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Hard Data: From Evidence To Action

Hard Data examines the many ways data is used to develop policy that can improve the health of communities. Episodes feature interviews with experts in health, data, and public policy.

The podcast series is presented by the National Violence Prevention Network and American College of Preventive Medicine. Network partners and other organizations looking to share the podcast with their members and audiences may utilize the promotional packages provided for each episode.


Real-Time Data Tracking Informs Preventive Strategies

Data dashboard with Hard Data podcast logo

In this episode of Hard Data, Dr. Maryann Mason, violence and injury research director at the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics, discusses the importance of real-time ‘syndromic’ surveillance in tracking and responding to homicides, suicides, domestic violence, and outbreaks of disease. Calling upon her unique experience with the National Violent Death Reporting System in her home state of Illinois, Dr. Mason describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has also complicated the collection and analysis of critical health data. (August 26, 2020 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promtion package)

Educating Lawmakers on Injury and Violence Prevention

View of U.S. Capitol; Hard Data podcast

When the people in charge have the most relevant data presented to them in the clearest way possible, they can design and implement the most effective programs possible. In this episode of Hard Data, Paul Bonta, director of government relations for the Safe States Alliance, describes how Injury Control Research Centers work with public health departments across the country to help local officials make informed decisions. (July 10, 2020 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

Reaching Out to Underserved Communities

HardData podcast episode image with Atlanta streetscape

The poorest communities are usually hit the hardest by natural and man-made disasters — like the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism. In this episode, Dr. Ayanna V. Buckner, principal of the Community Health Cooperative in Atlanta, discusses ways to connect with such underserved communities and rebuild trust. She describes long-standing, structural problems that have made it difficult for researchers to study these isolated communities, and she highlights strategies for improving public health while attracting diverse, new talent to the field. (July 10, 2020 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

Improving Health in Rural America

HardData episode image with gravel country road

West Virginia didn’t suffer as many COVID-19 deaths through the first wave as experts originally expected. Dr. Michael Brumage, medical director of Cabin Creek Health Systems and director of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency at West Virginia University, says that data is to thank for that. In this episode, Dr. Brumage discusses what his state did right in preparing for the pandemic. He also delves into the widening health disparities between rural and urban communities and highlights new ways to look at data and expand care. (June 25, 2020 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

NVDRS: Linking Data to Save Lives

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The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) collects data from across the country to shed light on the circumstances surrounding homicides and suicides. In this episode, Dr. Sabrina Brown, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky, describes how the study of violent deaths has evolved since the inception of the national system and how it can be used to prevent violence in families and communities for years to come. (June 25, 2020 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

Health, Equality, and the Pandemic

Hospital room; Hard Data podcast

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and exacerbated long-standing, racial disparities in our healthcare system. In this episode, Dr. Stephanie Zaza, president of the American College of Preventive Medicine, discusses how data is used to inform public policy during an emergency — and how it can be used to close gaps in care. She examines the complex relationship between social inequities and patients’ health outcomes while suggesting ways to address both simultaneously. (June 25, 2020 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

Suicide Prevention in the Age of Big Data

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Americans aged 15 to 34. But Jonathan Singer, president of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), and his colleagues have been collecting and analyzing data to better understand this complex and poorly understood public health concern. In this episode, Dr. Singer discusses his collaboration with Netflix, a suicide risk-monitoring tool for youth, and the new national hotline for suicide prevention: 988. (November 22, 2019 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

The National Violent Death Reporting System

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The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) has grown from a pet project, involving a handful of states, to a vast, nationwide database on the forefront of injury and violence prevention. In this episode of Hard Data, Cathy Barber, senior researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discusses her involvement with the creation and maintenance of this game-changing system. She describes how the NVDRS has evolved into an essential tool for researchers and policymakers, highlighting the critical importance of learning from the dead. (November 22, 2019 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)

A Pathway to Better Policies

Hard Data episode image, map of U.S. with data points

On the first episode of Hard Data, Tom Leary, vice president of Government Relations at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), discusses the importance of tracking public health outbreaks in real-time or near-real-time. Recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, Leary calls for a modernization of public health infrastructure in the United States to track diseases like measles, Zika, and the lung injuries caused by vaping. He highlights the importance of digitizing patient records and explains why the CDC is in a unique position to help. (November 22, 2019 / Apple, Spotify, Libsyn, Promotion package)


Network partners sharing recent episodes may utilize the promotional assets provided by the American College of Preventive Medicine. Links to previously issued promotion packages are available above with each episode.