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AAMC Leads Letter in Support of Funding for Violence Intervention Programs

July 1, 2021

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CONTACTS
Jason Kleinman, Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

The AAMC led a July 1 letter signed by over 30 national health care, medical, and public health organizations urging Congress to provide funding to support hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) and other community violence interventions.

The letter, which was sent to Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Vice Chair Richard Shelby (R-Al.) and House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct.) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-Texas), highlights how HVIPs aim to help break the cycle of violence, including deaths and injuries from firearms.

The letter states, “In collaboration with community partners, HVIPs initiate trauma-informed interventions within the hospital setting as patients recover and follow up with long-term services such as counseling, job training, mentoring, home visits, and other assistance. By addressing some of the social determinants of health and specific risk factors associated with violent injury, HVIPs have been successful in reducing future violence and lowering health care costs.”

The letter notes that while policymakers have showed support for community violence intervention programs, there is “currently no dedicated federal funding stream to support such effective programming.” The groups call on House and Senate Appropriations leaders to support fiscal year 2022 funding for these programs and concludes, “Through support for these and other strategies to interrupt cycles of preventable injuries, we can continue to combat violence and save lives.”

Recently, President Biden and several members of congress have highlighted their support for these programs. The president’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposes $100 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement intervention programs to address the causes of violence and reduce health inequities [refer to Washington Highlights, June 4]. This is in addition to a proposal in the American Jobs Plan to invest $5 billion over eight years to support community violence intervention programs, including those in hospital settings. The president also included the need to invest in evidence-based community violence interventions as part of his June 23 Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety. Additionally, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) previously led “Dear Colleague” letter with 39 members of the House of Representatives calling on congress to invest in community violence intervention programs.

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