Communities in Focus

In December 2009, the VPI Steering Committee developed selection criteria for inviting community areas to partner in the VPI youth violence prevention and reduction efforts.

In February 2010, a selection panel was formed to conduct a comprehensive review of data and recommend two community areas for implementation of the VPI priorities and goals based on the criteria developed by the Steering Committee. The selection panel is comprised of 12 members with representation from the VPI Steering Committee and includes both community and academic members.

The selection panel met from February - June 2010 to review demographic and epidemiologic data from national, state and local sources. Additional descriptive materials, interviews with community leaders and site visits may be requested by the selection panel to help guide the decision process and assess community interest in partnering with the VPI. The community areas may be specific geographic areas, but may be defined more broadly. Once the two community areas are selected, the VPI will meet with representatives from each of the community areas to begin partnership discussions.

Violence Prevention Initiative Research and Evaluation Team (VPIRET)

 Charge of the VPIRET

VPI will address 3 priorities:

  1. Prevent violence and intervene early with youth 0-11 years with schools and neighborhoods;
  2. Motivate and influence youth 12-17 years with neighborhoods and schools; and
  3. Educate, develop, catalyze and convene across all youth to build capacity for violence prevention with schools, neighborhoods, and the broader community.
 Roles of the VPIRET

The roles of the VPIRET are:

  • evaluation of Community Partnership Team programs
  • research
  • capacity building/training/workshops on violence-related topics and evaluation

Through collaboration with the MCW Injury Research Center and our community partners, the VPI RET will foster, conduct and disseminate violence prevention science and research through the following methods:

  • Produce and disseminate reports on violence and violence-related injuries for decision-making, technical assistance, and capacity building for the VPI through the following approaches:
  • Develop useable database on violence prevention literature for MCW faculty, staff and community.
  • Review injury and violence prevention literature for emerging research in the field.
  • Produce monthly summary reports of recently published research. Follow up as needed with researchers to learn more about these studies.
  • Review and identify funding sources for possible grant submissions that leverage VPI funds. Participate in the development of potential grant applications.
  • Link with national leaders in violence prevention research, including violence prevention scientists at the Division of Violence Prevention at the CDC.

The VPIRET will oversee the evaluation of the VPI programmatic endeavors to help inform programmatic and policy efforts of the VPI. The evaluation process will be developed and conducted in conjunction with community and academic partners. The evaluation framework is informed by several models from the literature, including models from the Prevention Institute's UNITY Roadmap (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth through Violence Prevention) and the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center.

As the VPI's programmatic goals are specified, the VPIRET will work with community partnership teams to develop an evaluation plan, including assistance with the development of measurable objectives, as well as logic models that link program activities with short, intermediate, and long-term outcomes.

Evaluation will be developed and conducted in conjunction with community and academic partners. The evaluation framework is informed by several models from the literature including models from the Prevention Institute’s UNITY Roadmap (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth through Violence Prevention) and the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center.

Consistent with the requirements of the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program, a logic model will be used in collaboration with community partners to evaluate short and long-term outcomes.

Key steps include:

  • Establish a Violence Prevention Research and Evaluation Team through collaboration with MCW’s Injury Research Center, MCW faculty and community-academic teams to partner and inform programmatic and policy efforts of the VPI.
  • As the VPI’s programmatic goals are specified, partner on the development of an evaluation plan for the VPI including assistance with the development of measurable objectives.
  • Develop logic models to link program activities with short, intermediate and long-term outcomes.
  Process for Determining Outcomes

The VPI community-academic partners will use the following process and tools to ensure that the final objectives and outcomes are effective or “SMART” for each of the community action plans.

  • Specific: Who, what change, how much, where, and when. Each objective should have one purpose and one end result.
  • Measurable/Observable: There must be a visible tangible outcome to measure the objective.
  • Achievable/Appropriate: Consideration of the population and culture.
  • Relevant/Realistic: Can you realistically achieve these results given the resources you have (e.g., staff, budget, etc.)? Relevant to the mission of your organization or community.
  • Time Based - By when will you achieve these results?
  • Karen Brasel, MCW Department of Surgery/Trauma & Critical Care
  • Anthony Caples, MCW, VPI Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Ann Christiansen, MCW, Injury Research Center
  • Stephen Hargarten, MCW Department of Emergency Medicine, Co-chair VPIRET
  • Clarence Johnson, Wisconsin Community Services, Associate Director; Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative, VPI Community Partnership Team
  • Sheri Johnson, MCW Department of Pediatrics, Co-chair VPIRET
  • Peter Layde, MCW Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Sara Mishefske, MCW, Injury Research Center, VPI Program Manager
  • Marlene Melzer-Lange, MCW Department of Pediatrics/Emergency Medicine
  • Mallory O’Brien, Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission
  • Staci Young, MCW VPI Senior Faculty Director, Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Tony Shields, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee Executive Director; UNCOM VPI Community Partnership Team
 Additional VPI Staff
  • Ann Bria, MCW, VPI Program Coordinator, UNCOM and Safe Schools Healthy Students Liaison
  • John Rakowski, MCW, VPI Program Coordinator, Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative and Ripple Effect Milwaukee Liaison

Contact Us

VPI Community Office
1801 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 955-2699
(414) 955-0114 (fax)
Contact Us Form

VPI Site Map

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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© 2015

Page Updated 01/09/2015