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Cleveland Looks at a Public Health Model to Fight Violence

Picture of City Councilman Zack Reed

Members of Chicago-based Cure Violence are in Cleveland this week to help the city implement programs to defuse deadly conflicts in high-crime areas.

Today they met with government, business and hospital officials. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, at least one of the group’s programs could soon be operating in Cleveland where the murder rate is surging.

The group’s programs rely on public-private partnerships. Deb Allen of The MetroHealth System heads the Northeast Ohio Trauma System, a group of area hospitals working together on trauma care. She is trying to replicate a Cure Violence intervention program used in some other big-city emergency rooms, which redirects victims of violent crime.

“Whether it’s get them a job, with school, with alcohol-drug abuse, social services, whatever we need to do to help them change the path they’re on. And it’s been proven in the other cities with this program that they have a significant decrease in recidivism of these patients coming back in being shot again and again or victims of violent trauma.”

Allen says MetroHealth already has a similar program that intervenes with emergency room patients who have alcohol related injuries.