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Am J Prev Med. 2009 Jul;37(1):68-71. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.03.005.

Creating a National Violent Death Reporting System: a successful beginning.

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Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Following the urgings of many advocates, an IOM report in 1999 called for a national data system on violent death, modeled after that existing for motor-vehicle crashes. The National Violent Death Reporting System now provides rich data on the circumstances of violent deaths in the U.S.; it is the first national system to collect in-depth information on suicides. In November 2008, the system went online (, making data from 17 states available to researchers and the general public. The successful development of this system was the result of a 10-year effort begun with the support of a half-dozen foundations. Key components of the success included a high-quality pilot version of the system and the mobilization of a large, bipartisan coalition of individuals, institutions, and agencies that advocated for federal funding for the system.

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