Names: Amy Goldberg & Scott Charles
Titles: Chair of Surgery,
Lewis Katz School of Medicine &
Trauma outreach coordinator,
Temple University Hospital
Pioneers fighting violence through education
Trauma surgeon Amy Goldberg knew early in her career that the treatment for gun violence existed beyond hospital walls. A teenage boy whose life she saved in the early 1990s made her see that prevention was a necessity.
When Goldberg met him for a follow-up appointment, she learned that at 16 he had already dropped out of school.
“It occurred to me that I may not have made as much of an impact on this patient as I thought I had—that I had actually sent him back to the community that had gotten him shot to begin with,” Goldberg recalls. “I had just done an operation that I was impressed with but probably not really extended his life.”
She decided to do something about that. In 2006, she and Scott Charles launched Cradle to Grave, a hospital-based education program that uses stories of real victims to give an inside perspective on what happens when someone is shot. The program has taught more than 11,000 people—most of whom are at-risk youth who live in neighborhoods plagued by violence.
Charles knows about gun violence firsthand. When he was 2, his older brother was shot to death. When he was 9, his sister used a firearm to take her own life. Growing up in a rough neighborhood, he first carried a gun at 14.
Goldberg’s love of anatomy drew her to work in trauma—and with that came victims of shootings.
“We share a desire to make things better despite all the evidence that would suggest that that’s impossible,” Charles says.
In a world without Temple, more young lives might end before they begin.