Stopping the Cycle of Violence Through Trauma Intervention

Northwestern Medicine
News December 14, 2011

CeaseFire’s Hospital Responders at Northwestern MemorialA new documentary called “The Interrupters” is getting rave reviews from critics and moviegoers across the country while selling out showings in Chicago. The film follows three CeaseFire Violence Interrupters as they attempt to break the cycle of violence on Chicago’s streets. CeaseFire is a unique, interdisciplinary, public health approach to violence prevention. Part of CeaseFire’s strategy is a hospital-based intervention program, which Northwestern Memorial Hospital joined in 2010. CeaseFire’s Hospital Responders reach out to patients their families who have been affected by violence directly at the bedside in hopes of preventing retaliation or repeat injury.

Violent injury is devastating for people; grief, retaliatory anger and even occasional threatening behavior are not uncommon,” explained trauma surgeon Marie Crandall, MD, MPH, who is one of the physicians driving CeaseFire at Northwestern Memorial. “This program provides the tools necessary to not only treat the physical injuries of these patients, but also address their psychosocial needs. Trauma is a teaching opportunity. These patients have touched mortality, which helps them reflect. The Hospital Responders can use this opportunity to reach the patient and help them down another path.”

A free screening of “The Interrupters” will be shown on Saturday, December 17, at 2 p.m., at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street. For details, visit

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