253647 UNITY: The Cleveland Experience

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:10 AM

Karen Butler, Director Public Health , Department of Public Health, City of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
Violence leads to death, injuries and chronic disease, and poses a serious health challenge for young people. Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth (UNITY), a CDC funded initiative, is a national effort that supports U.S. cities to shift local practices to emphasize a multi-sector public health approach to reducing violence. UNITY promotes an innovative multi-sector public health approach to prevent violence before it happens. UNITY's assessment of violence prevention activities in the U.S. found that cities with the most coordination also have the lowest rates of violence. Additionally, the assessment found that local public health departments are not generally involved in efforts to prevent violence, nor do they see themselves as a crucial partner. Given this context, UNITY is currently involved in 23 cities across the U.S. attempting to advocate for a larger role for public health in local violence prevention efforts.

This presentation will highlight strategies from the newly-released UNITY Policy Platform and discuss how the policy platform was developed in collaboration with representatives from cities across the country via a peer-learning network. The platform is a policy document that describes for local officials what needs to be in place on the ground to prevent community violence, and identifies the local supports that are needed for efforts to be successful and sustainable. The UNITY Policy Platform is helping to build momentum for strengthening national and state support of local initiatives, and collaboration can indeed yield valuable tools and resources for public health professionals working to prevent violence.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Define the extent and impact of violence within the City of Cleveland and describe the measures taken to address this important issue.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the operation of the Cleveland Department of Public Health which is comprised of three divisions: mAir Quality, Environment, and Health responsible for improving and promoting healthy behavior, protecting the environment, and preventing disease.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.