CARESTAR Foundation Grant Supports Public Health Model For Violence Prevention Strategy In California

BERKELEY, Calif., May 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The CARESTAR Foundation has partnered with Prevention Institute to fund a two-year, $150,000 grant to promote a progressive public health model for community safety.

According to Tanir Ami, CEO of the CARESTAR Foundation, the grant aligns directly with CARESTAR's goals to foster innovative solutions for preventing injury. "Benefitting from the wealth of information, programs and experts across the violence prevention field, we are excited to support this cutting-edge work that forms partnerships focused on preventing traumatic injury and re-injury," she says. "The relevance of this work is even more clear now, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights deep inequities that affect the health of our communities. More than ever, we are invested in long-term programs that cultivate system change, addressing root causes of violent injury. The current crisis shows us how important it is to understand, support and practice the public health model in all our work going forward."

Prevention Institute is a national non-profit that aligns strategy, policy and networks of organizations to build health, foster equity and prevent injury. Its mission is to build prevention and health equity into key policies and actions at the federal, state, local and organizational level. It works with communities, government, and foundations to design prevention strategies that save lives and money in communities across the country.

Rachel Davis, Executive Director of Prevention Institute, says, "In California, we have the opportunity to fully embrace a public health approach to achieve safer communities, even as some of the risk factors for violence may be increasing as a result of COVID-19. The actions we take now can mitigate that risk."

She adds, "We firmly believe that in collaboration with funding partners like CARESTAR and our organizational and community partners, we can transition from the current moment of crisis management and reaction to a national agenda that supports equitable health, safety and wellbeing and prioritizes the public health and community infrastructure needed to achieve that."

The public health approach to preventing violence includes moving away from a criminal justice and law enforcement framework for violence response, and promoting upstream strategies to deter violence before it occurs.

Prevention Institute cites the effectiveness of this approach in cities that have developed community safety plans in partnership with residents, nonprofit organizations, and city agencies: Philadelphia logged a 55 percent reduction in group or gang-member involved murders from 2011 to 2015, and Minneapolis saw a 62 percent reduction in youth gunshot victims from 2007 to 2015.

In California, the group says, the public health approach to preventing violence is gaining momentum in many cities, but barriers such as lack of investment have meant it's difficult for this approach to reach across the state.

The CARESTAR grant is specifically aimed at educating city and county leaders in California about what a public health approach looks like, providing models, examples, and guidance that support effective violence prevention interventions.

As a result of this project, Prevention Institute anticipates that community safety in California will be strengthened with:

    --  Increased understanding of the efficacy of an upstream approach to
        violence prevention and community safety
    --  Increased understanding of the infrastructure needed to support and
        sustain efforts to prevent violence across jurisdictions
    --  Stronger partnerships and networks
    --  Greater uptake of emerging community strategies
    --  Increased understanding of what's needed to advance a public health
        approach to violence prevention across the state, across topics such as
        infrastructure needs, measurement approaches, and racial equity and
        community trauma/resilience approaches

Davis says, "It's so important to bring together different fields that want to reduce violence. Prevention Institute has deep roots in the fields of public health and violence prevention. CARESTAR has deep roots in the field of emergency and trauma response. We will only be successful in demonstrating that violence is preventable if our fields work together for a safer, healthier state."

About the CARESTAR Foundation

The CARESTAR Foundation was founded as a result of the sale of CALSTAR (California Shock Trauma Air Rescue), and honors CALSTAR'S legacy and lifesaving work in the field of emergency and trauma care. Our mission is to strengthen connections and foster partnerships in California's injury prevention, emergency response and trauma care landscape to improve health outcomes for all Californians.

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