The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is a CDC initiative designed to provide comprehensive data from multiple sources on the incidence and circumstances of violent deaths. These data will be used for the development of effective prevention programs. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) was one of the first six states funded to begin collecting data in 2003 for NVDRS. MDPH seeks funding under opportunity number CDC-RFA-CE22-2201 to continue the collection of violent death information using the NVDRS for the years 2023-2027 under this initiative.
The Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS) is a surveillance system for violent deaths occurring in Massachusetts and utilizes data from the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Boston Police Department to monitor, characterize, and understand the circumstances leading up to these deaths.
Violent deaths include homicides, suicides, deaths of undetermined intent, legal intervention deaths and all firearm fatalities. These deaths are a major public health problem in Massachusetts and throughout the United States. In 2019, MAVDRS identified over 880 violent deaths in Massachusetts. Almost three-quarters (72%) of these deaths were suicides, 17% were due to homicide, and 10% were deaths of undetermined intent. MAVDRS provides detailed information on these deaths through the maintenance of a multi-source, linked, case-level database, which can provide more in-depth information than any of the individual data sources alone. MAVDRS will be entered into the web-based system maintained by CDC in a manner standardized across all NVDRS states and consistent with CDC guidelines for the project.
The first purpose of this project is the continued collection of accurate, timely, high quality and comprehensive surveillance data on violent deaths occurring in Massachusetts in compliance with CDC guidelines. Collaborative agreements between MDPH and the data providers, established for MAVDRS implementation, demonstrate broad-based commitment from public health and public safety to understand and prevent violent deaths better. MAVDRS will also enhance its system by improving the quality and completeness of its data. Broad dissemination of findings from the system is the second purpose of the project. The four key outcomes of this project are improved completeness, quality and timeliness of violent death surveillance data, a strong working relationship with key partners as evidenced by continued or expanded participation in MAVDRS project and increased access and use of violent death surveillance data by partners working to prevent violence and the public and increased ability to describe the geographic distribution of violent death and understand the social determinants of health in relation to violent death-related health disparities. MAVDRS is a collaborative project and its success in implementation, maintenance and enhancement is the result of the ongoing commitment of our state, other NVDRS- funded states, CDC and other national partners.