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Quigley Introduces the Public Health Violence Prevention Act

May 25, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the Public Health Violence Prevention Act to establish a “National Center for Violence Prevention” (NCVP) under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The center will be tasked with creating new programs, including the Public Health Violence Prevention Program (PHVP), aimed at deploying health-focused responses to violence and the prevention of violence across all sectors.

“More and more research shows us that violence is a disease that demands a public health approach in response,” said Rep. Quigley. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to ensure we apply the same research methods, communication efforts, and innovative initiatives to violence as we do other public health epidemics. Violence of all forms is wreaking havoc in our communities in Chicago and across the entire country, which is why we need a multi-faceted approach to identify the challenges and seek the resources and solutions needed to help save lives.”

The National Center for Violence Prevention (NHVP) will create a variety of offices and programs designed to research violence prevention methods, evaluate outcomes projects, identify and promote policies and legislation, and educate communities on health-based violence prevention, including the Office of Applied Violence Prevention Research, National Advisory Board on Violence Prevention, Violence Prevention Training Program, and more.

According to the FBI and the CDC, on a typical day, 39 Americans are murdered, 117 commit suicide, and 27,000 are victims of domestic abuse. Violence is a public health crisis that can be reduced an estimated 30 percent by implementing a multi-sector health approach to preventing violent crime. It is estimated that this violence amounts to an annual national expense of $450 billion. This proposed $1 billion investment across the following three programs will save approximately 18,000 lives and $135 billion each year.

The Public Health Violence Prevention Program (PHVP) will oversee grant programs for local jurisdictions to plan, implement, and evaluate a violence prevention health system. These grants will be dispersed to Public Health Departments, universities, and non-profits who will collaborate with and disseminate funding to the following sectors: public health departments, universities, criminal justice organizations, primary and secondary school districts, hospitals, behavioral health providers, primary care providers, community-based organizations, and academic medical centers. To ensure the most efficient use of funds, grant awards will preference projects in “high-violence” cities, counties—areas with the highest rates of violence per capita, as well as those who have seen a spike in all forms of violence over a period of time.

"On behalf of the Movement towards Violence as a Health Issue, a Collaborative representing over 40 cities, 40 national organizations and 400 experts from across the country—we are tremendously thankful for the leadership of Congressman Quigley and his office. The Public Health Violence Prevention Act will save tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars by implementing health-based evidence-informed practices that have proven effective at the local level. This integrated, community-centered approach that allows for health and all related sectors to play their critical roles in preventing violence will transform our families and communities by reducing trauma, promoting equity and bringing healing,” said Gary Slutkin, M.D., CEO and founder of Cure Violence.

“Violence is not just an issue for law enforcement. It's a health crisis, and the health system can play a vital role in response,” said Joshua M. Sharfstein, M.D., Professor of the Practice, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “I commend Congressman Quigley and his colleagues on introducing legislation that reflects the urgency of violence prevention.”