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.
Targeting Charitable Giving at Mid-Sized Companies
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey engaged Fox MC to develop cost-effective strategies for marketing to their middle market segment (100-1000 employees), and develop a product and service mix that resonated with these firms. The changing political, legal, sociocultural and competitive landscape of the charitable giving industry was driving changes in the positioning of this organization. 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.
Developing Retail Distribution for a Social Enterprise
Sari Bari is building a distribution channel strategy that focuses on wholesaling to retailers. Sari Bari partnered with Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) to develop a marketing strategy for reaching more US consumers and expanding its retail presence throughout the United States. Read more.
Evaluating Enterprise Planning Systems
Philabundance engaged Fox MC to review its system for collecting and tracking donations in real-time. Through an in-depth analysis of their current systems and the systems of peer food banks, Fox MC recommended a feasible Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for Philabundance. 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.
Farmer Training Program
Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT) is a non-profit land trust that endeavors to protect the rural beauty of the 28,000 acres surrounding Willistown, Pennsylvania. Fox Management Consulting worked with Willistown to develop a business model, corresponding business plan, curriculum recommendations, and financial model for the proposed farmer manager training program. Read more.
Transforming the Global Insurance Industry
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and the financial sector. In 2009, a team from Fox Management Consulting investigated the impact of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors on financial performance. The team’s work led to the publication of The Global State of Sustainable Insurance (UNEP 2009) and the further development of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (UNEP 2012). 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.
Investigating New Market Opportunities
The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) builds wealth and opportunity for low-wealth people and places through the promotion of socially and environmentally responsible development. Fox Management Consulting worked with The Reinvestment Fund to investigate new growth areas and develop a business plan for successfully targeting those markets. TRF implemented many of the team’s recommendations, which resulted in $250,000 of new loans. Read more.
Utilizing Business Services
Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board (PWIB) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on all aspects of workforce development. PWIB engaged Fox Management Consulting to increase utilization of their business services. PWIB was provided with a strategy that fosters agility and measures the success of the Business Services Unit. Read more.
Building a Business Model to Support Sustainable Urban Agriculture
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is a non-profit, member based organization that aims to transform agricultural and food systems in Pennsylvania. Fox Management Consulting worked with PASA to research and develop a business model that supports sustainable agriculture in close-in urban areas. The team identified five key insights that led to PASA’s Farm Lease Connection, a platform that connects land owners and sustainable growers. 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.