SCY is leading an effort to pursue the future direction developed in 2015, beginning with a 6-month project to accomplish several of the short-term tasks. This approach will build momentum on the project and establish a sense of trust and ownership among the core group overseeing the project. Following this initial project, we anticipate being well-positioned to undertake the remaining activities identified as part of the future direction.

During the formative stage, discussion at meetings of the VDL stakeholders was largely conceptual. Over the course of the current project, this group will evolve to become more action-oriented. Meetings will be held every other month and will last for 2-3 hours depending on the agenda. As described below, the group will be charged with making certain decisions and providing guidance regarding project activities. At the conclusion of the 6-month project, the expectation is that stakeholders will have determined whether they/their agency can commit to involvement in pursuing the VDL direction and what that commitment will entail.

During the 6-month project, two educational seminars will be held at Lurie Children’s. These sessions will be promoted to identified VDL stakeholders, additional violence prevention partners, and a broad network of health and human services professionals. The purpose of the sessions will be twofold: engaging more interested individuals and organizations in the VDL work and continuing to foster the learning environment established during the VDL’s formative phase. Potential topics include CAPriCORN and a project led by the Medical College of Wisconsin to create an enhanced violence surveillance system.

Specific activities during the 6-month project will include:

Data sharing and linkage

  • Project staff will collect data-sharing documents (e.g., memoranda of understanding, consent forms, documents governing personally identifiable information) and IRB procedures from members of the core group and other key VDL stakeholders. Staff will use these samples to develop templates, which will be further refined by the core group.
  • Under the direction of the core group, staff will conduct a review of the opportunities provided or limitations imposed by stakeholders beyond the groups involved in the VDL, with a particular focus on how data sharing is affected by federal requirements for the protection of data.

Summarize/survey data landscape

  • Staff will conduct a review of definitions of “violence data” used in various contexts and will facilitate a process by which the core group determines a definition of “violence data” that is most relevant to the VDL project.
  • With input from the core group, staff will compile an initial catalog of violence-related data systems in Illinois. Staff will develop brief descriptions of the systems, along with tips on how to access the data.
  • With input from the core group, staff will create a list of additional potential VDL stakeholders, which will provide a foundation for dissemination activities.


  • In the formative phase of this project, four broad categories of data users were identified: researchers, agencies, media and the public. To understand these data users and their needs, staff will conduct semi-structured interviews with 2-3 key informants from each of these categories.
  • A VDL website will be created to share the template data-sharing documents and catalog of violence data systems. Availability of these resources will be promoted through the list of VDL stakeholders, the relevant Lurie Children’s networks (Illinois Violent Death Reporting System, SCY, and Child Health Data Lab), and other networks suggested by the core group.