In the late 1980’s, Dr. Jim Merchant of the Occupational and Environmental Health division of the UI College of Medicine was inspired by a presentation on agricultural injuries showing at the time a 2:1 rural urban ratio of injury fatality rates. It became clear to Merchant, who would later become the UI IPRC’s first director: “We need to be focusing on this.”
The UI IPRC was established in 1991 with core funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the agency’s response to the growing awareness of injury’s staggering toll. The UI IPRC became the 8th university-based research initiative receiving CDC grants to build “centers for excellence in injury research.” The UI IPRC was also the first center located in Federal Region 7 to serve Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.
Since the beginning UI IPRC has integrated multiple disciplines, bringing together academic, practice, and policy communities to address the grand public health challenge of reducing the burden of traumatic injuries and violence. As a rural institution, UI IPRC has prioritized injury prevention in rural populations, but has active programs locally, nationally, and internationally that address rural to urban populations.
As the center attracted new faculty, collaborators and community partners, it created a critical mass of partners who helped broaden research activities to a wide range of injury types and their consequences.
Over 25 years later, the UI IPRC research team has grown to include 66 researchers in 25 departments at 5 colleges at the University of Iowa. The Center has expanded to serve additional states: Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.
- UI IPRC released, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa’s first injury and violence prevention state strategic plan.
- UI IRPC launched a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to reduce violence and multiple forms of harmful behaviors in the military.
- UI IPRC publishes a COVID-19 resource page to address injuries & violence related to the pandemic.
- UIIPRC holds a webinar on research methods to address firearms injuries.
- UI IPRC releases report “Policy and Program Recommendations to Reduce Overdose Deaths in Rural Iowa.”
- UI IPRC highlights rural injury & violence risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Dr. Carri Casteel leads the center as director
- UI IPRC works with an Iowa Health system on a national study that enrolled nearly 5,500 older Americans (including 360 Iowans) in a falls prevention intervention trial.
- UI IPRC held a Rural Overdose Stakeholder meeting to identify priorities to address rural overdose concerns in the state.
- UI IPRC publishes report that helps us understand for the first time how bicycle safety is being taught in the U.S.
- UI IPRC testifies in U.S. injury control research center (ICRC) congressional briefing on opioids in Washington D.C.
- Prescription opioid stakeholder meeting in Des Moines
- Iowa Bicycling Safety Policy Action Forum
- Community forum on youth violence prevention in Cedar Rapids
- Launch of HEAR web toolkit to reduce bullying HEAR web toolkit to reduce bullying
- Second Burden of Injury in Iowa report
- Drowsy Driving Summit
- UI IPRC partners with UI Policy Center for Automated Car Conference, Iowa City, Iowa.
- “Heroin and Opioids: A Community Crisis” summit, Iowa City, Iowa
- Iowa Violent Deaths Reporting System (IVDRS) is launched to collect data on violent deaths from death certificates and reports from medical examiners and law enforcement.
- LINK for injured kids (funded by PCORI)
- Premiere of “Out of Bounds,” a play about cyberbullying
- PrepKids: helping families with children who have special needs prepare for disasters (funded by USDA)
- Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Forum, Iowa City, Iowa
- 10th annual “Keeping Kids Safe: Child and Youth Injury Prevention” (conference), Des Moines, Iowa
- “Progress Through Partnerships” SAVIR/Safe States Alliance/CDC Grantee Joint Annual Meeting, Coralville, Iowa
- 66 researchers in 23 UI departments generate $105 million of injury research funding 2006-2011
- UI IPRC celebrates its 20-year anniversary
- Steering Teens Safe, a parent-based teen driving program (funded by CDC/NCIPC)
- CrimeFree Business: a workplace violence prevention program for small businesses (funded by NIOSH)
- First Burden of Injury in Iowa report
- New Iowa child restraint law takes effect.
- First course offered online through UI Global Campus: “Injury and Violence Prevention” benefiting public health researchers and practitioners in other countries, including The Gambia, India and Croatia
- Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa leads the center as director
- 39 researchers in 16 UI departments generate $52 million of injury research funding 2001-2006.
- UI IPRC establishes NIH-funded international trauma training program.
- 1st annual “Keeping Kids Safe: Child and Youth Injury Prevention” (conference), Des Moines, Iowa
- Workplace Violence Intervention Research Workshop, Washington, DC, produces a seminal report that leads to $2 million of funding appropriated for research on workplace violence
- The creation of a UI College of Public Health in 1999 creates opportunities of a growing pool of students, new degree. programs, and new faculty with interests in injury prevention
- Tractor Risk Abatement and Control: The Policy Conference, Iowa City, Iowa
- UI IPRC conducts the first Iowa Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Survey.
- Dr. Craig Zwerling leads the Center as director from 1995 to 2006.
- “Health Research Using Advanced Driving Simulation” (conference), Iowa City, Iowa, highlighting this emerging technology
- National Violence Prevention Conference, Des Moines, Iowa
- Bicycle and Motorcycle Head Injury Prevention Symposium, Iowa City, Iowa
- “Firearm Injuries: A Public Health Approach” (conference), Iowa City & Des Moines, Iowa, in response to the tragic shootings on the UI campus in 1991
- UI IPRC established under the leadership of Dr. Jim Merchant, the Center’s first director