Davis is being honored for her commitment to creating thriving, equitable communities and for her work promoting a public health approach to preventing violence.
Oakland, CA – Today the American Public Health Association announced that Rachel A. Davis, executive director of the national nonprofit Prevention Institute is receiving the 2019 APHA Award for Excellence. The APHA Award for Excellence is given each year to a living individual in recognition of her/his exceptionally meritorious contribution to improve community health. Davis is receiving the award for her “forward thinking vision, outstanding leadership, and commitment to creating thriving, equitable communities.” Davis is also being recognized for having developed tools and frameworks that contributed to a shift in how violence is approached locally and nationally.
“I nominated Rachel for this award and am thrilled that she’s being honored,” said Deborah Prothrow- Stith, M.D., Dean and Professor of Medicine for the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “Rachel is a visionary leader who’s also well-versed in on-the-ground realities, because she collaborates with communities and understands that the most effective, sustainable community-level strategies build on local knowledge, expertise, and leadership.”
As a co-founder of Prevention Institute, Davis has led the organization’s health equity and preventing violence and trauma teams, working in collaboration with community partners and government agencies to create groundbreaking tools, frameworks, and initiatives for advancing health, safety, wellbeing, and health equity. She became Prevention Institute’s executive director in November 2018.
Davis has been a thought leader in preventing violence for decades and has contributed to a shift in how violence is approached locally and nationally. She and her colleagues and partners, including Prothrow-Stith and the UNITY Cities Network, supported a transformation from addressing violence solely as a criminal justice issue to also addressing it as a preventable public health crisis. This shift to treating violence as a public health issue is reflected in the actions of communities, regions, and national agencies throughout the country.
“I’m honored to have been recognized by APHA and to be among such an incredible group of honorees this year,” Davis said. “Communities are facing significant challenges today–things like gun violence, hate-fueled violence and rhetoric, and the mounting toll of diseases of despair. Communities that have been the most marginalized are at the greatest risk.
“We can do better than this. And it starts by recognizing that communities have their own solutions to the problems they face. At Prevention Institute, we will continue to stand with communities in the fight for health, justice, and equity.”
The APHA Award for Excellence recognizes Davis’ transformative leadership in co-developing a body of innovative tools and frameworks that have been used in communities through the US, including:
THRIVE (Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments). Originally developed for the US Office of Minority Health, this framework helps communities understand how structural drivers like racism unfold at the local level. It allows community members and public health practitioners to assess and take action on the social determinants of health.
Countering the Production of Health Inequities Through Systems and Sectors: This analysis shows how historical and current policies, laws, practices, and procedures have produced inequities in health outcomes and segregated some people from the opportunity to be healthy. It also presents community-driven solutions to produce health equity.
Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience (ACE|R) is a groundbreaking framework for understanding trauma at the community level. The ACE|R Framework offers specific strategies to address and prevent community trauma and foster resilience. It has been put into action in communities from Tacoma, WA to Milwaukee, WI to San Diego, CA.
Collaboration Multiplier is an interactive tool for analyzing collaborative efforts across fields. It is designed to guide an organization to a better understanding of which partners it needs and how to engage them.
Prevention Institute is a national nonprofit with offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Its mission is to build prevention and health equity into key policies and actions at the federal, state, local, and organizational level to ensure that the places where all people live, work, play and learn foster health, safety, and wellbeing. Since 1997, Prevention Institute has partnered with communities, local government entities, foundations, multiple sectors, and public health agencies to bring cutting-edge research, practice, strategy, and analysis to the pressing health and safety concerns of the day. We have applied our approach to violence prevention, healthy eating and active living, land use, health systems transformation, and mental health and wellbeing, among other issues.
CONTACT: Andrea Buffa, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-325-3653.