innovative activities as a board member.

I received my MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health. For over 15 years, I have engaged in pediatric injury research with emphases on children with disabilities, school violence, disasters and agricultural injuries. I apply mixed methods in my epidemiologic research, and my current studies involve the evaluation of educational and policy interventions. My work has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIOSH and NCIPC), the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Education, the National Institute of Justice, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, MD, MPH, PhD

Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. His substantive area of research is violence epidemiology with a focus on the trauma-crime nexus to inform interventions that promote healing and prevent recidivism. He is currently the Principal Investigator of a cluster randomized trial of a dual hospital-based and community-based intervention to improve the health and well-being of gunshot wound victims. He has served on the American College of Emergency Physicians Technical Advisory Group on Firearm Violence Research, and the Firearms Subcommittee of Washington State Safer Homes Task Force for Suicide Prevention. Methodologically, he has contributed to the field of injury prevention and control by examining the epidemiology of traumatic brain injury, drowning, burns, and adverse events following medical interventions. Dr. Rowhani-Rahbar is a Core Investigator, the Leader of the Violence Prevention Section, and the Director of the Research Methods Core at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. He is also an Affiliate Investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Injury Prevention. He holds an MD from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran, an MPH in Epidemiology from Yale University, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington.

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Carol Runyan, MPH, PhD

Carol has been Professor at the Colorado School of Public Health (Epidemiology and Community and Behavioral Health) since 2011.  She also is Director of the Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research (PIPER).  Previously, she was Professor at the University of North Carolina where she co-founded and, for 22 years, was Director of the UNC IPRC. She co-led the National Training Initiative for Injury and Violence Prevention and its PREVENT Program.  She has served on numerous national advisory committees including committees including the Armed Forces Epidemiologic Board (DOD) and the Advisory Committee on Injury Prevention and Control (HHS), Board of Directors of SAVIR and the Editorial Boards of Injury Prevention, Injury Epidemiology, and American J. of Preventive Medicine.  She has conducted research on occupational injury, safety in the home environment, and various types of violence, most recently several studies addressing lethal means safety counseling in emergency departments.  She works closely with Colorado’s health department on evaluation of projects related to suicide prevention, child abuse prevention, prescription drug overdose, and in providing training and TA to state injury programs. She also is part of a team working with tribal injury programs.

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Jiabin Shen, PhD

Jiabin Shen is an applied pediatric psychology researcher primarily focusing on theory-driven and technology-assisted interventions for child unintentional injury prevention and post-injury recovery. I received Ph.D. in developmental psychology in August 2015 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Youth Safety Lab with focus on pediatric dog-bite injury and drowning prevention in both U.S. and globally. Funded by the American Psychological Foundation, American Psychological Association (APA) Division 38, and Society of Public Health and Education, my doctoral research has yielded 12 peer-reviewed journal articles and 13 national/regional conference presentations. I’m currently a second-year postdoctoral research fellow at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Injury Research and Policy and Center for Pediatric Trauma Research, focusing on virtual reality-based pediatric trauma care and cognitive rehabilitation for children with burn injury and traumatic brain injury.

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Rebecca Spicer, PhD, MPH

Rebecca Spicer, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research Scientist at Impact Research, LLC in Columbia, MD. With a background in epidemiology, her expertise includes program and policy evaluation, economic analysis, and measuring the burden of injury. Currently, much of her research focuses on motor vehicle-related injuries and examining the impact of advanced automotive technologies. Prior research frequently focused on the role of alcohol and drugs in injury; she led two large-scale studies that evaluated substance abuse prevention programs in the workplace. She has a special interest in measuring the burden of injury and updated the method for determining quality of life impacts resulting from traffic-related injuries for use in federal regulatory analyses. Her interest in global injury prevention developed from her work in Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and Gabon. In Thailand she consulted at the Ministry of Public Health and, more recently, she developed the institutional road safety policy framework for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). This framework is designed to guide decision-making in the development of safety activities within MCC road projects in low income countries. Before her career in public health she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia and Gabon.
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Catherine Wolff, MS

Catherine Wolff, MS is a MD/PhD student in the second year of her injury epidemiology PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She attends medical school at Duke University and plans to specialize in emergency medicine upon graduation. Catherine received her undergraduate degree in public health from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). After graduation she spent several years managing health policy research projects, first with a VA team evaluating the end-of-life inpatient care, and then with a Penn research team focusing on trauma system organization and access to emergency care. During this time, Catherine completed a graduate degree in health policy research at Penn. As part of her degree requirements, she drafted a grant proposal on the expansion of a metric to quantify and compare the population burden of different injury mechanisms. Her thesis work examined the effect of prehospital time on mortality for trauma patients. Catherine also has many years of experience as an emergency medical technician, working with the University of Pennsylvania emergency response team and with a firehouse serving Havertown, a community of 54,000 in the Philadelphia suburbs. By the end of her tenure in Havertown she was one of three lieutenants sharing oversight of the department and the EMS response provided to the community. She also oversaw training for the department. Catherine’s research interests include firearm violence, disparities in trauma and emergency medicine, and systems of emergency care. In her free time she assists people seeking domestic violence protective orders as a volunteer with her county’s domestic violence and sexual assault agency.

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Ginger Yang, PhD, MPH

Dr. Jingzhen (Ginger) Yang is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her research has primarily focused on sports injury prevention and control. She possesses strong methodological skills and extensive research expertise and experience in the area of sports injury prevention and control among youth and adolescents. She has directed a federally funded, multi-site, interdisciplinary collaborative research study that involved Division I intercollegiate athletes on sports injury and psychological outcomes. She has been a PI, Co-PI, or an investigator on 22 grants or contracts, author or coauthor of more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and 5 book chapters, and presenter or speaker at many national and international scientific conferences. In 2010, she was appointed to serve on the Major League Baseball Medical Assessment and Research Advisory Committee, which provides guidance in injury research among professional baseball players. In 2014, she was appointed to be the Chair of the Data Collection Working Group in the Big Ten/CIC-Ivy League TBI Research Collaboration.

She is current Co-chair of the SAVIR Training and Infrastructure Committee. She served on the 2015 SAVIR Planning Committee, and also as Co-chair of the Conference Logistics and Pre-conference Workshop Sub-committee. She was a regular reviewer of SAVIR conference abstracts. She was the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center representative of the SAVIR Council of Centers from 2008-2012, a member of SAVIR Working Group on Indicators for Documenting Impact of The Injury Control Research Center Program in 2011, and a member of the Working Group on Safe States/SAVIR Workforce Development Strategic Planning during 2013 and 2014. In 2013, she received the “Excellence in Science Award” from the American Public Health Association, Injury Control and Emergency Health Services section.

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Mark Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE

Mark R. Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE is a pediatric emergency medicine physician, a clinical epidemiologist, and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Zonfrillo’s research focuses on pediatric injury epidemiology, with emphasis on risk factors for motor vehicle occupant injuries, concussion, and disabling injuries in children. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, and private industry. He is the current Director of Informatics for the Department of Emergency Medicine, the Director of Postgraduate Academic Career Development for the Department of Pediatrics, and the Associate Director for the Master of Science in Population Medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He serves on the Executive Committee for the Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) Certification Board for the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

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Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research


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