Essential hospitals and health systems have a vested interest in and are uniquely positioned to drive population health improvements, particularly related to interpersonal violence.

Interpersonal violence is considered a social determinant of health because it results in injury, chronic health conditions, and adverse health outcomes for individuals, communities, and the hospitals that serve them.

Several members of America’s Essential Hospitals have worked to reduce interpersonal violence as part of community-integrated health care. For example, essential hospitals teach community members to treat wounds in emergency situations, provide structured counseling in the emergency department to prevent further violence or retaliation, and develop partnerships to refer patients to community resources following interpersonal violence incidents.

In this new brief, America’s Essential Hospitals examines literature and examples of programs at member hospitals aimed at preventing and reducing interpersonal violence.

In The Field — Essential Hospitals: Community Anchors in Violence Prevention


  • Violence is a social determinant of health that affects health risks and outcomes for individuals, communities, and the hospitals who serve them.
  • Interpersonal violence disproportionately effects vulnerable populations, youth, and those in metropolitan areas.
  • Essential hospitals use population health approaches to combat interpersonal violence in the communities they serve.