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Pennsylvania Violent Death Reporting System (PA-VDRS)
The Pennsylvania Violent Death Reporting System (PA-VDRS) is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is part of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).
The purpose of the PA-VDRS program is to create and implement a plan to collect and disseminate accurate, timely, and comprehensive surveillance data of all violent deaths in the selected target areas using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. As of January 2015, PA-VDRS began collecting data from six counties (Philadelphia, Allegheny, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, and Bucks) in Pennsylvania (PA). These six counties represent 50 percent of all reported violent deaths in Pennsylvania in 2010 (NCHS data on Violent Deaths in PA, 2010). Starting in 2016, PA-VDRS will collect data from 16 additional counties. These 16 counties, along with the first six counties, make up approximately 80 percent of all reported violent deaths in the state (NCHS data on Violent Deaths in PA, 2010).
The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) considers violent deaths to be homicide, suicide, unintentional firearm deaths, and injury deaths of undetermined circumstance.  Data is gathered from coroners/medical examiners, death certificates, and law enforcement offices.  All violent deaths reported in PA are included.
DATA
Shown below, in dark blue, are the pilot counties from which PA-VDRS data will be collected in 2015: Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.   From 2016 – 2019, PA-VDRS data collection will expand to the 16 additional counties shown in light blue.
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Table 1. Number of Violent Deaths by County, 2011*
County
Violent Deaths
Cumulative Deaths
Cumulative Percent
Philadelphia
468
468
19%
Allegheny
242
710
29%
Delaware
159
869
35%
Montgomery
136
1005
41%
Berks
115
1120
45%
Bucks
106
1226
50%
York
86
1312
53%
Chester
73
1385
56%
Lancaster
64
1449
59%
Erie
58
1507
61%
Westmoreland
57
1564
63%
Luzerne
55
1619
65%
Lehigh
54
1673
68%
Northampton
49
1722
70%
Dauphin
46
1768
71%
Lackawanna
39
1807
73%
Washington
34
1841
74%
Beaver
33
1874
76%
Cumberland
31
1905
77%
Cambria
30
1935
78%
Franklin
29
1964
79%
Schuylkill
28
1992
81%
Remaining Counties
481
2473
100%
Total
2,473*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Data is from the CDC WONDER database , 2011
ADVISORY BOARD:
The PA-VDRS advisory board represents a diverse group of interested stakeholders, including data collectors and prevention organizations, who advise the implementation and distribution of the collected data. The advisory board meets twice a year. If there is an interest from your organization to serve on the advisory board, please contact the program at RA-DHPAVDRS@pa.gov or 717-787-5900.
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Additional information on the VDRS program and violence can be found at
CONTACT INFORMATION
Pennsylvania Violent Death Reporting System
Pennsylvania Department of Health | Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
Room 1008, Health & Welfare Building
625 Forster Street | Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701
Phone: 717-787-5900
RA-DHPAVDRS@pa.gov