One by one, members of a community caught in the center of the gun violence crisis came to the table, adjusted the microphone and told their stories.
Leaning in and listening intently were several members of Pennsylvania’s Special Council on Gun Violence, all seated in a large, second-floor room at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University’s Health Sciences Campus.
The council, created in August by Gov. Tom Wolf, has been traveling the state holding hearings, engaging stakeholders and identifying recommendations and best practices they believe will one day reduce gun violence. The council visited North Philadelphia on Dec. 5 for its fifth and final stop.
Among those waiting to testify was Dr. Kathleen Reeves, a pediatrician who is senior associate dean of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the director of the Center for Urban Bioethics at Temple University.
Reeves is passionate about the work being done by Philadelphia CeaseFire Cure Violence, a public health violence intervention program housed at the bioethics center. The program, which originated in Chicago, was replicated in 2011 and operates in portions of the city’s 22nd and 39th Police Districts.
She firmly believes in the organization’s premise that the violence happening in communities is a public health issue and needs to be treated as such.
“Gun violence is as contagious as any other disease,” Reeves testifies. “We’ve known this for over 10 years. We see it each and every day and the wonderful people in this room live it each and every day.
“We need to be working the problem like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) would handle an epidemic: interrupt the spread, keep people away from the contagion and vaccinate them. Give (people) the opportunities and the tools that everyone deserves to be able to live a life free of violence.”
But in order to accomplish that, resources, including additional funding, are needed.
Reeves detailed recent research that reported a reduction in gun-related violence in a police district where the city’s Ceasefire Cure Violence program currently operates. Using a series of scenarios, she explained how the return on investment can increase when efforts go beyond the immediate and primary needs in the battle against gun violence.
“If we expand that effort to include secondary health care needs, mental health care needs, prison costs and lost wages, we actually see the return on investment go up,” she says.
Reeves was able to show examples in her testimony with the assistance of a modeling tool created by an MBA student team at Fox Management Consulting (FMC). The team’s members, Ethan Kannel, Rebecca Wolf, Megha Aggarwal, Alexandra Alicea and Vidya Sabbella, did the client consulting work as part of their MBA capstone course with FMC.
“The tool is a dynamic and flexible system that takes into account all of the variables that impact the cost of gun-related violence, ranging from immediate medical costs like ER care through societal consequences such as incarceration,” says Donald Phillips, FMC project executive for the student team.
“The students’ experience was a total immersion in this healthcare issue, from a political, sociological and economic point of view. You’re not always going to get that opportunity.”
Kannel, who was at the hearing with Rebecca Wolf, was pleased to see the team’s work included in the day’s testimony.
“A lot of schoolwork that you do, you think it won’t go anywhere,” Kannel says. “But the day after we presented our project, we heard our numbers in a hearing.”
Wolf was grateful that her experience with the project was used in an impactful way.
“The most important work we did in the project was related to finances and that was used directly in the hearing,” says Wolf. “It’s a great feeling.”
Now that the hearings are done, the panel will begin its assessment.
“It is important to note that today’s discussion serves as a starting point for the work of the special council to listen to and learn from individuals with both professional and life experience and expertise,” says Mike Pennington, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Fox Professor Donald Phillips and TL Hill, professor of strategic management and managing director of Fox Management Consulting and Executive Education, recently co-authored an opinion piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Read that piece here.
For more information about FMC projects, click here.
Increasing Individual and Corporate Giving
P-OIC tasked Fox MC with developing a marketing plan that would create sustainable revenue growth through increasing individual and corporate giving. Through primary and secondary research, the team identified several obstacles to P-OIC’s revenue growth goals. Their report targeted one revenue stream, events-based marketing, as a primary focus for increasing individual and corporate giving. Read more.
Gauging Interest in Philadelphia-based Survey Platform
The Institute for Survey Research launched a pilot of BeHeardPhilly to gauge respondent interest in the platform. They engaged Fox MC to research the interest of government departments, nonprofit organizations and public interest researchers in accessing the data this platform would generate. Fox MC was tasked with determining the level of interest, willingness to pay for the service, how clients wanted to use the tool, and what features within the platform would most benefit these clients. Read more.
Connecting Entrepreneurs with Resources for Success
The Free Library’s Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC) assists entrepreneurs with making facts-based decisions to support their goals. They engaged a Fox MC faculty team to train their staff and librarians from the broader Free Library network in effectively supporting new business owners and connecting them with resources necessary for success. Read more.
