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CDC Awards $4.2 Million to Meharry Medical College

Posted By: John Britton on October 04, 2006




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: John H. Britton
October 3, 2006 (615) 327-6282
jbritton@mmc.edu


CDC Awards Meharry Medical College
$4.2 Million to Lead Community-Based
Approach to Prevent Youth ****

Nashville, Tenn. – Meharry Medical College, a historically black institution dedicated to the health and health care of minorities and underserved communities, has been awarded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) $4.2 million over five years to develop an Academic Center of Excellence on urban youth **** prevention. This Center will develop partnerships with other academic institutions, community organizations, and state and city agencies to develop and evaluate youth **** prevention strategies in the metropolitan Nashville area. Its work will help to provide important scientific information on youth **** prevention that can also be used by other cities across the nation to help reduce the thousands of deaths and traumatic injuries caused by youth **** every year.

Meharry Medical College, in collaboration with its academic, community-based, and CDC partners, is expected to design, test, execute, and broadly communicate the results of multi-tiered **** prevention strategies that reduce youth crime and **** in Nashville and serve as models for similar initiatives across urban America.

The CDC selected Meharry from among numerous applicants following a rigorous external peer review process. Meharry is one of only two institutions in the nation to be awarded CDC funds this year for this purpose. The Meharry Center will be part of the CDC’s National Academic Centers of Excellence on Youth **** Prevention Program that includes nine centers serving at-risk communities across the country. This national program brings academic and community resources together to study and create lasting ways to prevent youth ****

To begin the **** intervention process, Meharry will establish the Nashville Urban Partnership Academic Center of Excellence (NUPACE), an umbrella mechanism whose local grantee will be known as the Nashville Youth **** Prevention Coalition. The Coalition will embrace participation of health and social scientists, public and community-based organizations and youth from high-risk communities, such as north Nashville, where youth **** rates are nearly twice the national average.



NUPACE partners in this youth **** prevention initiative include CDC, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Alignment Nashville, Oasis Center, Students Taking a Right Stand (STARS)/Center for Youth Issues, and other public and community-based organizations known for their concern about the escalating rates of youth **** in Nashville. The research and programmatic activities that will drive the NUPACE agenda are meant to contribute to a measurable reduction in youth **** in Greater Nashville, particularly the bullying phenomenon inside schools and on playgrounds and **** by out-of-school youth.

“Youth **** is a significant public health problem in our community,” said Paul Juarez, Ph.D., the principal investigator and director of the Center. “This funding will allow us to create new partnerships and work together to make our community safer for everyone.” A specialist in social policy, Dr. Juarez is professor, vice chair and director of community-based research of Meharry’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and program director of the College’s EXPORT Center for Health Disparities.

Statistics confirm the need for fresh **** intervention strategies. Data published by CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control count **** as the second leading cause of death of young people, ages 10 to 24; the leading cause of death for African-Americans; the second leading cause of death for Latinos; and the third leading cause of death for American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Asian Pacific Islanders.

In 2003, 5,570 youth between ages 0 and 24 were murdered. And more than 780,000 ****-related injuries among this age group were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2004.

“Youth **** is a problem that is eroding too many communities in this country,” observed Ileana Arias, Ph.D., director of CDC’s Injury Center. “The U-PACEs will redefine prevention efforts at the community level by fostering new partnerships and collaboration.”

In the next five years, the local NUPACE will promote community partnerships integrating prevention science with community action to reduce **** among metropolitan youth, 10-24 years of age. NUPACE anticipates several positive results from the project, including: a strengthening of community partnerships; enhancing individual, organizational, and neighborhood level protective factors; reducing the rates of interpersonal youth **** in Nashville; and broadly disseminating its findings to local and national audiences.

To learn more about youth **** and CDC’s prevention efforts, visit www.cdc.gov/injury. To know more about Meharry Medical College, visit www.mmc.edu. For additional information about the Nashville Youth **** Prevention Coalition, contact Dr. Juarez at 615 327-5506.


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