Talk: “Politics of Public Health: Social and Structural Determinants of Health and Describe Our Efforts to Reduce the Trauma and Violence in Syracuse,” Prof. Sandra D. Lane, Syracuse University, A-130, 12:30PM March 15 (EN)

Talk: “Politics of Public Health: Social and Structural Determinants of Health and Describe Our Efforts to Reduce the Trauma and Violence in Syracuse.”

Sandra D. Lane, Ph.D., MPH
Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor
Professor of Public Health and Anthropology
Syracuse University
Research Professor
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Upstate Medical University

Tuesday, March 15, 12:30 p.m.
A-130 (Seminar Room), FEASS Building


This presentation describes a multifaceted study and set of interventions to address neighborhood trauma due to violence in Syracuse, New York. It is part of a larger on-going longitudinal research project that is a community-university collaboration addressing trauma due to neighborhood violence. Collaborators include faculty and students of Syracuse University, the Syracuse Police Department, the Street Addictions Institute, Inc., the Trauma Response Team, and Mothers against Gun Violence. Syracuse, a city of just over 140,000 residents near the Canadian border, has the highest concentration of poverty among African Americans and Latinos. There are 135 gunshot episodes per year (more than one bullet fired per episode), located in three tight clusters in neighborhoods filled with impoverished mothers and children. About 20 murders occur each year and 70 individuals are non-fatally injured; the emergency medical costs of caring for the non-fatally injured costs the city about $2.5 million per year. Three elementary schools are located within the gunshot clusters; in those schools the children’s 3rd grade reading and math scores are much lower than in the areas without gun violence. Our research team has studied the violence as a public health issue, with findings that it follows a tragic feuding pattern, much like the “troubles” in Belfast. Over half of the residents in the gunshot clusters, who were surveyed by our team, have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This presentation will place the violence situation in the context of the social determinants of health and describe our efforts to date at reducing the trauma and violence.

Short Bio:
Sandra D. Lane, Ph.D., MPH, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of teaching excellence, is a professor of public health and anthropology at Syracuse University and a research professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Upstate Medical University. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the joint program at the University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley, and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on the impact of racial, ethnic and gender disadvantage on maternal, child, and family health in urban areas of the United States and the Middle East. Lane has published 39 peer reviewed journal articles; 19 book chapters; a 2008 book, Why Are Our Babies Dying? Pregnancy, Birth and Death in America; and a policy monograph, The Public Health Impact of Needle Exchange Programs in the United States and Abroad. Her work has been funded 10 federal grants (NIMH, CDC, EPA, HRSA, and Office of Minority Health), 5 foundation grants, one state grant, and several internal grants. In addition to the Meredith award, she received the Carl F. Wittke Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and the John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching, both at Case Western Reserve University.

Lane has developed a model that links the community-participatory analysis of public policy with pedagogy, called CARE (Community Action Research and Education). Her CARE projects include food deserts in Syracuse, lead poisoning in rental property, health of the uninsured, and her current project on neighbourhood trauma and gun violence.