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Alaska to compile & contribute data to
National Violent Death Reporting System
Making sense of homicide data is a first step to preventing violent deaths


September 24, 2003
Wednesday - 1:15 am

The Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services received a grant of $170,747 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC) to develop a National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), Commissioner Joel Gilbertson announced Monday. The NVDRS will allow states and communities to develop a system to collect timely, complete, and accurate information about violent deaths. Alaska is one of seven states to receive this funding this year. Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wisconsin are also being funded and are in the process of developing the NVDRS for their communities.

"This funding enables Alaska to address a critical information gap and establish a system to collect data about violent deaths in our state," Gilbertson said. "Linking data to learn about all facets of homicide and suicide is a critical first step to stop violent deaths. This is an important opportunity for both the State and Alaskan communities to better understand violent deaths so that we can prevent these deaths."

The State will compile information from death certificates, medical examiners and coroner's reports, police department/law enforcement reports, and crime labs for Alaska's NVDRS. Linking these sources enables the state to gain a better understanding of the circumstances and factors that affect violent deaths.

"Creating a national violent death reporting system helps us to make sense of homicide statistics," Sue Binder, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control said. "It will help us to identify trends to stop these senseless deaths and reduce the toll of violence for our Nation. Linking state-level data and sharing it with others is a crucial first step. If we can capture the fragments of data in all agencies that work in this arena and link each violent death and injury, then we can identify what works to stop it and begin save lives in the future."

Alaska was selected from among 17 applicants following a rigorous objective review by public health experts. CDC funded a total of 13 states to develop and implement the NVDRS. States already receiving funding are Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia.

According to the news release, the CDC hopes to develop a national system similar to the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) operated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has led to numerous improvements by researchers and others in motor vehicle safety.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services
Web Site


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