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O’Neal, Dawson Honored for Injury Prevention Work

November 18, 2013

As the Emory Center for Injury Control (ECIC) celebrates its 20th anniversary, the organization honored 20 champions of injury and violence prevention in Georgia. Two of those individuals call the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) home: Patrick O’Neal, M.D., and Lisa Dawson.

At ECIC’s anniversary celebration on Nov. 14, O’Neal and Dawson were honored for their work in preventing injury and violence across Georgia. ECIC Director Deb Houry, M.D., said the center wanted to honor their individual accomplishments as well as their dedication to ECIC’s work.

“Both of them have been huge supporters and collaborators for our center for many years,” she said.

O’Neal, DPH’s director of health protection, was chosen as one of the center’s injury prevention luminaries for his efforts to build a statewide network of trauma care, a project that he has pursued for nearly 35 years. The goal has been to create a network of designated trauma centers, emergency transport services and health care providers to make sure that Georgians suffering major trauma anywhere in the state can get emergency medical care within a time period called the “golden hour.”

“If they don’t get care within that golden hour, many trauma patients will bleed to death,” O’Neal said. “For pediatric patients, there’s an even smaller window. We call it the platinum half-hour.”

Currently, Georgia has 24 designated trauma centers across the state; the goal is to have 30 centers.

O’Neal said a statewide trauma network not only provides high-quality care for injured patients, but it also can help prevent them.

“The system allows effective and valid data collection that can be used to gather and analyze data that we can use to try to reduce injuries,” O’Neal said. “The return on investment is far greater with prevention than with providing care after an injury has occurred.”

Dawson, director of DPH’s Office of Injury Prevention, has worked with ECIC for more than a decade, soon after the center was established by Arthur Kellermann, M.D., a national leader of injury prevention who is now dean of the Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Currently, Dawson is ECIC’s associate director of outreach.

“Lisa was a former student of the center's injury class and has gone on to lead injury prevention efforts throughout the state of Georgia,” Houry said.

Dawson said ECIC is essential in Georgia because it brings together professionals from all disciplines to share information and resources on injury prevention. She said she was humbled to be named as one of the center’s injury prevention luminaries.

“I feel like a tiny goldfish swimming with dolphins,” Dawson said.

For 20 years, ECIC has grown from a small research unit at Emory University to a research consortium of 12 universities across Georgia. The center focuses on translating injury prevention research into practice.

“Our twentieth anniversary is very exciting for us,” Houry said. “We are proud of the direct impact our Center has on injury prevention in the region.”

In addition to O’Neal and Dawson, ECIC honored the following individuals:

  • Rep. John Lewis
  • Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver
  • Rep. Alan Powell
  • Sen. Jason Carter
  • Sen. Cecil Staton
  • David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Chief Kelvin Cochran
  • Robert Dallas
  • Wayne Reece
  • David Tatum
  • Lou Arcangeli
  • Sue Binder, M.D.
  • Philip Graitcer, D.M.D.
  • Ricardo Martinez, M.D.
  • Arthur Kellermann, M.D.
  • Kidist Bartolomeos
  • Sheryl Heron, M.D.
  • L. Shakiyla Smith


For more information on ECIC, check out this video.