WATCH: “Violence the #1 Cause of Death in Many Cities for Our Young People”

With the surge of tragic violent acts in our country, Hospitals and Health Networks recently reported on the ways hospitals can get involved with violence prevention. Author, Mary Stempniak, cites the Cure Violence model as an example of a program that helps to intervene and help prevent violent situations from occurring both in the community and within hospital and health systems.

Stempniak became familiar with Cure Violence after seeing founder, Gary Slutkin, speak at the Mayo Clinic’s Transform 2013 symposium. At the symposium, Stempniak was able to spend a few minutes with Dr. Slutkin recording his views on violence. The two discussed Dr. Slutkin’s view that violence is a public health issue and should be treated the same way as a contagious disease, especially with the enormous numbers of young people it is affecting.

Dr. Slutkin says,

“Violence is actually the number one cause of death in many of our cities of young people… It’s the cancer or heart disease of the young…A violent event leads to more cases of violence, so if you look at it clinically or epidemiologically, it’s being transmitted.”

The Cure Violence model uses the same science-based strategies being used globally to fight other epidemic diseases. We train carefully selected members of the community–disease control workers who are trusted insiders–to anticipate where violence may occur and to intervene before it erupts–just like you might use health workers to find early cases of tuberculosis, SARS, or even bird flu. Other very highly trained health or epidemic control workers take on the specific tasks of behavior change, and changing norms. Transmission is averted and spread limited.

From the video:

“By applying the interruption, the outreach, the behavior change and the overall change of the norms in the community… we see reductions of 40 to 70 percent in shootings and killings.”

>>Learn: The Cure Violence Model

>>Watch: Dr. Slutkin’s Discussion with Marty Stempniak