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Faculty Highlight: Dr. Cathy Taylor - Professor and Director of Tulane's new Violence Prevention Institute

December 20, 2018 12:00 PM


Dr. Cathy Taylor is an associate professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine (SPHTM), as well as the Director of Tulane’s newly established Violence Prevention Institute. She is a perfect fit to lead the Violence Prevention Institute because she has more than 20 years of career experience focused on preventing violence, and especially family violence and child physical abuse.  Nationally, she has worked with groups such as the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the National Summit to End Corporal Punishment of Children, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in efforts to prevent child physical abuse, particularly through changing social norms regarding hitting children for discipline. Her work was cited extensively in the recently updated policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children. The new policy advises parents to not use corporal punishment due to the health risks it poses to children, and to instead use alternative forms of discipline. Her work has found that pediatricians are essential in delivering this message to parents and that most pediatricians understand the harms of corporal punishment for children.

At the Tulane University SPHTM, Dr. Taylor designed and teaches the graduate level course, Violence as a Public Health Problem. The course features both faculty and community partner guest speakers from across disciplines who are experts in studying or directing efforts to prevent violence throughout the New Orleans community. This class served as a seed that would eventually grow into the Violence Prevention Institute.

The common thread that runs throughout her research, teaching, and professional practice is the desire to understand, inform, and implement innovative and inter-disciplinary approaches to preventing violence that impacts children.  Locally, she is engaged with community partners such as the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center, the New Orleans Health Department, and the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans. Most recently she was awarded a $3 million grant by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to examine the effectiveness of brief parenting programs.

Stay tuned for more highlights from Dr. Taylor’s violence prevention projects as well as other faculty in the VPI!