Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher Says Violence is a Top Public Health Priority

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By Anne Glausser

Cleveland’s seen a spike in gun deaths over the last several months, including young children killed in the crossfire. This environment of violence is a top public health priority, says Dr. David Satcher. 

Back in the late nineties when he was serving as surgeon general, Satcher wrote the nation a prescription for better diet and more exercise.  He says this would still be his advice, but that people need the opportunities to make these smart choices, and that starts with living in a safe neighborhood.

"Safety is critical because it reduces the opportunity to be healthy.  There are many people in this country trapped in their homes, older people who are afraid to go out because of the violence in their communities.  It’s going to impact people’s ability to be mobile enough to get physical exercise, physical activity, to be mobile enough to have relationships with their neighbors," he said.

In addition to addressing violence, Satcher hopes to see new policies that help build up the health and resiliency of communities so that the people living in them can get and stay healthy.

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