Research at the Center

Dr. Jessica H. Beard joined the Center last summer as our Director of Research. Dr. Beard is a trauma surgeon in one of Philadelphia’s busiest trauma centers, Temple University Hospital. She is also a widely published public health researcher who focuses on multi-disciplinary partnerships to solve complex public health problems, including gun violence. She is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of Trauma Research at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow.

Stoneleigh Foundation Fellowship

Previous research

Frontline experts discuss solutions to gun violence

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard joined a panel of local experts addressing gun violence in Philadelphia from the public health perspective, organized by The Philadelphia Inquirer LIVE: Health Report. You can watch the full session or jump to Dr. Beard’s opening comments, explanation of the public health approach or introduction to our work.

Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit

Just before the pandemic, the team at the Center organize the inaugural Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit at WHYY in Philadelphia. Nearly 250 journalists, researchers and community representatives atended.

Widening the Lens on Gun Violence Reporting in Philadelphia: Perspectives from the Medical, Public Health, and Research Communities

As part of this panel, we heard from health care providers treating gun injured patients as well as public health practitioners and researchers working to unpack the root causes of gun violence and identify evidence-based solutions to this important public health problem in Philadelphia. On the front lines of gun violence every day, we presented our unique perspectives and work in the areas of gun violence epidemiology and prevention. Dr. Beard organized and moderated this panel.

What One Community Wants Journalists to Understand about Gun Violence

Journalists are faced with the difficult task of reporting on gun violence in a manner that serves the public good but does not compound the trauma of victims. Debates about how to strike this delicate balance take place continually in newsrooms and journalism classrooms. Yet, too often the direct input of those most affected by gun violence are not included in these discussions. In this session, Dr. Jennifer Midberry of Lehigh University presented findings from a focus group study that explores how victims of gun violence in Philadelphia perceive local media coverage of the issue and how they think such reporting can be improved.

Better reporting on gun violence could enhance public understanding and support for effective programs and policies to prevent gun violence and hopefully save lives. But what does the ideal, most ethical and impactful reporting on gun violence look like in real life? We are making plans now to announce important new developments to address this question early in the new year.


Narratives of North Broad Podcast

Dr. Beard discusses her path to medicine, her passion for public health and some of the causes and solutions to gun violence in our cities.

Preventing harmful gun violence reporting

KYW Newsradio’s Flashpoint program organized this conversation with Dr. Beard, Young Chances Foundation founder Tyrique Glasgow and KYW Brand Manager and Program Director Alex Silverman.

Gun violence and community trauma in the Covid-19 pandemic

Dr. Beard shared findings from her research on WHYY’s Radio Times.



Dr. Jessica Beard to City Council: “Help Philadelphians understand the public health context, root causes, and solutions for gun violence.”

Media reporting on public health threats like gun violence directly influences the way the public understands and responds to the health threat. If the mayor can help Philadelphians understand the public health context, root causes, and solutions for gun violence through these biweekly briefings, this could go a long way to gain support for effective solutions and begin to stem the tide of shootings in the city.

Dr. Jessica Beard

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