October 16, 2000


The University of California, San Diego will receive $1.1 million over three years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a “National Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence.” UCSD was one of 10 colleges and universities nationwide selected as a center for youth violence prevention, a program supported by funding authorized by Congress in the fiscal 2000 budget.

As part of the UCSD Center for Community Health, the new center for violence prevention will bring together university researchers and physicians and community groups to develop programs that address the pressing public health problem of youth violence, which ranks among the top five leading causes of death for young people ages 1-24, according to Vivian Reznik, M.D., M.P.H. Reznik is professor and vice chair of the UCSD department of pediatrics and co-director of the Center along with David Hoyt, M.D., professor and chief of UCSD’s division of trauma, burn and critical care.

The Center will focus on creating and implementing community response plans, training health care professionals, and conducting pilot projects to evaluate effective interventions in youth violence.

The UCSD Center will target the City Heights area of San Diego. Participants in the Center include faculty from San Diego State University; California State University, San Marcos; the California Western School of Law; and Children’s Hospital and Health Center.

Working with schools, agencies and established community coalitions, the Center will design violence prevention curriculum for medical students, as well as graduate and professional students and health professionals in public health, nursing, social work and other related areas.

“Academic Centers for Excellence on Youth Violence are not typical research institutions. They were selected because of their capacity to apply their findings, and they are distinguished by broad community support,” said Rodney Hammond, Ph.D., director of the Division for Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC.

“This innovative combination of academic excellence and community application offers our nation a unique opportunity to train tomorrow’s community leaders to intervene to prevent the further growth of violence among our nation’s young people,” he said.

In addition to UCSD, developing centers will be established at Virginia Commonwealth University; University of California, Riverside; University of Puerto Rico and University of Michigan.

Five other universities were named comprehensive centers based on their already established expertise in the field of youth violence research.

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Media Contact:
Leslie Franz
619/543-6163 lfranz@ucsd.edu

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