city of San Antonio

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File #: 20-6751   
Type: Staff Briefing - Without Ordinance
In control: Community Health and Equity Committee
On agenda: 11/16/2020
Posting Language: A briefing on Metro Health's Gun Violence Prevention Program - Stand Up SA [Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, PhD, Assistant City Manager; Sandra Guerra, MD, MPH, Interim Deputy Director, Health Department]
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DEPARTMENT HEAD: Sandra Guerra, MD, MPH, Interim Deputy Director


SUBJECT: A briefing on the Gun Violence Prevention Program - Stand Up SA

Metro Health will provide a presentation on the public health approach to reduce gun violence in San Antonio through the Stand Up SA Program

While the public's attention is drawn to mass shootings, the vast majority of gun deaths in the United States are due to interpersonal conflicts. The burden of these deaths falls heavily on communities of color and heaviest on young men of color. In Bexar County, homicide is one of the top 5 causes of death in people ages 15 - 44. A public health prevention approach to violence addresses violence like a contagious disease that can spread from person to person through social networks.

Violence interrupters are well established as an evidence-based strategy to prevent retaliatory murders and break the cycle of gun violence. Violence interrupters focus intervention on the people at the highest risk of shooting or being shot through targeted interventions. There are three models used for violence interrupters: 1) Cure Violence - Stand Up SA, 2) Group Violence Intervention - SAPD, and 3) Hospital-Based Violence Interrupters with Stand Up SA. San Antonio currently hosts all three models. San Antonio has a unique opportunity to explore comparing the different intervention models to determine which is most effective in our community. Cities that have fully implemented the violence interruption model have experienced dramatic declines in retaliatory shootings. For example, Philadelphia experienced a 30% reduction in shootings and a change in attitudes towards violence in neighborhoods with Cure Violence teams. In 2015, Metro Health implemented the Cure Violence model of violence interruption based on Dr. Gary Slutkin's theory of treating violence as a disease. This philosophy is locally applied by Metro ...

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