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August 14, 2012

Bloomberg School Receives Grant to Study Violence Against Healthcare Workers

Rubenstein

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was awarded $113,992 from the United States Institute of Peace to study and prevent health care worker violence in conflict zones around the world. The grant will allow researchers from the Bloomberg School’s Center for Public Health and Human Rights to develop, test and validate an instrument designed to track attacks on health workers during armed conflicts.

“In areas of conflict, the safety of health care workers is vital. They often find themselves in dangerous situations working to support and maintain the health of those in their communities,” said Leonard Rubenstein, JD, LLM, principal investigator and a senior scientist with the Bloomberg School’s Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the Department of Epidemiology. “My colleagues and I are pleased to receive support from the Institute of Peace.  This funding is a key step in moving us forward to better understand and protect the lives of health care workers at home and abroad.”

Led by Rubenstein, faculty from the Center for Public Health and Human Rights will design an instrument to help organizations report on the nature and extent of attacks on health workers in conflict regions. Once completed, the tool will also assist public health workers in the development of prevention strategies, promote accountability, and support indigenous workers who provide critical health care amid violent conflict. 

For more than 20 years, the United States Institute of Peace’s Grant Program has awarded more than 2,100 grants both in the United States and abroad. The program increases the strength of the Institute of Peace’s work by supporting peace building projects managed by nonprofit organizations.

“In the absence of uniform means for collecting and reporting information on attacks on health workers, facilities, transports and patients, this initiative will result in a much needed platform for collecting evidence of such attacks,” says Steven Riskin, Special Assistant to the President for Grants at the U. S. Institute of Peace. “It will provide a critical tool to enhance understanding of the nature and motivations for attacks and contribute to the development and implementation of strategies that will save lives.”

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu.