Campus News

Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center CDC grant recipient to prevent and respond to violence

Jacqueline Seals
Jacqueline Seals is a senior epidemiologist at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC). Photo by Linda Kim, UK College of Public Health.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2023) — The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), housed in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, in collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) has been awarded an $850,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the timeliness of surveillance data derived from emergency department (ED) visits for firearm injuries, other violence-related injuries, and mental health conditions. The Advancing Violence Epidemiology in Real Time (AVERT) program at KIPRC will partner with state and local hospitals over a five-year period to strengthen efforts in Kentucky to prevent and respond to violence.

The AVERT program builds on CDC’s former Firearm Injury Surveillance Through Emergency Rooms initiative by continuing surveillance data on ED visits for all firearm injuries (regardless of intent) with the addition of surveillance on other violence-related injuries and mental health conditions. KIPRC’s partnership with state and local hospitals will collect near-real-time data on ED visits to assist in identifying areas of violence and responding to and preventing violence. Additionally, this data can be used to identify, track and address disparities in ED visits. With this grant, KIPRC will be able to provide timely and pertinent data to the public and to KIPRC partners to create targeted prevention and response strategies for addressing violence in Kentucky.*

KIPRC’s AVERT program also has received supplemental funding to link data on firearm injuries, other violence-related injuries, and mental health conditions with other data sources to help create a more comprehensive and accurate data set. This data linkage will help to better understand risk factors affecting Kentuckians and allow for more targeted interventions and preventive measures. This linkage also will help identify inequities in violence-related ED visits, highlight disproportionately affected populations, and gain individual and community-level context about violent incidents.

“KIPRC is grateful for the support from the CDC to bring this new program to our center,” said Jacqueline Seals, Dr.P.H., principal investigator of the AVERT program at KIPRC. “We are honored to share in the effort to respond to and prevent violence for our Kentuckians. This grant is an opportunity for us to make an impact on Kentuckians affected by violence.”

Any organization with a mission to improve community health can request data from KIPRC. If your organization needs summarized data for residents of the Commonwealth, submit a data request and the data team will be happy to assist you. Please include all pertinent information for the request. Data requests typically take up to two weeks to complete. The data team will contact you at the email address you provide to confirm they’ve received your request and address any questions. 

More information about AVERT can be found here.

KIPRC is a unique partnership between the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) and the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health. KIPRC serves both as an academic injury prevention research center and as a bona fide agent of KDPH for statewide injury prevention and control.

*KIPRC has no legislative or regulatory capabilities.

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $250,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

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