See the latest announcements about the Center for Injury Research and Policy including information about recent awards, publications, studies, and events.

Henry Xiang Now SAVIR President

Henry Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD, MBA, professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Director of the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research, and Principal Investigator and Director for International Programs in the Center for Injury Research and Policy is now President of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). Learn more about SAVIR Leadership and read his bio here.

Ginger Yang Awarded Outstanding Faculty Investigator of the Year

Ginger Yang, PhD, MPH, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Investigator of the Year award from the Department of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Henry Xiang Voted SAVIR President-Elect

Henry Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD, professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Director of the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research, and Principal Investigator and Director for International Programs in the Center for Injury Research and Policy was elected President-Elect of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). He will be installed on the SAVIR Board at the 2021 conference next week.

Innovative Biostatistical Methodology for Causal Evaluation of Medical Treatments

Medical records are readily available nowadays, but using medical records to evaluate medical treatments is full of challenges. Dr. Henry Xiang, professor of medicine and principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy,  collaborated with biostatisticians from The Ohio State University College of Public Health to develop a novel statistical method for the biomedical field which allows them to use more than one treatment arm in observational data. 

They applied this methodology in trauma care evaluation. Trauma research often uses matching designs and observational data to compensate for potential biases in the data since randomization methods are not (and ethically, cannot) be used. Previously established methods allowed biostatisticians to match patients based on characteristics between the two groups (i.e. patients in the died = yes group and the died = no group) in order to create “balanced” groups based on these characteristics (similar to randomly assigning people to groups). 

Their March 2021 publication, Triplet Matching for Estimating Causal Effects with Three Treatment Arms: A Comparative Study of Mortality by Trauma Center Level, published in Journal of the American Statistical Association tests this new method to address the critical question of whether mortality rates differ across three levels of trauma centers. 

Ginger Yang Awarded Tony A Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award

Ginger Yang, PhD, MPH was awarded the 2020 Tony A. Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Public Health.

The Tony A. Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to a graduate of the School of Public Health-Bloomington and its prior incarnation as Health, Physical Education, and Recreation who has demonstrated outstanding personal and professional achievements in fostering the broad missions of public health. The award is named in honor of Dr. Tony Mobley, who served as dean of the school from 1976 to 2002; one of the longest-serving school deans in the history of Indiana University. Recipients demonstrate the ideals, leadership, and professionalism that helped to raise the school to international prominence under Dean Mobley's leadership. The award reflects the stature of the school as a global leader in public health science.

Virtual SAS Month

Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), The Ohio State University (OSU) and SAS® partnered to successfully conduct a Virtual SAS® Month in November 2020. Dr. Dennis Durbin, Chief Scientific Officer at NCH delivered the opening remarks and there were 225 (virtual) attendees. Presentations were held throughout the month on the following topics:

  1. Getting Started with Multilevel Modeling
  2. Logistic Regression: What is it and what can I learn from it? 
  3. Causal Effect Estimands: Interpretation, Identification, and Computation
  4. Manipulating Statistical and other Procedure Output to Get the Results that you Want 

The planning committee members are: Dr. Motao (Matt) Zhu at NCH, Drs. James Odei, Lai Wei, and Jeffrey Wing at OSU, and Mr. Will Shellman at SAS®. In 2018 and 2019, the SAS training workshops were conducted as an in-person day-long workshop at NCH. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing policies, the 2020 format was changed to a Virtual SAS® Month. The slides can be accessed here for NCH employees and here for those not affiliated with NCH.

NCH SAS User Group: 

Tracy Mehan Voted SAVIR Student Representative

Tracy Mehan, Manager of Translational Research at CIRP was named the Student Representative for the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR). She will be installed on the SAVIR Board at the 2019 conference next week in Cincinnati.

AAP Drowning Prevention Policy Authored by CIRP Faculty

Drowning can be silent and quick, and it kills nearly 1,000 children every year. To refocus the attention of parents and physicians on one of the leading causes of death among children, the American Academy of Pediatrics published updated recommendations on water safety.

“Drowning is the single leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4,” said Sarah Denny, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and a member of CIRP’s faculty. “Prevention of Drowning” was published online March 15, 2019, in Pediatrics. “Many of these deaths occur when children are not expected to be swimming or when they have unanticipated access to water. Toddlers are naturally curious; that’s why we must implement other strategies, such as pool fencing and door locks.”

Read the press release from AAP here and the updated AAP policy here.

Ginger Yang Receives Awards for Concussion Research

Ginger Yang, PhD, MPH was recently awarded the 2019 Chronic Brain Injury Pilot Award Program for her project titled “Trajectory of Salivary miRNA Expressions in Children with Concussion.” The goal of this study is to assess the feasibility of using non-invasive salivary miRNA expressions as biomarkers to identify children ages 5-12 who are at risk for persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS). As children in this age group may not be able to report their concussion symptoms accurately, using biomarkers to identify PPCS risk may be especially critical for the development of individually-tailored treatment plans. The study will be funded for one year by The Ohio State University Chronic Brain Injury Program.

