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Morehouse Summit to Discuss Violence as Public Health Issue

March 10, 2014

Violence is an increasingly common occurrence in communities across the U.S. And it’s not just a problem for the criminal justice system. As the incidence and prevalence of violence increases on a daily basis, violence is now widely viewed as a public health issue as well.

On April 1-2, public health leaders from Georgia and beyond will discuss the impact of violence on Georgia’s health in the 2014 Dr. Daniel S. Blumenthal Public Health Summit at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

“Violence has an extensive impact on individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). “Although violence is a growing public health issue, violence is preventable, not inevitable.”

Each year, millions of people from birth to old age experience the consequences of violence on a physical, mental and economic level. Violence can occur in the form of child abuse, teen or youth violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, suicide, bullying, gangs and gun violence. And for many, violence is deadly. In 2010, more than 16,250 people in the U.S. were victims of homicide and more than 38,000 took their own lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide and homicide are among the top causes of premature death in Georgia, according to DPH data.

The Blumenthal summit, sponsored by the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, intends to educate physicians, researchers, public health professionals, residents, students and community members about the impact of violence on communities. Sessions will identify the factors that contribute to violence, discuss community programs and resources that can work to prevent violence and describe strategies for translating research into violence prevention.

The summit will be held April 1-2 at Morehouse’s Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care. For more information and to register for the event, visit the summit’s website.