Physician Assistant Program
Temple University’s School of Medicine (TUSM) is dedicated to excellence in education, research and patient care. Fox Management Consulting was working with TUSM to search for new, program-based revenue streams. Fox MC recommended that TUSM is ideally positioned to enter the PA education market and create a standalone PA program within the school. This will also allow TUSM to create a greater level of Interprofessional Education (IPE) integration in the medical school curriculum. Read more.
A Future Direction for Online Learning
Founded in 1884, Temple University is the 26th largest provider of professional education in the United States with more than 37,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Unsure of whether to make a broader commitment to online learning, Temple’s acting President, Richard M. Englert, engaged Fox Management Consulting. Fox Management Consulting recommended that Temple improve and increase its online offerings due to demand across various market segments, proliferation of technology and pressure to remain competitive. Read more.
Identifying Solutions for Continuous Improvement
Founded in 1884, Temple University is a research intensive institution with an enrollment of over 37,000 students. After experiencing ongoing reductions in state support, Temple engaged Fox Management Consulting to evaluate new initiatives that will allow Temple to maintain its support of the University’s mission in the most efficient and cost effective manner. Fox MC’s recommendations provided key pieces of infrastructure necessary to support Temple in achieving its research goals as well as creating a significant increase in cash flow. Read more.
Procurement to Payment Study
Temple University is a state supported, public Research I university with an international reach and enrollment of over 37,000 students. Temple University Controller’s Office engaged Fox Management Consulting to identify areas of improvement in its current Procure to Pay (P2P) practices. The Controller’s Office was provided several recommendations to mature P2P functions for the University. Read more.
Identifying University Treasury Best Practices
The Temple University Treasury Department, reporting to the CFO and Treasurer, is responsible for cash management, bank relationships, borrowing, credit ratings, short-term investments, and institutional liquidity. Fox Management Consulting conducted a study of best practices and organizational structure and design among peer universities and corporations of similar sizes. After the project’s conclusion, the TU Treasury received approval to allocate $200,000 to implement Fox MC’s recommendations. Read more.
Improving Customer Service in Response to Increased Expectations and Accountability
Temple University President Neil Theobald convened a task force to investigate customer service shortcomings in support departments. Fox Management Consulting worked with the task force to investigate the subpar service. Fox MC proposed both systemic and department specific recommendations to improve customer service which the Facilities Management Department began to implement after the project concluded. Read more.
Developing a New Revenue Stream for Public Schools
The School District of Philadelphia (SDP), established in 1818, operates over 200 schools with a $2.5B annual budget and serves over 130,000 K-12 students. Fox Management Consulting worked with the School District of Philadelphia to develop new sources of revenue. Read more.
Developing a New Literacy Enterprise
Powerful Voices for Kids (PVK) represents a unique partnership between Laurada Byers, founder of the Russell Byers Charter School in Center City Philadelphia, and Dr. Renee Hobbs, Director of the Media Education Lab at Temple University and a nationally renowned media literacy expert. Fox Management Consulting worked with integrating Dr. Hobbs’ expertise in media literacy and Ms. Byers’ vision of creating a national K-12 media literacy model, with the goal of creating a viable media literacy enterprise. Using the work provided by Fox MC, PVK received a $100,000 grant to launch the program. Read more.
Developing an Expansion Plan for a Local Farm
Pennypack Farm and Education Center (PFEC) is a non-profit, community supported agriculture farm (CSA). Fox Management Consulting provided PFEC with a business expansion plan and since the conclusion of the project, the farm has expanded to a second site, adding additional CSA shares. Read more.
Integrating Culinary Education, Peace and Social Impact
Peace by Tourism is a culinary arts, service, and hospitality management education program designed to promote coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians of different faiths and backgrounds. Fox Management Consulting worked with Peace by Tourism to create a sustainable business model that incorporates coexistence social impact goals with culinary education as the core immersion experience. Fox MC devised a multi-phase “transformative outcomes” model along with a methodology for evaluating potential coexistence activities. This will allow Peace by Tourism to build a more robust program. Read more.
Pathways to Sustainable Growth
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is a national program that creates dynamic partnerships between institutions of higher learning and correctional systems. Fox Management Consulting was tasked with developing a strategic plan, with a special focus on the role and funding of Inside-Out National. Inside-Out was provided with the information needed to implement new services offerings designed to position Inside-Out on a path of sustained growth. Fox MC’s plan has since helped Inside-Out raise $30,000. Read more.