Frederick Douglass Lecture features Deborah Prothrow-Stith on April 5

As part of the Breaking New Ground Initiative, Debora Prothrow Stith, associate dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, author and expert on community violence prevention will speak at UMass Dartmouth and at the Days Inn, New Bedford, Tuesday, April 5.

What: As part of the Breaking New Ground Initiative, Debora Prothrow Stith, associate dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, author and expert on community violence prevention will speak at UMass Dartmouth and at the Days Inn, New Bedford, Tuesday, April 5. 

When: UMass Dartmouth 

2 p.m. – Main Auditorium 
3 p.m. - Reception and book signing. 

Days Inn, 500 Hathaway Road, New Bedford 

9:30a.m. 

Background information: 

Deborah B. Prothrow-Stith, M.D., is a nationally recognized public health leader with applied and academic experience ranging from neighborhood clinics and inner city hospitals, to serving as state commissioner of health, to being a dean and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. Appointed in 1987 as the first woman and youngest-ever Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dr. Prothrow-Stith expanded treatment programs for AIDS and drug rehabilitation, and oversaw a department budget of more than 300 million dollars and a department of more than 4,500 employees. During her tenure, she established the first Office of Violence Prevention in a Department of Public Health. 

Dr. Prothrow-Stith's interest in violence prevention was stimulated by her work as a resident at Boston City Hospital. The typical "stitch them up, send them out," medical response to patients injured by violence led to her examination of violence as a societal "disease" that could be prevented through public health strategies. She developed and wrote the first violence prevention curriculum for schools and communities, entitled the Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents, and co-wrote Deadly Consequences, the first book to present the public health perspective on violence to a mass audience. As a chief spokes-person for a national movement to prevent violence, Dr. Prothrow-Stith supports the application of rigorous scientific methods to violence prevention programs, the expansion of public knowledge and the strengthening of local, state and federal programs for the prevention of violence. Her ability to articulate and advocate 
for the public health perspective has led to numerous appearances and requests for her 
participation on national media and public forums. 

Dr. Prothrow-Stith's current projects continue to reflect her dedication to the issue of adolescent violence prevention. The Community Violence Prevention Project, a project dedicated to increasing the knowledge base around issues of violence prevention for five major audiences: program operators, grantmakers, educators, policy makers, and community leaders, has developed a new, user-friendly how-to guide that will provide a point of departure for establishing anti-violence programs in communities. This work, entitled Peace by Piece: A Guide for Preventing Community Violence is based on the experiences of over forty exemplary programs from across the country and presents over fifty violence prevention related activities. Media campaigns, professional education seminars, adolescent job and life skills training, and gang prevention initiatives are just a few examples of the activities presented in the guide. 

For her outstanding contribution on a wide-range of public health problems, she has received three honorary doctorate awards. Among numerous other awards for her work in public health, Dr. Prothrow-Stith was awarded the World Health Day Award in 1993 and the Secretary of Health and Human Service Award in 1989. She was also appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Commission on Crime Control and Prevention in the Summer of 1995. 


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