St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission Releases Statement on Policing and Violence Prevention

Written by Kim Furlow, Institute for Public Health The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission (VPC) has released a list of recommendations for policing and violence prevention. The recommendations are the culmination of a year of community listening sessions, interviews with law enforcement stakeholders, and an online police legitimacy survey. This process has been part […]

Gun Violence Initiative commemorates the past five years, releases video & report on National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Written by Kim Furlow, Institute for Public Health To commemorate National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 5th, the Gun Violence Initiative is releasing a five-year report and video chronicling the evolution of the Gun Violence Initiative. Spearheaded by Chancellor Emeritus Mark S. Wrighton, his wife Risa Zwerling Wrighton and the Institute for Public Health, […]

Gun Violence & Human Rights: Part 2

The Gun Violence Initiative at the Institute for Public Health turned five in April 2020. This blog is related to the key themes of the initiative: What we know, what we need to know, and what to do about this critical issue. Joint Report on Gun Violence Makes an Impact on the UN Human Rights […]

Educator to convener to partner: The evolution of the Gun Violence Initiative

Written by Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam, BA in International and Area Studies, Washington University in St. Louis. At the time of publishing, Victoria Grace was an intern at the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research The Gun Violence Initiative at the Institute for Public Health turns five in April 2020. This blogpost relates to the […]

Gun Violence Initiative celebrates five year anniversary

The Gun Violence Initiative at the Institute for Public Health was launched in spring 2015 to tackle one of our greatest public health challenges: death and injury as a result of gun violence. During the past five years, the Initiative has worked with national, academic and community stakeholders to develop key partnerships and interventions such […]

Striking a balance: Violence prevention in communities

The Gun Violence Initiative at the Institute for Public Health turns five in April 2020. This blog is part of a special series related to the key themes of the initiative: What we know, what we need to know, and what to do about this critical issue. Violence prevention is both a science and an […]

Gun Violence & Human Rights: Part I

The Gun Violence Initiative at the Institute for Public Health turns five in April 2020. This blog is part of a special series related to the key themes of the initiative: What we know, what we need to know, and what to do about this critical issue. U.S. Gun Violence is a Public Health and […]

Faculty Scholar SPOTLIGHT! Kristen Mueller, MD

Dr. Mueller is assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the School of Medicine and a faculty scholar at the Institute for Public Health. Kristen Mueller says the Gun Violence Initiative (GVI) and its programs have changed her life. She is now one of only a handful of emergency medicine physicians who not only treats patients […]

New Public Service Video Aims to Show Prevention is the Safest Weapon

Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager at Institute for Public Health Firearm injuries are the second leading cause of death in children.  Safe storage is an essential step in ensuring that children are not harmed by bullets, an occurrence that happens all too often in the home. A study conducted by pediatric surgeons from the […]

Combining public health and rights-based approaches to address violence

Written by Poli Rijos, MSW, manager for the Center for Community Health Partnership & Research at the Institute for Public Health In early June, I spent eight days in El Salvador. Funding from the Institute for Public Health, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, and my family gave me the opportunity to attend Global […]

Getting to know my peers

Written by Emily Saxon, student at Michigan State University and participant in the 2019 Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public & Global Health Track My research in the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public and Global Health Track, has been with Dr. Rumi Kato Price, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, […]

Using a public health lens to respond to gun violence and trauma

Written by Olivia Pokoski, MPH candidate at University of Kentucky and participant in the 2019 Summer Research Program – Public & Global Health Track Every day in the United States 96 lives are taken with guns, making it the second leading cause of death for American children and teens. Despite these staggering statistics, minimal responses […]

How funding & collaboration can address violence: Lessons from the past

According to a 2017 U.S. Department of Justice report, the City of St. Louis experienced a notable decrease in homicides in the year 2003 but the rate has subsequently rebounded. As we continue to see violence in our city and search for what works to prevent it, can we learn from the past? A community-academic […]

How funding and collaboration can address violence: Lessons from the past

According to a 2017 U.S. Department of Justice report, the City of St. Louis experienced a notable decrease in homicides in the year 2003 but the rate has subsequently rebounded. As we continue to see violence in our city and search for what works to prevent it, can we learn from the past? A community-academic […]

Commentary: #ThisIsOurLane, but Our Lane Needs All of Us: EM Physicians Speak Out on Gun Violence

Written by Kristen L. Mueller, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, and Megan L. Ranney, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine at Alpert Medical School, Brown University On November 7, 2018 the NRA responded to “Reducing Firearm Injuries and Deaths in the United States: a Position Paper […]

Joining forces to stop cycle of violence in St. Louis (Links to an external site)

The Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis will launch the regional St. Louis Area Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program (STL-HVIP), which will aim to promote positive alternatives to violence, thanks to a $1.6 million grant from Missouri Foundation for Health.