Dr. Yang also received a Discovery & Cross-Campus Collaborative Pilot Program Award to support her project entitled “Development of MyTBI: A Prototype Clinical Decision Support Tool for Treating Pediatric Concussions” for one year. The study, in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Sieck at OSU, will be funded by The Ohio State University College of Medicine Office of Research Discovery & Cross-Campus Collaborative Pilot Program.

More information:

CIRP Director and CPTR Director Win APHA ICEHS Awards

Two staff from CIRP were honored with American Public Health Association (APHA) Injury Control and Emergency Health Services (ICEHS) awards at the annual conference in Denver, Colorado on November 1.

CIRP Director Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH received the Distinguished Career award, which recognizes an individual for outstanding dedication and leadership in injury/violence prevention and control and emergency health services with contributions and achievements that have a significant and long term impact on the field.

Director of CIRP’s Center for Pediatric Trauma Research, Huiyun Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD received the Excellence in Science award, which recognizes an individual, frequently at mid-career, for outstanding dedication and leadership in the science of injury/violence prevention and control and emergency health services with contributions and achievements that have a significant and long term impact on the field.

Congratulations, Dr. Smith and Dr. Xiang!

CIRP, NCH Foundation Partner with Blue Jackets, City of Columbus for Bike Safety Initiative

Thanks to a long-standing grant partnership between the Blue Jackets Foundation and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation, CIRP administers a program that distributes approximately 5,500 bike helmets annually to children in central Ohio. Over the history of this partnership, CIRP has distributed approximately 36,120 helmets.

"We couldn’t do it without the Blue Jackets. We have no other support for our program for bike helmets. So without the Blue Jackets supporting this program, we wouldn’t be able to do the great work that we’re able to do” said Nichole L. Hodges, an Injury Prevention Coordinator at CIRP.

Since 2008, the Blue Jackets Foundation has been the program’s sole source of bike helmet funding which facilitates helmet distribution through the City of Columbus’ Neighborhood Pride events, local police departments, child care centers, summer programs, camps and other bike safety-related nonprofit organizations.

“The way that Neighborhood Pride does this program is really the way that we like to see it done,” said Hodges. “They’re giving the kids the education, they’re fitting the helmets to each child so they all have a helmet that fits correctly, and then they even have the bike course where the kids can try out the bikes. They learn how to stop at the stop signs, how to give the hand signals and so it’s really like the complete package.”

For the full article, visit the Blue Jackets website.

NCH CIRP Principle Investigator Dr. Gary Smith Awarded National Safety Council’s Green Cross for Safety Award

Each year, the National Safety Council honors safety professionals with the Green Cross for Safety award. The award is bestowed in three categories: Safety Excellence, Safety Innovation, and Safety Advocate.

This year, one of our own has been awarded the Green Cross for Safety award in the Safety Advocate category. Dr. Gary Smith, Director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital received the award last night (May 12) at the Green Cross dinner in Chicago. Other finalists included leaders from the vehicle safety and military industries. Dr. Smith, a tireless advocate for pediatric injury prevention, focuses much of his work on consumer product safety. During his more than 30-year career, he has worked with government agencies, policy makers, child advocacy organizations and industry to prevent child injuries associated with such products as shopping carts, ride-on mowers, food and toys, high-powered magnets, all-terrain vehicles, fireworks, baby walkers, trampolines, bicycles, furniture and televisions, smoke alarms, laundry detergent packets and liquid nicotine for electronic cigarettes. He created Prevent Child Injury and the Midwest Injury Prevention Alliance. He promotes coalitions through mentorship programs focused on the needs in low- and middle-income countries. Join us in congratulating Dr. Smith on being honored with this well-deserved award. 

Jiabin Shen, PhD, Receives American Psychological Association (APA) Achievement Award for Early Career Professionals

Jiabin Shen, PhD, postdoctoral fellow for the Patient-Centered Pediatric Research Program (PC-PReP) in the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research (CPTR) and the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, recently received the American Psychological Association (APA) Achievement Award for Early Career Professionals. Dr. Shen will receive the award during the 2016 APA Annual Convention in Denver, CO in August 2016.

Dr. Shen is a developmental psychologist and injury researcher at Nationwide Children’s. He earned his PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in August 2015. During his doctoral education, Dr. Shen received extensive training in pediatric unintentional injury prevention research from a developmental psychology perspective, including dog-bite injury, drowning and pedestrian injury. His training involved technology-based interventions for injury prevention, such as computerized testimonials and virtual reality.

