Duke University Hospital plans to launch new program to tackle violent crime :: WRAL.com


– Duke University Hospital is preparing to launch a new initiative to tackle violent crime in Durham.

In July, the hospital plans to launch an inpatient violence intervention program. Medical professionals at the hospital said that while they were caring for patients in need, they also wanted to engage in prevention work.

Dr. Lisa Pickett is a practicing physician and treats gunshot wound victims at Duke University Hospital. She said it takes up to 100 medical professionals to treat a gunshot victim.

“We’re doing a lot of things to try to prevent the next violent crime event,” Pickett said. “The sad thing about it is that people tend not to be shot once but many times.”

In the past 12 days, Durham Police said the city had recorded 16 shootings, six of which were fatal. Durham leaders, including Mayor Elaine O’Neal, discussed plans on how to tackle violent crime. On Tuesday night, O’Neal outlined his plan during his first State of the City address.

While Pickett, she said she noticed an increase in the number of victims treated.

“In particular, our trauma center and have seen a steady increase over the past few years, and certainly a very steep increase in 2020,” Pickett said.

As of April 2, city data shows Durham has had 182 shootings, 60 people have been shot and 10 have been killed. The town of Bull is about to set a new record for the number of shootings.

Pickett explained what she sees almost every day.

“She’s usually a young person,” Pickett said of the victims she treats. “Generally a young man, and someone who is active and healthy.”

“And now their lives have changed forever. And even if they do survive, many times over, there’s a combination of long-term physical and emotional issues that are tied to that.

Pickett explained the intent to launch the new hospital’s new violence intervention program in July. She said the plan is to partner with analysis teams to dig into the number of people who come to the hospital as victims of violence.

“We are certainly happy to take care of anyone who needs our care, but we would love to be put out of business to care for victims of violent crime,” Pickett said. “We would like to prevent it first so that our community is healthier.”

Pickett said the hospital often sees repeat patients. She hopes the new program can help transform lives.

“We take this point of contact with these patients as our opportunity to touch and change their lives,” Pickett said.

Duke University Hospital is expected to release more information about its violence intervention program in the coming weeks.

Gunshot wounds treated

July 2021-March 2022

  • Duke Regional Hospital: 26
  • Duke University Hospital: 158
  • Total: 184

July 2020-June 2021

  • Duke Regional Hospital: 41
  • Duke University Hospital: 301
  • Total: 342

July 2019-June 2020

  • Duke Regional Hospital: 41
  • Duke University Hospital: 209
  • Total: 250

July 2018-June 2019

  • Duke Regional Hospital: 44
  • Duke University Hospital: 196
  • Total: 240

July 2017-June 2018

  • Duke Regional Hospital: 41
  • Duke University Hospital: 190
  • Total: 231

Data reproduced by kind permission of Duke Health.


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