Gun violence as a public health issue

Written by Kyle Smith, undergraduate in economics and computational biology at University of Rochester and participant in the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program Poli Rijos, LCSW noted early in her talk this past week that gun violence is a devastating commonality among the otherwise varied and diverse clients she has worked with as […]

Children are the most victimized segment of the population

by Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor in Social Work and Director of the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention at the Brown School “Children are the most victimized segment of the population.”– David Finkelhor, 2011 This is a sad but unfortunately true statement both for children in the US and those around the […]

Senseless, needless, unintentional shootings by kids

Written by Stacey Newman, Missouri State Representative Damian was only 12 years old and loved playing basketball. Last week he was home alone in St. Louis with his nine year old brother and found a handgun. While they played with it, the gun discharged and Damian was shot and killed. Damian is not alone. Mi-Kenzie, age […]

Saint Louis Story Stitchers’ Artists Collective – Not another one! A discussion on gun violence

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a nonprofit organization where artists and urban youth collect stories, reframe and retell them through art to promote understanding, civic pride, and literacy. Story Stitchers work with local youth often focuses on gun violence and implicit bias. Recent projects in which youth address issues of violence include a […]

Gun violence as a global health issue

Written by Allie Liss, Intern for the Gun Violence Initiative As a global health student, I spend a lot of time learning about all of the current and historical health problems around the globe, but a surprisingly limited amount of time learning how to solve these problems. This is what attracts me to public health […]

Youth and gun violence: NOW is the time for action

Saint Louis Story Stitchers youth hosted a second video-taped discussion on November 10th at Kranzberg Arts Center’s Black Box Theater to reopen topics explored in last year’s discussion. Stitchers Teen Council Co-Chairs Aniya and Toryon, both seniors in high school, led guest high school youth from University City High School, McCluer High School, Central Visual […]

Data visualization skill lab

The university offered a class this fall that combined data visualization with real-world crime data. This class was the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art’s course “Capstone in Design 1: Form and Function.” It included a Data Visualization Skill Lab in which students formed interdisciplinary teams to explore crime data from St. Louis City. […]

Ending gun suicide: A personal and professional movement

Written by Sylvia Ogilvie, graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis Gun violence is inarguably one of the most divisive issues in the United States, whether we are arguing with family members around the holiday table, or watching political candidates point fingers at each other like children in the school yard. It almost seems […]

Assistance requested from local service providers

The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Collaborative has been working to advance the goal of identifying, mapping and coordinating resources in our region as they relate to critical services and programs that support the reduction of gun violence. These include, but are not limited to, behavioral and mental health, social, afterschool recreational, education, employment, housing, […]

Public health challenge: Reducing gun violence in St. Louis

Washington University’s Institute for Public Health and Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship partnered to host a three-day immersive public health challenge. Held September 16-19, 2016, multidisciplinary teams of students developed social and entrepreneurial concepts to reduce gun violence in St. Louis. More than a dozen students participated in the event which included an ideation session […]

Medical students learn public health impact of gun violence in new course

This fall, the Washington University School of Medicine is offering a class titled ‘Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue’ for the first time. Various medical school faculty, faculty from other schools at Washington University and Saint Louis University, and experts from local community organizations working on issues related to gun violence are teaching the […]

Not Another One! An urgent call to action on gun violence

Written by Susan Colangelo, founding president of Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to serving the St. Louis region through inventive, collaborative arts and culture. Members collect local stories, reframe and retell them through art, writing and performance to promote understanding, civic pride, intergenerational […]

Supporting violence prevention research

The Institute for Public Health will award $15,000 to Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, PhD, in Washington University’s Department of Psychiatry, to support her project “Examination of the role of social media on substance use and violence behaviors.” Dr. Cavazos-Rehg will work with colleagues Laura Jean Bierut, MD of the School of Medicine and Edward Spitznagel, PhD, in […]

Joining forces with United Way on gun violence prevention

Washington University in St. Louis and the United Way of Greater St. Louis have formed a joint partnership that aims to provide support and resources to local initiatives that are uniting in their efforts to combat gun violence in the region. The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Collaborative will work to reduce violent crime in […]

Not Another One

Last month the Saint Louis Story Stitchers convened a group in the Guns in the Hands of Artists exhibit at the Des Lee Gallery, to videotape a frank conversation about gun violence with St. Louis teens and community leaders. The resulting video, embedded below, is titled “Not another one!” Participants include Jason Purnell, assistant professor […]

