"Probably the worst thing I had to do is tell a 15-year-old mother that her son was killed," said Gore. "If I can not keep someone alive, I've failed."
Gore, a native Brooklyn, finds violent injuries that are particularly difficult in the stomach – a feeling worsened by the fact that many of the victims he faces are young men of color.
"When I was a doc doc, my patients looked just like me," he said. "Many of these things really hit the house."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the leading cause of death among black men aged 15 to 34.
"The conflict can not be avoided, but violent conflicts are," said Gore. "When you see a lot of work or neighborhood injuries, you realize that" I do not want this to happen, what do we do for it? "
Victims of violence are more likely to be replenished, so Gore's first job was in the hospital, with an intervention program where "hospital correspondents" help the victims of violence and their family – a model that has pioneered others hospitals. The idea is that extending immediately after someone injured reduces the likelihood of violent retaliation and gives the victim the opportunity to face some of the circumstances that may have led to their injury.
Gore started this program in his hospital with a handful of volunteers from KAVI. Today, the effort is a collaboration between KAVI and some other non-profit organizations, with teams 24/7.
However, Gore wanted to prevent people from being violently injured in the first place. So in 2011, he and his team began to work with a handful of students at risk in a nearby high school. By the end of the year more than 50 students had attended. Today, KAVI organizes weekly workshops for male and female students in three schools, teaching mediation and conflict resolution. The team also provides free psychosocial counseling for students who need one-on-one support.
"Violence is everywhere – home, school, neighborhood, police," said Gore. "You want to make sure they can learn how to process, deal with it and overcome it."
Although Gore is regularly attending workshops, most are now run by mediators – recent graduates and students, some of whom are former members of KAVI – who act as mentors to students. School leaders say the program was successful: reducing violence, increasing degrees and sending many graduates to college.
"This is really about the community we live in," he said. "This is my home and I will do everything possible to make sure people can really thrive."
CNN spoke to Gore about his work. Below is a modified version of their conversation.
CNN: How did your history work affect your doctor?
Dr. Rob Gore: I just started to wonder: "Why are these things going on?" If we simply do these Band-Aid approaches, then they will suffer with the same problems. Your outlook changes completely if the wound becomes personal. I began to consider violence as a public health problem – this avoided disease where, if we intervene, we could really change its scope. I want to keep life and improve vitality, and that really inspires the work we have done with KAVI.
CNN: Why is the correspondent program in the hospital and how does it work?
Gore: When you have patients with domestic violence, everyone knows what they have to do – call the group to deal with sexual abuse and start taking care of their physical and psychosocial needs. But when a 16-year-old man was shot in front of his building, they often sent him home alone. He returns to the same building, the school – the same situation where he fell into trouble and is expected to continue his normal life. No one has paid attention to the child's needs.
The hospital's correspondents are people from the same community who understand all the social, economic, and even conclusions that may affect them. He is a lawyer who makes sure that these patients have the same dignity as all other patients. They will monitor patients when they are in hospitals. They want to make sure you have a safe place to go for a walk in the house. They identify the specific needs of this patient and work with social workers who have access to other resources. And they continue to monitor even after unloading the patient. We want to make sure that they do not return for injuries and that they can be able to take care of themselves and their families.
CNN: KAVI also has many community programs. What is their extent?
Gore: Our Community programs cover many. Our teaching program is run by medical students and emergency medical practitioners. It is a way to build a bridge between the hospital and the community. Our postgraduate program for high school students is called KAVI YO, which represents young people, named in honor of Willis Young, one of the hospital nurses who stabbed and died in 2015.
We also have a summer camp where high school students work with high school students. Our students have so many strengths. They just need someone to help understand how they can access it. This is our ultimate goal – we want to make sure that the people we serve are the best.
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