Stand Up to Violence! Join the Peace Walk
This past weekend, cities around our nation played host to marches calling for effective legislation addressing the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. In a similar vein, this Thursday, on June 16, at 5:30 p.m., Stand Up to Violence (SUV) will host its annual Peace Walk through the Bronx, traveling from the corner of Astor and Wallace Avenues to East 229th Street and White Plains Road.
“The Bronx and the community that we serve at Jacobi has been devastated over the past two years by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the wave of violent trauma that followed,” said Einstein alumnus Dr. Noé Romo, who is assistant professor of pediatrics at the College of Medicine and medical director of the SUV intervention program at NYC Health+Hospitals/Jacobi. “That includes a shooting that took place in our own adult emergency department waiting room earlier this year.”
Established in 2014 as a hospital-based community violence-prevention initiative, SUV works to reduce gun violence in communities where shootings occur. Its network of community outreach workers and hospital responders assist victims of violent trauma and help mobilize the community whenever there is a shooting to prevent retaliation. Through the program, SUV has connected with victims of violent trauma and linked them to supportive services to prevent re-injury, as well as worked with the communities where these incidents have occurred to decrease the incidence of community shooting victims.
“Through SUV, our outreach workers seek to identify high-risk individuals and interrupt violence in the community by offering other alternatives,” explained Dr. Romo. “These staff members are from the neighborhoods where they work and can share their own experiences with such events. They aim to help make sure that cooler heads can prevail.”
While programs like SUV have arisen from need and can make a difference, recent gun violence in the form of mass shootings have brought the issue of firearm-related violence in our nation to a head. These deadly events have become all too common, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that firearm-related deaths and injuries are at higher levels than seen prior and now are the leading cause of death for children in the United States.
“The SUV Peace Walk allows us to come together and recognize the effects of gun violence while also raising awareness of more peaceful resolutions to community conflicts,” explained Dr. Romo.
In recent weeks, Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, Einstein’s Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean has sent several notices addressing the rash of gun violence that represents a public health crisis for our nation. He noted, “In confronting this public health imperative, we must all aim to be part of the solution.”
The SUV Peace Walk is one component toward achieving that solution. “By walking together through the Bronx, the crowd of community and political leaders, local organizations, hospital staff and leadership, and community members with reasons to care about gun violence will show by their large numbers that they stand for a summer of peace,” said Dr. Romo.
Posted on: Thursday, June 16, 2022