Strengthening Chicago's Youth: A Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention
In response to 2009’s high-profile violence, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago began to examine its role in addressing youth violence. An internal taskforce discovered that the hospital had many successful programs and partnerships, but more coordination was needed. In 2011, a series of citywide stakeholder listening sessions confirmed this need for improved coordination also existed in the community. Stakeholders indicated they would welcome a Lurie Children’s convened violence prevention collaborative.
A full-time director was hired (August 2011) and Strengthening Chicago’s Youth’s (SCY) kickoff meeting was held in February 2012. SCY’s mission is to build capacity among public and private stakeholders to connect, collaborate and mobilize around a public health approach to violence prevention. SCY’s focus areas include sustained investment in children/youth, equitable access to high-quality mental health services, common-sense approaches to gun violence prevention, juvenile justice system that reflects adolescent development, and sustained investment in strong communities.
In three years, SCY has grown from 130 to 3,000 violence prevention partners. SCY pursues violence prevention through four strategies that emphasize building connections among partners: (1) coordinating advocacy efforts around SCY’s policy agenda; (2) facilitating knowledge sharing among and providing technical assistance/training to community organizations; (3) encouraging conversations about the preventability of violence and how individuals and organizations can play a role; and (4) fostering connections between community organizations and researchers.
The rapid growth of SCY demonstrates the need for an organization to serve as a connector among Chicago’s violence prevention partners.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the formation of a violence prevention collaborative convened to build capacity among public and private stakeholders to connect, collaborate and mobilize around a public health approach to violence prevention.
Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Youth Violence
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past five years, I have worked in the field of public health in programs focused on coalition building and advocacy in obesity prevention and injury and violence prevention. As Operations Manager of Strengthening Chicago's Youth (SCY) since 2012, I have played an integral role in the evolution and growth of SCY, a childrenâs hospital-based violence prevention program. As a MPH candidate, I have the knowledge to apply public health principles to this work.
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.