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Thomas J. Songer, MPH, PhD


​With more than 20 years of epidemiological research, Dr. Songer’s areas of research include, diabetes epidemiology, diabetes health economics, diabetes and motor vehicle crashes, hearing and motor vehicle crashes, and the medical costs of child abuse.

Among Dr. Songer’s published papers include the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, the American Journal of Preventative Medicine and Diabetes Care.

Dr. Songer received a bachelor’s degree in pre-professional studies at the University of Notre Dame in 1983, followed by a master’s degree in public health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 1986. He also received a Ph.D., in epidemiology at Pitt and a master’s of science in health planning and financing at the London School of Economics in 1991.

In April 2003, Dr. Songer presented unique research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Safety in Numbers meeting in Atlanta that confirm men are more than twice as likely to die during thunderstorms than are women, with the greatest excess deaths involving lightning or flash floods.

Currently, Dr. Songer is the principal investigator of three studies related to injury prevention. The first is a study on the medical costs of child abuse. This project seeks to identify the financial costs associated with child abuse in Allegheny County.

In the second study, Dr. Songer will examine wheelchair use and injury risks in transportation accidents. This study will identify the frequency of injury to wheelchair use during motor vehicle transport and clarify transportation safety issues among wheelchair users. In the third study, Dr. Songer will investigate motor vehicle crashes in persons with Type 1 diabetes to examine if differences exist in the frequency of crashes between diabetic cases and non-diabetic controls. The study also will evaluate the relative contributions of diabetes management, hypoglycemia and late-stage complications of diabetes risk factors for automobile crashes.