(Philadelphia, PA) - The Hospital of the
University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with The
Firearm & Injury Center at Penn (FICAP), the Philadelphia
Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and other local partners, will
implement the State’s new hospital-based, injury surveillance
and intervention system to aid in violence prevention strategies.
The Pennsylvania Injury Reporting and Intervention System (PIRIS),
a new and unique initiative by Pennsylvania’s Department of
Health, will collect information on gunshot wound injuries, which
will be used by state and local agencies and community partnerships
to target activities, develop new programs, and evaluate current
violence reduction efforts.
PIRIS data will be collected for youth 15-24 with interpersonal
or self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The ability to track the incidence
and characteristics of violence can serve as the basis to develop
violence prevention strategies and for reducing the impact and repercussions
of violence on youth, families and communities.
“This system is built on a public health model, which is
a science-based approach,” said Rose Cheney, PhD
and Executive Director of FICAP. “The public health model
has proven in the past to be successful in reducing rates of motor
vehicle accidents and incidents of infectious diseases.”
Another unique aspect of PIRIS will be the development of a multi-system
intervention for the victim and their families. This intervention
is designed to address the significant impact these injuries can
have, prevent and reduce future violent crime, and reduce the risk
of recurring violence, whether through re-injury or retaliation.
Referrals to community services, job training, education programs,
mental health treatment, and other tailored programs will be tailored
toward the needs of the victims and their families. Linking emergency
trauma care to comprehensive community follow-up and access to resources,
through PHMC, marks a significant expansion of efforts to reduce
unacceptably high levels of violence.
“The PIRIS project will bring together numerous resources
to address this problem,” added Cheney. “Gun violence
is very complex and is not easily solved through one single solution.
Effective prevention requires collaboration across multiple dimensions.”
While there is still much to learn about preventing the continuing
cycle of youth violence, experts now feel that violence is preventable.
A growing body of evidence indicates that comprehensive risk reduction
and youth development approaches are needed to assure successful
outcomes for young people. PIRIS is designed to use promising practices
for reducing repeated violent injury, while building better evidence
for interventions. The Pennsylvania Department of Health expects
that this project, once it is fully implemented, will have the potential
to reduce youth violence and subsequently lower the overall health
care costs of treating these victims of violence.
PIRIS was developed in response to the findings of the Governor’s
commission on gun violence. The six-month public health pilot program
also will include Temple University Hospital and the Albert Einstein
Medical Center, with plans to expand to the rest of the state.
PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical
research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in
1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of
Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation
for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in
U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top
research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty
and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide
for its superior education and training of the next generation of
physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System comprises: its
flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania,
consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll”
hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital,
the nation's first hospital; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; a
faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty
satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.