Trauma symposium to address Richmond’s youth violence and opioid crisis

Representatives from VCU and government agencies will discuss efforts to prevent violence and manage opioid addiction in our communities.

The 2019 VCU Health Rao R. Ivatury Trauma Symposium will feature panel discussions on youth violence prevention and the opioid crisis. Panelists from local government agencies, Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health will discuss achievements, challenges and next steps in working together to increase the success of preventative efforts.

Media interested in covering the panel discussions may RSVP by contacting Laura Rossacher in University Public Affairs at (804) 827-1730 or

2019 Rao R. Ivatury Trauma Symposium
March 22, Richmond Marriott, 500 E. Broad St.

3:20 p.m. Youth Violence Prevention: Time to Act

  • Robyn McDougle, Ph.D., director of the Center for Public Policy at VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
  • Amy Vincent, assistant director of the Injury and Violence Prevention Program at VCU Medical Center
  • Daniel Minton, captain, Community Youth and Intervention Services, Richmond Police Department
  • Shanel Lewis, youth violence prevention coordinator, Richmond City Health District
  • Michael Herring, Richmond commonwealth’s attorney
  • Moderator: Michel B. Aboutanos, M.D., chief of trauma at VCU Medical Center


4:30 p.m. Addressing the Opioid Crisis

  • Omar Abubaker, D.M.D., Ph.D., professor and S. Elmer Bear Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the VCU School of Dentistry
  • Emmett Williams, captain, Special Investigation Division, Richmond Police Department
  • Courtney Nunnally, peer recovery specialist for Recovery Unplugged
  • Laurie Forlano, D.O., state epidemiologist and director of the Office of Epidemiology for the Virginia Department of Health
  • Moderator: Allen Yee, M.D., assistant clinical professor of Emergency Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine and operational medical director for Chesterfield County Fire and EMS


VCU Health is home to the only Level I adult, pediatric and burn trauma center in the region and the longest-standing, state-designated trauma center in Virginia. In 2017, VCU Health, the Richmond Police Department and the Richmond City Health District launched a new initiative to stop youth violence, RVA Alternative Pathways.