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Congratulations, Dr. Vakkalanka!

Congratulations to Dr. Priyanka Vakkalanka for receiving UI Injury Prevention Research Center Pilot grant funding for her project ‘Rural-Urban  Disparities  in  Suicide  Deaths  among  Military-Affiliated  and  Non-Military Civilians’!  The project is slated to begin July 1, 2022.  Below is the executive summary of the project:


Compared to the general US population, Veterans and military members are at a higher risk suicide due to risk factors such as post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and sleep issues.  Previous work  from  the  Centers  for  Disease  Control  and  Prevention  (CDC)  has  also  demonstrated  significant increases in rates of suicides in primarily rural areas.  While mental health services are available, a key challenge is ensuring appropriate access and delivery of care in rural areas. In this work, we will investigate differences in trends in suicide and means of suicide by these two key sub-groups, military members and rural residents.  We will evaluate differences in circumstantial risk  factors  between  these  groups  which  will  then  guide  community  programs  and  targeted  interventions within local communities.  We anticipate that this study’s findings will be of great interest  to  injury  researchers,  mental  health  providers,  primary  care  providers,  and  local  and  regional health departments.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022