Violent death is a major public health problem in the United States (US) and Georgia. In 2020, more than 2,600 Georgians died of violence, and more than 2,800 Georgians are expected to die in 2021. Violent deaths include 1,491 suicides (age-adjusted rate (AAR):13.7/100,000) and 1,093 homicides (AAR:10.5/100,000). Compare to the US, Georgia’s suicide AAR is similar to the US (13.5/100,000) while homicide rate is 36% higher than the US (7.7/100,000). Violent deaths estimated cost in Georgia was more than $28 billion combining medical care and lost productivity in 2020 (CDC/WISQARS Cost of Injury Calculator). In Georgia, homicides and suicides are the top five leading causes of death among Georgians 10-45 years of age. Since 2003, the Georgia Violent Death Reporting System (GA-VDRS), following the CDC/National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) guidelines, collected; entered data into the NVDRS web-based data entry program; shared de-identified data with CDC/NVDRS program; monitored; analyzed; disseminated data to various programs addressing violence; and identified high-risk population to guide prevention and intervention activities.
As part of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) mission to prevent disease, injury, and disability; promote health and wellbeing; and prepare for and respond to disasters. GA-VDRS will continue to collect complete, timely, and high-quality data; monitoring violent deaths combined with circumstantial information; link multiple related deaths; analyze and disseminate GA-VDRS data to systematically inform and guide violence prevention efforts and ultimately reduce violence in Georgia. GA-VDRS efforts implemented under this application supports Healthy People 2030 objectives on violence and injury prevention and reducing the consequence of violence on all Georgians.
During this performance period, GA-VDRS plan to achieve these key outcomes: 1) 100% data completeness, timeliness, and quality of violent death data including: decedent sexual orientation, gender identity, and firearm information; 2) maintain strong relationships with partners and organizations involved in violence prevention; 3) increase access to the GA-VDRS data by developing public-facing dashboard; 4) increase use of violent death surveillance data to inform violence prevention programmatic and policy decisions; 5) increase ability to describe geographic distribution of violent deaths by geocoding and releasing data at the census tract/block level; and understand the associations between socioeconomic status (SES), social determinants of health (SDoH), neighborhood deprivation index (NDI), and its disproportionate impact on Georgians.