3:10 p.m. -- 4:10 p.m.
This panel will define the problem of youth violence while identifying risk and protective factors. It will explore violence as a preventable public health issue and how addressing the endemic problem of urban violence in the U.S. is a necessity for sustainable communities.
Panelists: Howard Spivak, M.D., Larry Cohen, MSW, John Rich, M.D., and Lauren Smith, M.D. Moderated by Goldie Taylor
Larry Cohen, founder and Executive Director of Prevention Institute, has been an advocate for public health, social justice, and prevention since 1972. Larry established Prevention Institute in 1997 as a national non-profit center dedicated to improving community health and well-being by building momentum for effective primary prevention. The Institute's work is characterized by a systems approach to prevention, a strong emphasis on community participation, and promotion of equitable health outcomes among all social and economic groups. Prevention Institute has been recognized for its cross-cutting, innovative analysis and for its strategic skill in catalyzing and guiding cross-sectoral coalitions. Larry's founding vision has inspired a comprehensive, integrated approach that applies prevention principles to solving complex health and social issues across disciplines, promotes health in all policies, and views equity as a core component of all health decisions. These overarching principles unify Prevention Institute's endeavors in its primary focal areas-health equity, health reform, nutrition and physical activity, and preventing injury and violence. Larry helped to define violence as a preventable public health issue. His publication Shifting the Focus is a California roadmap for related inter-sectoral government collaboration. Larry currently heads UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth through Violence Prevention), a national initiative designed to strengthen and support the 45 largest cities in the United States to more effectively prevent violence. He received his MSW from SUNY Stony Brook.
John A. Rich, MD, MPH, is Professor and Chair of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health. He has been a leader in the field of public health, and his work has focused on serving one of the nation’s most ignored and underserved populations—African-American men in urban settings. In 2006, Dr. Rich was granted a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In awarding this distinction, the Foundation cited his work to design "new models of health care that stretch across the boundaries of public health, education, social service, and justice systems to engage young men in caring for themselves and their peers." Prior to Drexel University, Rich served as the medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission. As a primary care doctor at Boston Medical Center, Rich created the Young Men’s Health Clinic and initiated the Boston HealthCREW, a program to train inner city young men to become peer health educators who focus on the health of men and boys in their communities. He earned his Dartmouth A.B. degree in English, his M.D. from Duke University Medical School, and his Master’s from the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2009, Dr. Rich was inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His recently published book about urban violence Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men has drawn critical acclaim.
Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health where she works closely with the Commissioner to establish and implement departmental priorities. She is an Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine. She serves as a pediatric hospitalist at Boston Medical Center where she was the Medical Director of the Pediatric Inpatient Unit for 4 years. Dr. Smith’s research career has focused on the implication of public polices for child health and childhood health disparities. She has authored two recent reports on the impact of affordable housing and energy costs on child health and well-being as examples of the effects of public policy on health. She recently served as a W.T. Grant Health Policy Fellow in the office of House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and as a member of the Massachusetts Commission to End Racial Disparities in Health.
Dr. Howard Spivak, Director of the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevntion, has extensive experience in the field of youth violence prevention as well as management and leadership in the public sector at the state and local level and in academia. He has served as Director of Adolescent Services for the City of Boston, during which he cofounded the first communityâ€based public health youth violence prevention program in the nation. As Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, he was in charge of all prevention and community oriented programs in the department, and among other activities developed the first office for violence prevention at the state level, advanced the funding of the first schoolâ€based health centers in MA, and was the PI of one of the first emergency room weaponâ€related injury surveillance projects developed with funding from the CDC. Dr. Spivak has held a number of senior academic appointments including Professor of Pediatrics and Community Health at Tufts University, directed pediatric and adolescent primary care programs at several academic medical centers, published numerous academic and general public articles on youth violence, spoken around the country and internationally on violence related issues, and worked with many community programs both in Boston and nationally addressing youth violence prevention as well as other violenceâ€related concerns.