David G. Jacobs, MD
David G. Jacobs, MD, associate medical director of trauma services at Carolinas Medical Center, is striving to reactivate SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere), an international youth violence prevention program. Originally launched in Charlotte, it has grown to include more than 2,000 active chapters internationally.
“Youth violence should really be thought of as a preventable disease that, like other diseases, has known causes, known treatments and known prevention strategies,” said. Dr. Jacobs. “As a trauma surgeon, I view it as my personal responsibility to help to develop and promote some of these prevention strategies, like the reinvigoration of SAVE, which can help educate the community and keep our students safe.”
SAVE is a student-led violence prevention program that aims to decrease the potential for violence in schools and communities by promoting student involvement, education and service opportunities. In 1989, a student at West Charlotte High School died while trying to break up a fight at a party on a Friday night. The next Monday, his classmates vowed to organize against violence as a way to honor the memory of the student who died. As a result, the first chapter of SAVE was established.
Currently, there are no active SAVE chapters in the Charlotte area. However, Dr. Jacobs is encouraging Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to re-establish these chapters in an effort to address the growing problem of youth violence nationwide.
In 1995, Dr. Jacobs created the Violence Prevention Committee at CMC that has partnered with several youth service agencies in the region to increase awareness about the problem of youth violence. The goal is to help develop a comprehensive, regional and long-term approach to reducing this unnecessary loss of life.
The hospital’s Violence Prevention Committee focuses on the underlying causes and prevention of youth violence and regularly provides education to area students, parents and other groups of concerned individuals who are out in the community, as well as here on the campus of CMC. Under Dr. Jacobs’ leadership, the Violence Prevention Committee has planned and co-hosted eight Annual Youth Violence Prevention Conferences in Charlotte. Each year, approximately 275 attendees attend the conference.
Dr. Jacobs’ efforts have recently earned him accolades. The Charlotte Business Journal named him a winner in the “Education in Health Care” category for his commendable work in violence prevention during the publication’s “Excellence in Health Care Awards” Ceremony.