SCY Works to Create a Public Health Approach to Youth Violence

Lurie Children's recently unveiled an anti-violence movement called Strengthening Chicago’s Youth (SCY) which is a group of private and public stakeholders that will be taking a public health approach to violence prevention.  SCY is modeled after the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) which supports, coordinates and unites partners to promote policy and environmental change. 

“Children are exposed to violence in their communities, schools and homes, and the effects of exposure to violence can last throughout a lifetime,” said Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH, medical director of Injury Prevention and Research Center and Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Youth violence is an epidemic and we have the resources and the expertise to convene the many organizations that are working together to curb violence and to create a comprehensive violence prevention initiative.”     

SCY’s work will entail taking a public health approach to youth violence by adopting consistent messaging and will use evidence-based strategies to prevent violence and to foster multi-sector collaboration.  “In 2010, 435 people in Chicago died of violence-related causes,” said Susan Hayes Gordon, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer. “This is simply tragic and something that we are eager to work on with dedicated partners who share our passion and resolve to reduce violence in Chicago. We are pleased to be able to provide a forum in which partners from various sectors can collaborate on violence prevention in order to have a greater collective impact in reducing violence.” 

The CLOCC model, which is housed at Lurie Children's, has attracted national attention and has quickly developed into one of the country’s largest grassroots approaches to childhood obesity prevention. It includes more than 1000 individuals and 500 organizational partners. SCY will be building off that same successful model, encouraged by the more than 130 people who attended its kickoff meeting.    

“If we want Chicago to be the healthiest city in the nation for children then we need to build a community where families and children feel safe,” said Sheehan. “We are grateful to all those who are interested in being a part of SCY.”

For more information on SCY, go to Facebook or follow SCY on Twitter at @SCY-Chicago.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, is a 23-story, state-of-the-art hospital located in downtown Chicago on the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s provides pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. The hospital relies on philanthropic support to care for more than 149,000 children each year.

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