Jenine Harris: Expand Violence and Injury Prevention Networks to Increase Effectiveness

Faculty; Policy; Research

Local health departments and their partners could improve injury and violence-prevention networks by reaching out to more diverse partner organizations, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Researchers surveyed 15 health departments and 434 organizations from large cities in the U.S., asking about their networks and which partners they viewed as most valuable. Each network had an average of 21 local partners, and government agencies were viewed as important by most of the partners. But analysts found that many of the networks were not as diverse as they could be.

“Several strategies could strengthen local policy networks,” wrote the study’s lead author, Dr. Jenine K. Harris, associate professor at the Brown School. She suggested developing connections with different partners and encouraging less formal connections with new and important kinds of partners.

“Preventing and responding to injury and violence cannot be accomplished by any single organization or sector,” she concluded.

The paper was published April 20 in Public Health Reports.

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