Gun violence prevention symposium summary and videos

The Brown School organized a symposium on November 12, 2015 called Preventing Gun Violence: Evidence-based Optimism in a Realistic World as part of the university’s Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis initiative. University of Chicago professor and co-director of the university’s crime lab, Harold Pollack, PhD, provided the keynote address, which was followed by a facilitated discussion […]

Time to say #enough

Written by Steve Woods, RN, BSN, MBA, manager of trauma services at St. Louis Children’s Hospital The #enough message shared by the Brady Campaign sums up the way many people are feeling in St. Louis about the increase in crime, and, more importantly, the increase in gun violence that has erupted within our beloved community. Each […]

Guns and suicide

A recent report from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “The Truth About Suicide and Guns,” describes the strong link between gun ownership and suicide: a gun in the home makes suicide three times more likely. The report finds that while gun ownership alone presents the greatest risk, when combined with the impulsive nature of […]

Art, guns, & rebooting the conversation

Written by Liam Otten, news, arts and humanities director in the Office of Public Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis Art is disruptive. It can fracture entrenched positions. It can restart conversations. This fall, the Sam Fox School is presenting Guns In The Hands of Artists. Organized by the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New […]

Domestic violence and the links to gun violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Most of you have probably been touched by the issue of domestic violence through someone close to you, in clinical practice, or through research. This problem goes by different names depending on which organization or professional affiliation you belong to: domestic violence, family violence, intimate partner violence, partner violence, dating […]

Bite your tongue. (I’d rather be offended than shot.)

I am standing here at the door of my studio in the Clinton-Peabody housing projects (“the Peabodies”), looking across St. Ange Street to the playground. J’Nylah Douglas’ grandma used to live right there, across the way, her front door facing the playground, just a couple car lengths from my studio. In 2011 J’Nylah was visiting […]

Parents of shooting victim share personal story with students and community

​Written by Julie Hail Flory, interim vice chancellor of public affairs in the Office of Public Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis In the blink of an eye, everything​​ changed for Lonnie and Sandy Phillips. On July 20, 2012, their daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was one of 12 people killed when a gunman opened […]

St. Louis International Film Festival includes a number of films exploring gun violence

The 24th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival runs November 5 to 15th. This year a number of the films being screened contain themes that relate to gun violence, offering diverse perspectives on this complicated issue. The relevant showings include: Nov. 6: 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 BulletsNov. 7: Daisy and MaxNov. 8: The Armor of […]

Firearm injuries: A pediatric public health crisis

Written by Robert M. Kennedy, MD, pediatric emergency medicine physician; Martin S. Keller, MD, director of trauma services; Angela Lumba-Brown, MD, pediatric emergency medicine physician; and Fahd A. Ahmad, MD, MSCI, pediatric emergency medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital As pediatric emergency and trauma physicians at St. Louis Children’s Hospital we are alarmed by the growing epidemic of firearm-related injuries that […]

St. Louis gun violence and the real Ferguson effect

By the standards of St. Louis in 2015, the last weekend of September was an island of calm. Readers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the Monday after learned that a 20-year-old woman, shot in the hip while driving down Interstate 70 early Sunday morning, would quickly recover. A fatal shooting at Carondelet Park on […]

Fighting gun violence in and out of the courtroom

Written by Jennifer M. Joyce, circuit attorney for the City of St. Louis The landscape in St. Louis and across the country is very different today than it was even just a year ago. Gun violence is the number one issue this community faces today. Too many people are dying. In 2014, 138 people were […]

City of St. Louis Youth Violence Prevention Partnership

Written by Carl Filler, MSW, director of strategic policy initiatives in the Mayor’s Office of the City of St. Louis Cities across the United States have been grappling with endemic violence—often manifested in gun-related violence. While homicide rates—the most extreme form of violent crime—increased drastically from the 1960s through the early 1980s and sustained through […]

Pilot program seeks to help child victims

Written by Margie Batek, MSW, LCSW, social work supervisor in the Emergency Department at St. Louis Children’s Hospital The Victims of Violence program at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital seeks to curb the re-occurrence of interpersonal violence in the lives of children who have been shot, stabbed or assaulted, involved in domestic violence, and Fit […]

A coordinated effort may be the solution to gun violence in St. Louis

Written by Poli Rijos, coordinator for the Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis initiative at Washington University in St. Louis. As of September 15, 2015, the City of St. Louis has been affected by over 145 murders. During recent conversations with law enforcement officials, I learned that most gun violence can be localized to specific […]

Dual library exhibits for Gun Violence Initiative

The Gun Violence Initiative will showcase gun violence prevention research and resources through special, simultaneous exhibits at the John M. Olin Library on the Danforth Campus, and the Bernard Becker Medical Library on the Medical Campus, from September 21 to October 2, 2015. These exhibits will include a display with key texts and articles with […]