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Carter Center Expands 'Not Even One' Program

ATLANTA, GA....The "Not Even One" Program (NEO) of The Carter Center announced today it will expand its efforts to prevent gun-related deaths and injuries of children by establishing a demonstration site in Atlanta effective April 1. Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital of Grady Health System (HSCH), in conjunction with the Morehouse School of Medicine, will manage the site. In collaboration with the Emory University School of Public Health, HSCH will help NEO develop within the next few years, a model public health approach that communities nationwide can use to prevent firearm-related deaths and injuries of youth.

"We look forward to working with Hughes Spalding and Morehouse in approaching gun violence as a public health problem," said Dr. Wallace Woodard, director of the Not Even One Program. "In 1992 alone, firearm injuries were the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24," he said. "By carefully assessing the many factors involved, we will work to develop preventive measures."

Administrator of Hughes Spalding, Carla Parris, stated that the hospital's first step will be "to establish an advisory committee of community and government agencies to share how each of them might help NEO reach its ultimate goal. The collaborative efforts of health organizations and community agencies is a crucial part of this program's success," she said.

In concert with NEO sites in New Mexico and California, Hughes Spalding and Morehouse will work to develop a prevention model called the Community Action Team (CAT). Comprised of people from the local community, such as clergy, public health and law enforcement officials, teachers, business leaders, and individuals affected by gun violence - including youth and their families - CATs gather and evaluate data about all firearm-related deaths and injuries of young people from their neighborhoods. To enhance the accuracy of their evaluations, each CAT member is trained in research methodologies and analysis by public health and social science professionals.

"After compiling the data, team members not only look for patterns, but try to identify actions that may have prevented the incidents," said Don Payton, assistant director of the NEO Program. "They then share their findings with appropriate community leaders and local agencies who might be in a position to help prevent similar tragedies in the future. Ideally, the CAT model will be implemented nationwide and be used as a standard public health practice."

Funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Community Action Teams provide policymakers with recommendations on how to curb gun violence. The NEO Program also shares results of its studies with communities nationwide to help them implement effective prevention strategies.

"A CDC report released this month reveals that children in the U.S. are murdered at five times the rate of kids in 25 other industrialized nations," said Woodard. "Not Even One is committed to ending with this horrific trend and taking steps to reverse these staggering numbers."

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