October 2, 2020

Movement Towards Violence as a Health Issue

The Movement Towards Violence as a Health Issue is gaining momentum! As we last reported, The Movement had released a comprehensive framework to address violence from a health-based approach. Now, this strategy is being turned into action.

In recent months, advocates have scored major wins. In Maryland, the Public Safety and Violence Prevention Act was passed into law. As enacted, the bill provides $10 million annually for public health approaches to violence prevention. New York’s Governor’s office announced additional funding for SNUG, a community-based street outreach prevention program. Finally, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf announced the Gun Violence Reduction Initiative, which will expand hospital-based violence intervention programs and community-based programs in Philadelphia.

A common thread in these announcements is the availability of new funding for providers who care for victims of violent injury. One especially important development is that the federal and state Victims of Crime Assistance Programs recently experienced a dramatic budgetary increase. The result is that many violence prevention programs are successfully obtaining new funding streams. For physicians who provide direct violence prevention services to violently injured patients, check with your states’ victim of crime office to see if you may be eligible.

Finally, the next in person meeting of the Movement will be held at the Healing Justice Alliance Conference in Denver, Colorado. The team will continue to build upon its existing agenda and strategize for the upcoming year on September 13th, from 7:30-9:30 AM. All are welcome to join! Contact myself at kfischer@som.umaryland.edu for more information!

Kyle Fischer, MD, FACEP

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