In association with the North Carolina Injury & Violence Prevention Branch, the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center is launching a multi-state opioid overdose prevention initiative. This initiative will connect harm reduction practitioners from Central Appalachia in order to build a network for peers to share their knowledge and expertise. Through this project, we plan to create a peer-to-peer learning network. The learning network will support harm reduction work in communities across Central Appalachia, including grassroots community groups and public health practitioners, to identify successful strategies for addressing the challenges presented by the opioid overdose epidemic.
UNC IPRC prepares and provides legislative briefings and fact sheets to policymakers, including the NC state legislature and their staff. Fact sheets and presentations are also provided to key practitioner and advocacy groups, such as the NC Medical Board, to utilize in their efforts to support safety legislation. Additionally, the IPRC participates in “Hill Day” visits to elected federal officials. These provide an opportunity for IPRC leadership to meet with federal elected officials and/or their staff to share key information related to injury and violence prevention priorities.
We collaborate with partners (including UNC Federal Affairs, other Injury Control Research Centers, Safe States Alliance, and the National Violence Prevention Network) in planning these visits. In 2021, UNC IPRC supported and attended several events on Capitol Hill. The most recent of these was National Violent Death Reporting System Hill Day 2018. Dr. Beth Moracco (IPRC’s Associate Director) and Scott Proescholdbell, MPH (IVPB lead epidemiologist) visited with Senators Burr (R-NC) and Tillis (R-NC) and Congressmen Price (D-NC), Walker (R-NC), and McHenry (R-NC).
The IPRC’s outreach materials, which highlight evidence-based information related to injury and violence prevention, have assisted policymakers in developing and considering potential legislation regarding opioid overdose prevention, motorcycle helmet laws, fireworks sales, driver licensing, and return to play following concussion.
Injury-Free NC aims to promote workforce capacity in the primary prevention of injury and violence throughout our state. A workforce capacity needs assessment of the North Carolina injury and violence prevention workforce identified specific training needs among practitioners at both local and state levels. In response to these needs, the IPRC is collaborating with the Division of Public Health Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (DHHS IVPB) to develop and implement training programs and tools for local practitioners through the Injury-Free NC Academy and workshops to increase the capacity of researchers and practitioners to utilize data from the NC Violent Death Reporting System (NC-VDRS). Recent training programs included building the capacity of multi-sector teams across NC to establish harm reduction programs, including syringe exchange programs; and implementing best practices for suicide prevention with youth.
Our Seminars, Symposia, and Speakers Series take place on the UNC campus and throughout the state and include UNC-affiliated researchers, visiting lecturers, and subject-matter experts. These events provide a forum for researchers, practitioners, advocates, and policy staff to connect around various injury and violence prevention topics. Learn more about our Patricia F. Waller Annual Lecture here.
IPRC has recently launched a webinar series! Learn more here.
Visit our Events page to learn more about past and upcoming seminars, symposia, and speakers series.