Let's Connect

Virtual Professional Consultations and Collaborations

Let’s Connect is a free consultation and mentoring service for injury professionals and students to connect to CIRP faculty and senior staff via phone, Skype, or Zoom. Injury professionals and students are often looking for a coach or mentor outside of their institution. Let’s Connect provides an opportunity for them to connect with CIRP faculty and senior staff as part of a vigorous professional mentoring and collaboration process. 

Our Principal Investigators and senior staff are available to discuss a variety of topics including child injury prevention, health communication, home safety, sports injuries, trauma, and teen driving. To connect with one of them, simply click the blue button below their bio to send them an email with your question(s) or to set up a virtual consultation.

Julie Leonard, MD, MPH

Dr. Leonard is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. She is a board-certified Pediatric Emergency Medicine subspecialist and practices medicine in the emergency department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. At the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, she serves as the Director of Clinical Research for the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Associate Director for the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research. Over the course of her career, she has developed expertise in the emergency management of traumatically injured children. She has published extensively in the area of cervical spine injury management and is the recent recipient of an NIH grant aimed at developing and implementing a Pediatric Cervical Spine Injury Risk Assessment Tool that will be for use by both prehospital and emergency department providers. Dr. Leonard currently serves as a co-investigator for an NIH-funded study aimed at testing whether PsySTART, a post-traumatic stress risk assessment tool, can prospectively and accurately identify at the time of injury those pediatric trauma patients who are at risk for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Additionally, she recently completed an NIH-funded prospective cohort study of massive transfusion in children at 24 pediatric trauma centers in the U.S., Canada and Italy. 

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Lara McKenzie, PhD, MA

Dr. McKenzie is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine and the Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. Dr. McKenzie's research program focuses on how to increase adoption of parent safety behaviors such as the use of carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms, child safety seats and booster seats to prevent and/or reduce the consequences of childhood injuries. Dr. McKenzie's research also focuses on injuries associated with consumer products and sports and activity-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments. Dr McKenzie has experience in mobile app development and evaluation of injury prevention interventions including the Make Safe Happen® app.

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Tracy Mehan, MA

Ms. Mehan leads the Translational Research team for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In this role, she trains others how to effectively communicate public health information. This includes teaching others how to identify and reach their audience, create effective communication messages and materials, and prepare for and execute media interviews about their research. She works both behind the scenes to formulate strategic media outreach plans for the center and in front of the camera appearing in both national media such as The Today Show and the New York Times and local outlets.

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Nichole Michaels, PhD

Dr. Michaels is a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Michael’s primary research focus is child maltreatment, particularly in the context of parental substance misuse. She has more than 15 years of experience working in the field of pediatric injury prevention, both as a health educator and as a researcher.  

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Gary Smith, MD, DrPH

Dr. Smith’s research and advocacy focus on the epidemiology and prevention of pediatric and adolescent injuries, including consumer product-related injuries and motor vehicle-related injuries. Recent studies also include the investigation of parent-voice versus conventional tone residential smoke alarms to awaken children and pediatric poisoning. Dr. Smith has been a contributor to the field of injury, especially through research that informs public policy, for more than 35 years.

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Henry Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD

Dr. Xiang is a professor of medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine with a strong interest, funding and publication record in pediatric trauma and burn care research. He serves as the Director of the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research and the Director of the Research Core of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He also serves as the Director of Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies (PTC) Program at The Ohio State Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), funded by the multi-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health since 2008. Dr. Xiang is a national and international leader with a strong record in leading funded research projects as the principal investigator (PI), publishing more than 200 original injury and trauma research articles in top tier medical journals, and many national and international awards for his achievements in injury and trauma research work around the world.

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Ginger Yang, PhD, MPH

Dr. Yang is a Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine. Dr. Yang’s primary research interest is injury prevention with an emphasis on injuries to children and adolescents. Her current research, primarily funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focuses on sports-related injuries including sports-related mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among children, as well as parent-based interventions to improve safe driving behaviors of teens.

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Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD

Dr. Zhu is a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. With doctoral training in epidemiology and medicine, and active research for about 20 years, Dr. Zhu is well versed in travel behaviors, transportation injuries, and opioid and marijuana abuse. He has received multiple NIH, CDC, and state grants to conduct research in cellphone use while driving, teen driving, traffic policy, and opioid use disorders. He has published in a number of high impact journals, including JAMA, Epidemiology and Journal of Adolescent Health, as well as notable journals in the injury field, such as Injury Prevention and Accident Analysis and Prevention. He has been an editorial board member for the journals Injury Prevention and Injury Epidemiology. He has been the research coordinator for the Vehicle User Education, Training, and Licensing Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

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