Debra Houry, MD, MPH, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, has been named director of the Emory Center for Injury Control. Her appointment became effective August 1.
Jointly sponsored by the School of Medicine and Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, the Emory Center for Injury Control is dedicated to reducing the toll of injury-related deaths, disability and costs worldwide. It uses various strategies to pursue this mission, including injury prevention, emergency care, community education and public policy. Emory's Center is one of only four such programs in the country officially designated as a "collaborating center" by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Houry's role was previously held by Arthur Kellermann, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory. Dr. Kellermann founded the Emory Center for Injury Control and served as its director for the first 13 years. He is stepping down to take a one-year sabbatical as Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C.
Over the past 13 years, Emory Center for Injury Control faculty and staff have conduced important research and community projects on reducing juvenile and adult gun violence, preventing unintentional firearm injuries, child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, teen driving, prevention and treatment of brain injuries, and pre-hospital trauma care. The Center has drawn support from a wide range of agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute of Justice, the National Highway Safety Administration, the State of Georgia, and several foundations.
"I'm very honored to be stepping into Dr. Kellermann's shoes," says Dr. Houry. "He has been an amazing researcher and speaker in injury prevention and a wonderful mentor to me for many years. I look forward to this opportunity and hope to reach out to community groups as well as researchers at Emory, Morehouse, and the CDC to enhance the collaborations and research of our Center."
Dr. Houry is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her emergency medicine residency training at Denver Health Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. She joined the faculty at Emory in 2002, the same year she became associate director of the Center for Injury Control. Her primary research interests are in the prevention of violence against women, mental health issues related to violence, public health, and emergency care. She is currently the principal investigator on two federally-funded grants totaling $1.6 million, one entitled "Computer-based screening for domestic violence and mental health symptoms," the other "Safety and Effectiveness of Computer Screening for domestic violence victims and perpetrators."
Dr. Houry has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on injury prevention and violence. She is the recipient of several national awards, including the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Young Investigator Award in 2004 and the Jay Drotman Award in 2002, given annually by the American Public Health Association for the most outstanding young public health professional in the country. She has also been awarded the American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum Young Investigator Award and the American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award.
Dr. Houry serves on several national committees for the American College of Emergency Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Physicians, and the Academy for Violence and Abuse. She is an associate editor of Annals of Emergency Medicine and has chaired the national meeting for the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in 2006. She was re-appointed to that role for next spring.