Dr. Andrea C. Gielen, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who has dedicated her career to improving the health and safety of women and children, today was presented with the 2016 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). The CDC Foundation with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation honored Dr. Gielen for her pioneering efforts to reduce childhood injury and domestic violence.
As director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Dr. Gielen has dedicated her career to improving the health and safety of women and children through health promotion, health education and health communication. Her applied research and scholarly practice have been focused on both unintentional and violent injuries, particularly as these affect low-income women and children.
During her time as community health educator in the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Gielen and her colleagues created Maryland’s first child passenger safety program, Project KISS (Kids in Safety Seats). Working in partnership with pediatricians, law enforcement and community organizations, the program created new educational resources, developed the first car seat loaner programs in the state and established coalitions that successfully advocated for passage of Maryland’s child passenger safety law.
Dr, Gielen has led several research and program development efforts with a focus on injury and violence prevention. She was instrumental in creating the Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety Center, which offers free safety education and low cost safety products for patients, families and clinicians to help prevent a wide range of childhood injuries. To expand the program beyond the hospital and into the community, Dr, Gielen worked with the Baltimore City Fire Department to develop a Mobile Safety Center. The safety center model is being replicated nationally and internationally.
“Throughout her career, Andrea has demonstrated a strong commitment to injury prevention and control. She has shown tremendous dedication to finding innovative ways to improve the health and safety of vulnerable women and children,” said Dr. James Fries, professor of medicine emeritus, Stanford University and chairman of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, which annually presents the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award.
Dr. Gielen currently directs one of only 10 U.S. centers for excellence in injury research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has trained more than 2,500 public health students in the fundamentals of health promotion; she has served as the primary advisor for two dozen doctoral candidates, and mentored almost a hundred masters degree students. Additionally, Dr. Gielen has served in leadership roles for Johns Hopkins University, SOPHE, American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Society of Advancement of Violence and Injury Research. The recipient of numerous honors, Dr. Gielen has received the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) Research Laureate Award, the APHA Award for Excellence, and was named by CDC as one of “20 of 20” Distinguished Leaders in Injury Prevention.