Andrea Gielen Receives 2016 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award for Preventing Injuries Among Women and Children

Charlotte, NC – Andrea C. Gielen, Sc.D, Sc.M., 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 Gielen for her pioneering efforts to reduce childhood injury and domestic violence.

As director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, 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, 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.

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, 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.

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, 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, 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.

The Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, first presented in 1992, recognizes a health educator who has made a substantial contribution to advancing the field of health education or health promotion through research, program development or program delivery.  The award was named in memory of Elizabeth Fries, who was professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth and co-director of the Cancer Outreach Program. She made many important contributions to program development, implementation and evaluation. The Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award recipients receive a $25,000 prize, which Gielen will use to advance the work in child safety. The award and lecture have been presented annually at the SOPHE conference, which draws some 900 health education researchers, faculty, practitioners and students for the latest research and practice in health education. Founded in 1950, SOPHE’s mission is to provide global leadership in health promotion and to promote the health of society.

The James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in 1991. The mission of the Foundation is to identify and honor individuals, organizations or institutions which have made great contributions to the health of the public.

The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, which established and funds the awards. As of 2016, the CDC Foundation manages and administers the Fries Foundation’s public health award programs, which include the Fries Prize for Improving Health and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award.