Rhode Island: Using Shared Risk and Protective Factors to Reach Schools and Communities

The Rhode Island Violence and Injury Prevention Program (RIVIPP) had been working with partners who worked with a Shared Risk and Protective Factors (SRPFs) framework for some time before they made it a central part of their own approach. Rhode Island’s statewide Coalition Against Domestic Violence focused on community-level factors affecting multiple kinds of injury and violence when they successfully applied for the CDC Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancements and Leadership Through Alliances, Focusing on Outcomes for Communities United with States (DELTA FOCUS) grant which funds intimate partner violence prevention efforts. In 2014 the RI Department of Health began an initiative called Health Equity Zones (HEZ). HEZs are place-based efforts focused on improving the social determinants of health and health equity in communities across the state. Next, in 2016 the RI-VIPP adopted a SRPF approach in their own work when they responded to the CDC’s Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (SVIPP) grant which specifically required a SRPF approach. While the DELTA grant and HEZ initiatives helped shift the conversation around health in Rhode Island toward thinking about underlying determinants of health, it wasn’t till this point that the RI-VIPP started using the language of shared risk and protection to describe the idea of addressing the underlying factors that influence multiple health outcomes at once.

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