UW News

March 9, 2005

Mock named injury prevention center director

Dr. Charles Mock has been named director of the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. Mock, a University of Washington (UW) associate professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Surgery and Epidemiology, first joined the HIPRC in 1992 as a trauma fellow.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles Mock as director of the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center,” wrote Drs. Carlos Pellegrini, Bruder Stapleton, Scott Barnhart and Ronald Maier in a joint statement. “Dr. Mock brings great energy and expertise to the Center. Under Dr. Mock, we look forward to the Center continuing its long tradition of superb research and public education. We would also like to take a moment to thank Dr. Fred Rivara for his stewardship of the Center during this time of transition.”

Pellegrini serves as chair of the UW Department of Surgery, Stapleton as chair of the UW Department of Pediatrics, Barnhart as medical director of Harborview Medical Center, and Maier as surgeon-in-chief at Harborview.

“I have three main goals in taking this new role,” Mock says. “The first is to support the great work being done by the researchers and staff at the HIPRC. The second is for us to be more involved with the community and local governments to employ proven injury-control strategies more fully to make the environment safer for all of us.

“My third goal is to increase the HIPRC’s international reach. Our considerable experience and expertise can significantly lessen the burden of death and suffering in the developing world, where 90 percent of all injury deaths and 98 percent of childhood injury deaths occur.”

Mock earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Brown University in 1977 and his medical degree from the Brown University School of Medicine in 1980. He received a master’s in public health from the UW in 1994 and a Ph.D. from the UW in 1997.

Mock’s primary research interests include the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN); the essential trauma care project, an international effort to promote improvements in trauma outcomes; capacity building for injury control; and strengthening injury control and trauma systems in developing countries, including Ghana, Mexico, Vietnam and India.

Mock has worked closely with colleagues in these countries to identify affordable and sustainable ways to augment trauma care services. An example is his work with the Hanoi Department of Health Services to establish an EMS training center in Hanoi, enhance the quality of EMS service delivery, and improve clinical hospital equipment and ambulances.

“The collaboration of injury research at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Medical School is most commendable,” wrote Dr. Richard W. Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport in Ghana, in a letter to Mock. “I wish to express our sincere gratitude for your continued support and interest in the development and evolution of standard study and practice of traumatology in Ghana, and assure you of our continued collaboration. Thank you for your unflinching support of our nation.”

Mock co-edited Guidelines for Essential Trauma Care, published by the World Health Organization in 2004. The Guidelines promote organized approaches to injury prevention and injury care for developing nations, with a goal of setting “achievable standards for trauma treatment services which could be made available to almost every injured person in the world.”

Citing death rates from motor vehicle crashes in Latin America — significantly higher than rates in the U.S. and Canada — Mock co-authored “Road Accidents, Injuries, Disabilities and Death: Why the Neglect When So Much Can Be Done?” in Newsweek en EspaƱol in 2003. The article emphasizes the importance of gathering detailed information on road deaths, the value of low-cost improvements in trauma care, seat-belt usage, vehicle engineering, and traffic laws as contributing to decreases in severe injury and death.

Mock also serves as principal investigator for the HIPRC’s CIREN site. Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, CIREN’s mission is to improve the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of motor vehicle crash injuries to reduce deaths, disabilities, and human and economic costs.

Mock has co-authored research on such topics as the increased risk of crash injury and death to larger occupants; injury patterns resulting from crashes of mismatched vehicles; and injuries and death to children in rollover vehicle crashes.