The Academy on Violence and Abuse 2011 Scientific Conference: The Developing Science of Violence and Abuse: Toward a New Understanding The Academy on Violence and Abuse will host a scientific conference April 15 and April 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to increase awareness of the biological mechanisms through which exposure to abuse manifests itself in adverse health effects and to promote better integration of teaching about violence and abuse into the health professions'curricula. Background: The Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA) is a national academic health professional membership organization incorporated as a non-profit corporation with an IRS 501c3 designation. AVA is a member in good standing of the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is supported by dues and donations from members and others. The organization has also received significant conference support from AHRQ, the T. Boone Pickens and Otto Bremer foundations, Georgia State University, the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence and the Minnesota Department of Health. Objectives: A number of studies have established the links between early childhood experiences and adult health status. AHRQ-funded health services researchers have pointed to relationships between exposure to violence, utilization and cost. Other research strongly suggests a causal relationship between exposure to violence/abuse and chronic disease. Prevention and/or amelioration of the effects of exposure to violence and abuse could have a profound positive effect on health care utilization and costs. However, most health professions schools provider only brief, cursory, teaching about preventing, indentifying, or clinical management of these exposures. Increased awareness of the long term health effects of exposure to violence, abuse or maltreatment should encourage better education around this topic. In addition, AVA seeks to identify best practices for the integration of teaching about violence and abuse into the health professions curricula. Presenters will be invited to present research regarding the integration of this topic into health care teaching.
Exposure to violence and abuse increases utilization and costs. As health care researchers and policy makers struggle to find better ways of controlling costs, prevention and amelioration of the long lasting effects of exposure to child maltreatment and domestic violence should be a priority. Health professionals need better preparation in order to address this issue.