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Christopher Lasecki, a second-year medical student at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, presented at the 47th annual Western Trauma Association Meeting in Snowbird, Utah.
At the conference, Lasecki presented “Geospatial Mapping Can Be Used to Identify Geographic Areas and Social Factors Associated with Intentional Injury as Targets for Prevention Efforts Distinct to a Given Community.”
His research explored the relationship between violent incidents in the community and socioeconomic and geographic factors. Using geographic information systems (GIS) and the trauma registry, he created maps showing the distribution of intentional injury in the community surrounding USA Medical Center during the past 10 years.
“GIS allows the creation of detailed maps showing the highest risk areas and also determines factors that may be unique to those areas,” Lasecki said. “All of this information is specific to the patient population of the institution conducting the study.”
According to Lasecki, many hospitals across the country are creating programs to provide resources and support to victims of violence. He said his research is important because there is a great deal of debate concerning which programs are the most efficient and make the largest impact reducing violence.
Through his research, Lasecki concluded spatial representation of trauma registry data using GIS to be an effective method used to identify high-risk areas for intentional injury. “The goal of this body of research is to eventually create a proven and standardized method for hospital-based violence prevention,” Lasecki said. “It will be exciting to see the future advancements in this field.”
Although this project was his first presentation, Lasecki said he credits the summer research program at the USA College of Medicine and his faculty advisors for preparing him for the meeting. “Despite how busy they are, the trauma and critical care surgeons at USA Medical Center spent a great deal of time mentoring me and preparing me for the conference,” he said.
“It is unusual for second-year medical students to present at a national trauma meeting, but this was Chris’s research,” said Dr. Sidney Brevard, professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine and a trauma and critical care surgeon at USA Medical Center. “We gave him an idea, and he developed the methodology and performed the research himself. He deserved to present this project, and this will be recognized by residency programs when he applies for the match in two years.”
His project was a collaboration between the USA Department of Surgery and USA Department of Geography. “I would encourage anyone at South who is interested in research to look for opportunities to collaborate with other departments,” Lasecki said. “We should take advantage of the fact that our university has such a diverse group of experts in a variety of fields.”
Learn more about the Western Trauma Association here.
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