As a postdoctoral fellow with CIRP, Dr. Shen is working with Huiyun Xiang, MD, PhD, CPTR director, in developing evidence-based rehabilitation programs based on psycho-behavioral theories and virtual reality technology to improve the outcomes of pediatric patients with traumatic brain injuries. He utilizes knowledge and skills in developmental science and technology-based interventions to conduct pediatric injury research. His research interests include development and evaluation of virtual reality-based tools for pain management for pediatric burn injuries and rehabilitation outcome improvement for traumatic brain injuries.

Dr. Shen hopes his research will improve child health and reduce child injuries both domestically and globally.

CIRP Advocates for Youth Helmet Ordinance in Columbus Suburb

Thanks to the collaboration between CIRP researchers, NCH’s Dr. Howard Jacobs, and Healthy New Albany, kids can ride a little safer this summer in New Albany, a northeast suburb of Columbus.

Jacobs, who addressed City Council, said the law was intended to be educational and positive in its message. "In our city, we promote a healthy lifestyle, and while it is great to see so many kids on bicycles, way too many are riding without helmets."

Mayor Sloan Spalding shared a personal story during the March 15 meeting about a bicycle crash he had in 2011 while training for the Pelotonia philanthropic ride. He said he hit the ground head first and cracked his helmet in two. "Without that helmet, I'm not sure I would be here this evening."

Effective April 14, 2016, anyone under 18 riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, roller skates, or any low-horsepower motorized vehicle without a helmet will be given a warning by police on his or her first offense. Second offenders will be required to pay a $25 fine. A $50 fine will be fined for each subsequent offense.

Make Safe Happen App Featured on Telethon; Finalist for National Award

The home safety mobile app (hyperlink: developed by Dr. Lara McKenzie and her team at the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) was featured during the 2015 Children’s Miracle Network Telethon on WBNS-10TV.

The telethon, which raises money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other hospitals across the country, aired May 30 and May 31. The segment included an interview with Dr. McKenzie.

The Make Safe Happen app was also named a finalist in the prestigious Appy Awards, given annually by New York-based MediaPost Communications. The awards recognize the year’s best apps in a variety of categories. Other finalists for 2015 in the family/parenting category were Let’s Get Ready by Sesame Workshop for Sesame Street and ChoreMonster by ChoreMonster Inc. (the eventual winner).

Dr. Ginger Yang Elected to SAVIR Board

Dr. Jingzhen “Ginger” Yang, a principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP), has been elected to the board of directors of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR).

SAVIR is a professional organization that promotes research and the distribution of that research to prevent violence and injuries. Dr. Yang's term runs from 2015-2018.

Dr. Lara McKenzie, also a principal investigator at CIRP, recently completed a term on the SAVIR board.

Home Safety Made Personal: A Childhood Injury Expert Inspired by Her Triplets

When Nationwide Children’s employees Scott and Lara McKenzie, PhD, MA, learned they were expecting triplets in 2010, they were shocked but felt well prepared for the upcoming challenge of baby proofing their home. As a principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP), Lara has dedicated her career to investigating causes of childhood injuries in and around the home and advising parents on ways to reduce risks.

Lara and Scott began implementing the safety advice Lara had been providing for over a decade – and quickly realized the process would be much more difficult than they anticipated. They tried to mount a baby gate at the top of their stairs, as Lara recommends to parents of young children. However, the walls of their home didn’t line up the right way and they couldn’t drill into their wrought-iron railing.

Lara knew how to make her home safer because of her work, and she was willing to do so to protect her three kids. But the recommendations were tough to fulfill. As a professional injury researcher, Lara wondered, “How hard must it have been for all those parents I was advising?” She realized that many parents have their cell phones with them at all times. What if all the safety tips were available through a cell phone app? From her own home safety challenges, Lara came up with a solution – a mobile app to guide families in their efforts to make their homes safer for their kids.

In 2015, Lara’s vision became a reality with the launch of the Make Safe Happen home safety app. Funded by a generous grant from the Nationwide Foundation, the Make Safe Happen app has more than 60,000 downloads – and counting.

Achieving Home Safety with an App

The Make Safe Happen app addresses the difficulties that Lara, Scott and many other parents face. It provides parents and caregivers with room-by-room safety checklists and links to purchase recommended safety products. Since not all homes are the same, the app offers different solutions for different situations.

Users can set reminders for activities like monthly smoke alarm testing, to practice a home fire drill, and to replace smoke alarm batteries annually. Families can also track their progress with each task they complete and receive encouragement as tasks are checked off. The free app is available for iOS and Android systems.

Visit to download the app!

CIRP Organizes Successful Child Road Safety Conference in Costa Rica

The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) helped bring together more than 150 people from 23 countries for Child Road Safety in the Americas: A UN Global Safety Week Regional Congress on May 7 and 8.

The conference, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, included representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, survivor groups, private sector organizations, medical and public health associations, development agencies and global organizations working to improve road safety.

Dr. Gary Smith, CIRP’s founder and director, was a conference co-chair.