Building Bridges Speaker Series
It is frequently stated that it takes an average of 17 years for research evidence to reach clinical practice. This research to practice lag is a concern that has crossed numerous disciplinary boundaries – including education, psychology, and mathematics – for nearly a century. However, this lag may potentially be more harmful and even dangerous in those disciplines that directly promote public health, such as nursing and medicine. We believe this is certainly the case in the field of violence prevention.
As part of our mission at the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence, we seek understand how we can minimize this lag between research and prevention practices. While the reasons are likely multifaceted and complex, we believe that researchers and stakeholders from other professional domains (e.g., policy influencers, non-profits and community-based service agencies, victims services providers and advocates, criminal justice, etc.) are oftentimes not partnering together in ways that maximize their collective ability to influence policy, increase resources, and translate research in findings into practice more efficiently. To this end, the Building Bridges Speaker series aims to bring together members from the fields of science and practice to discuss the ways we might develop partnerships and work collaboratively toward advancing the mission of violence prevention.
Melissa Merrick, PhD.
Thursday, March 24, 2022 Time 10:30am-12:00pm
In-person location: Student Center East, Speaker’s Auditorium Rm 120
55 Gilmer Street Southeast
Atlanta, GA 30303
Melissa T. Merrick, PhD, is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. She has more than 20 years of clinical, research, and leadership experience related to the etiology, course, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Previously, Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta. She is recognized as one of the country’s foremost experts on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs): in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, she served for 8 years as the lead scientist for the ACEs study at CDC and is the lead author of CDC’s Vital Signs: ACEs, the most nationally representative report on the topic.
Dr. Merrick successfully leverages her significant clinical and research experiences to communicate and disseminate the critical public health importance of preventing early adversity to key stakeholders with diverse priorities, backgrounds, and knowledge, including legislators, business and civic leaders, and members of the academic and medical communities. She is one of the principal architects of Thriving Families, Safer Children: A National Commitment to Well-being, an effort that aims to reshape child welfare in the United States by focusing explicitly on equity and prevention. Thriving Families unites PCA America, the Children’s Bureau, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Casey Family Programs, among numerous other local partners, to proactively create the conditions and contexts for strong families and communities across the country.