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Injury and Violence Prevention

According to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, nearly 30 million emergency room visits and more than 180,000 deaths are attributable to injury and violence each year. In fact, injury is the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 in the United States.  Millions more Americans are injured and survive, only to cope with lifelong disabilities. In a single year, injury and violence ultimately cost the United States $406 billion, including over $80 billion in medical costs and $326 billion in lost productivity. Preventing injuries is extremely cost effective, and it is imperative that innovative and effective injury and violence prevention programs work to prevent premature deaths, particularly among vulnerable populations of children, young families, and older adults.

Local health departments (LHDs) play an important role in coordinating the broader public health system’s efforts to address the causes of injury and violence. LHDs are well suited to unite community partners to address the causes of injury- and violence-related inequities through policy, environment, and system change.

NACCHO’s Injury and Violence Prevention (IVP) Program strengthens the capacity of LHDs to effectively address the causes of injury and violence in their communities by creating learning opportunities, developing tools and resources, providing technical support, and facilitating peer exchange.

In the Spotlight

In 2007, Baltimore City Health Department launched Safe Streets, the longest running national replication site of the Cure Violence model (formerly called CeaseFire Chicago). Safe Streets follows this framework: (1) identify brewing conflicts, retaliatory events, and those that are at highest risk for violence, (2) intervene, mediate conflicts, and reduce the risk for those involved, and (3) alter behavior by changing how people think about violence so it is no longer seen as a way to resolve conflicts. Evaluation results from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health show that Safe Streets significantly reduced violence in Baltimore. More »

Injury and Violence Prevention: A Local Health Department Perspective

In 2011, NACCHO surveyed local health departments (LHDs) to learn more about LHD infrastructure and capacity to prevent unintentional injury and violence. NACCHO also conducted eight key informant interviews to learn more about LHD infrastructure and capacity. Based on the results of this infrastructure and capacity assessment, NACCHO issues five recommendations for federal, state, and local government.. More »