11Alive got a chance to visit the Marcus Trauma Center to see first hand what the hospital is doing to stop the cycle.
ATLANTA — Gun violence continues to hurt communities across the country, and it’s a reality doctor at Grady Hospital face every day.
Recently, 11Alive got a chance to visit the Marcus Trauma Center to see firsthand what the hospital is doing to stop the cycle.
“We see violence, all times of the day, all times of the night, weekdays and weeknights as well,” Dr. Randi Smith from Grady’s Marcus Trauma Center explained. “I truly believe violence is a public health problem. What that means is that we treat it just like any infectious disease. When there is an outbreak we contain it, we understand the root causes and prevent its spread.”
The hospital is in a unique position to take on such a role, Dr. Smith said, which is why Grady will launch a hospital-based violence intervention program in January, a move she believes “really is the start of violence reduction on a large scale.”
The hope is such a program will save lives, with intervention starting in the emergency room or a patient’s bedside. According to hospital data, the number of trauma patients admitted due to violent crimes increased by 50 percent at Grady since May 2020. The disparities are also significant, Smith said. Eighty-four percent of the victims of violent injuries are male, and 88 percent are people of color.