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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Joins Health Care Professionals, Community Leaders to Discuss New Legislation on the Need to Classify & Treat Violence as a Public Health Issue

Feb 22, 2018
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as a Member on the Appropriations Committee and Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, hosted a roundtable to discuss his new legislation that addresses the need to treat violence as the public health issue that it is. You can watch the entire discussion via livestream here.

“When planning this discussion, we couldn’t have known that our nation would be reeling from yet another school shooting just a week prior; but, unfortunately, we also couldn’t have been surprised,” said Rep. Quigley. “Now is the time for America to wake up and see that in many ways, everything we know about violence prevention is wrong. Now is the time to treat violence for what it is: an epidemic. For years, public health experts have done the research and developed the data that proves violence is much more like a disease than a bad choice. Violence is contagious, but we can help break the cycle by employing a multi-faceted, multi-sector health approach that addresses the root causes of violence, not just the symptoms.”

In May 2017, Rep. Quigley introduced H.R. 2757, 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.

For the discussion, Rep. Quigley was joined by the following panelists: Gary Slutkin, MD, founder and CEO of Cure Violence and professor at UIC School of Public Health; Posh M. Charles, Vice President of External Affairs, Northwestern Medicine; Rebecca Levin, Executive Director of Strengthening Chicago's Youth, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; and Nichole Carter, Director of Community Strategy & Development, Bright Star Community Outreach – TURN Center.

According to the FBI and the CDC, on a typical day, approximately 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 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.

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.