Login Dark

How health providers, community members are battling gun violence in metro Atlanta - FOX 5 Atlanta

Author: FOX 5 Atlanta

Source: https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/how-health-providers-community-members-are-battling-gun-violence-in-metro-atlanta

Image of How health providers, community members are battling gun violence in metro Atlanta - FOX 5 Atlanta

Published October 31, 2023 12:33AMViolence Prevention Symposium at Emory University DeKalb County government and community leaders came together for a Violence Prevention Symposium at Emory University.The event comes just two days after four teenagers got shot at a bus stop.DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.- Emory University hosted a Violence Prevention Symposium on its campus Monday in partnership with DeKalb County and Grady Health Systems.It just happened to be scheduled two days after two Saturday night shootings in metro Atlanta that sent eight people to the hospital.Gregory Levett Sr. was one of the attendees.He owns and operates four funeral homes throughout metro Atlanta.He says they’re seeing more and more teenagers being brought in because of shootings."Prior to COVID, I’ve probably had maybe two or three young men at that age (14-16) a year.Since COVID, we’ve had probably at least 25 or 30 men, less than 21 years old, per year," Levett said.So, he came to the Violence Prevention Symposium for support in his mission to reduce gun violence in the communities he serves.DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond helped organize the event."Heartbreaking.Four teens injured in DeKalb, and four other young people shot and injured in Atlanta," Thurmond said.GSU STUDENTS CONCERNED AFTER MORE VIOLENCE NEAR CAMPUS OVER THE WEEKEND He says this past weekend’s violence highlights the urgent need for an event like this."This violence is horrible.It’s taken away lives and opportunities, it’s impacting families throughout metro Atlanta. We cannot just curse the darkness.We have to try to light a candle.And today the candle has been lit here at Emory University," Thurmond said.The symposium gave violence prevention organizations and community partners like Levett an opportunity to network with others and get better access to resources."It educated me on a lot of information and things that I did not know was available," Levett said.Some of the presentation topics included "Preventing Firearm Injury Through Advocacy and Community Outreach," and "Developing Not-For-Profits Focused on Violence Prevention." FOX 5 asked CEO Thurmond what concrete action the County is taking now to help prevent shootings."DeKalb has invested several million dollars with Grady and with Emory to create trauma prevention strategies," he said.4 TEENAGERS SHOT SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER PARTY IN DEKALB COUNTY The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners gave $12 million to Emory earlier this year for its new Hillandale Hospital.Ten percent of those funds are going to create a new Violence Prevention Center at the hospital. Janikqua Cutno is the center’s director."Treating violence in a public health approach as a public health issue is evidence based," Cutno said.She says at the center’s medical professionals will be directly involved in violence prevention with gunshot victims.She says those who participate in gun violence once are statistically more likely to be another shooting."What we see is that the folks who are closest to the problem are closest to the solution.And so, our program will utilize what we call credible messengers to interrupt violence in the community and within the hospital," Cutno said.Levett says he’s going to take what he learned today and spread it throughout his community."I’m going to share with a lot of the local churches, local politicians, those who have access to funds that can fund these types of programs," he said.DeKalb County says it also has pledged an additional million dollars to fund the second year of operation for the hospital’s new violence prevention center.

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter