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Reginald (Reggie) Moore Named Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement for the Comprehensive Injury Center

Reggie Moore, Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement, MCW Comprehensive Injury CenterReginald (Reggie) Moore has been named Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement for the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Comprehensive Injury Center (CIC), effective May 3, 2021. Moore has served as the Director of Injury and Violence Prevention for the city of Milwaukee Health Department Office of Violence Prevention since 2016, and has 24 years of experience in non-profit, public health, government and community leadership.

This new position is made possible by a significant investment from the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment to support the launch of the Wisconsin Violence Prevention Project (WVPP) through an 18-month development and planning process. Moore will report to Terri deRoon-Cassini, PhD, MS, Executive Director of the CIC and Associate Professor of Surgery (Trauma and Acute Care Surgery) at MCW. Moore possesses expertise in community engagement, public health, nonprofit management, program development and evaluation, strategic planning, staff coaching and support, and more. His interests include equity, social justice, the arts, dismantling racism, education and leadership development.

Moore joined the city of Milwaukee Health Department in April 2016 in his current role, where he has facilitated the growth of the Office of Violence Prevention from two staff members to eight and expanded its annual operating budget to $2.1 million from $500,000. Additionally, he led the process to develop Milwaukee’s first community-driven comprehensive violence prevention plan, known as the Blueprint for Peace; expanded the rapid response trauma services for youth and families exposed to violence, in partnership with Milwaukee County; and launched 414 LIFE, a community-based violence interruption approach to reduce gun violence in partnership with local hospitals and nonprofit agencies.

From November 2012 - March 2016, Moore served as Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Youth Engagement, Inc. (Milwaukee). In this role he developed and led local and international consulting services for the Center; developed and led a collective impact effort to improve the quality and coordination of after-school youth development programs throughout the city; facilitated a national youth roundtable for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative; provided technical assistance to the national Executive Alliance for Boys and Men of Color; and facilitated the development and launch of a mobile app designed to improve youth access to after-school, employment and mental health services throughout Milwaukee County. Moore also served as the National Director of Youth Activism (Washington, DC) from 2008-2012; Founder and Executive Director of Urban Underground (Milwaukee) from 2000-2007; and Program Manager for Public Allies, Inc. (Milwaukee) from 1997-1999.

The focus of Moore’s new position is to direct a statewide needs assessment, connecting with communities disproportionately burdened by interpersonal violence to ensure their voices are represented and elevated; oversee the development of a violence prevention plan and activities of the WVPP; and ground all work in understanding of violence as a public health disease. This activities will be carried out within the new Division of Violence Prevention within the CIC.

Violence-related injury is the third-leading cause of death in the US (as of 2019) among those aged 15- 34 years and the fourth-leading cause of death among children aged 10-14 years. In Wisconsin, firearm injury is the third-leading cause of injury-related death with the highest rates of age-adjusted interpersonal violence-related mortality found among 18- to 24-year old Black Wisconsinites. In 2018, the interpersonal violence-related mortality rate for Black Wisconsinites was 25 per 100,000 and 5.5 per 100,000 for Latinx Wisconsinites, while the rate for White Wisconsinites was 1.8 per 100,000. Unfortunately, violence is worsening; for example, in 2020 in Milwaukee County, homicides are up over 100% and non-fatal shootings have increased over 70% compared to 2019.

Violence is a preventable biopsychosocial public health disease. For the person injured by interpersonal violence, the impact is not simply biological in nature. Rather, the psychosocial effects of violence can endure throughout an individual’s lifetime and include, but are not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression, substance misuse, and even suicide. Violence affects the social fabric of communities as well. On the neighborhood level, violence leads to social disorder, fear, and community disinvestment that further perpetuates increased violence. Additionally, societal factors can impact community and individual risk for violence. Research has demonstrated the tie between social factors such as institutional racism and interpersonal violence. Violence can have broad effects that reach throughout society.

Given the epidemic levels of violence within Wisconsin, we found it necessary to develop a comprehensive statewide violence prevention program. The vision for this new division is to be a statewide research, education, evaluation and community engagement resource for individuals and entities who are engaged in violence prevention efforts. We also will serve as a statewide leader in violence prevention practices, research and advocacy. Addressing violence is critical, as it disproportionately impacts lower income and racial/ethnic minority groups – directly feeding the growing health disparity that exists in communities of color. In order to act swiftly, the most current and valid data are needed to guide current and future violence prevention work. This Division, under Moore’s leadership, will lead to improved health and safety in Wisconsin by providing this critical information to communities and organizations engaged in violence prevention and to more effectively direct resources to communities disproportionately impacted by violence.

The CIC has a long-standing relationship with the city of Milwaukee and is the only Center of its kind in the state. The CIC combines educational, clinical training and research expertise, in conjunction with community-engaged expertise in violence prevention. It is uniquely positioned to initiate and house a novel program that fills the aforementioned gaps. This initiative will leverage existing work related to violence, violence prevention, and public health within the CIC, as well as existing relationships with local and state entities, to position to the CIC, AHW, and MCW to be a statewide resource for community organizations engaged in violence prevention. Violence prevention efforts are more effective when they are directed by representatives of the affected community.