Dr. Rodney Hammond: A successful career of blending research and community work

One of the goals of the American Psychological Association is “to advance the communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society.” As the head of the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Violence Prevention, Dr. Rodney Hammond has worked to achieve this goal by bringing scientific rigor and leadership to curbing violence in our country. He briefly outlined his 15 years of work in an interview in the April edition of the Monitor on Psychology magazine. The first step to working on violence prevention, he explained, was to collect data. Data would allow them to understand the scope and range of violent behavior in the country. Next, they developed evidence-based prevention strategies. Currently, his team is working on community capacity building – this means they are helping communities implement evidence-based programs to prevent violence in their own neighborhoods. These steps may seem simple at first glance, but as community health researchers are acutely aware of, each of these steps takes tremendous leadership and resources. Dr. Hammond retired in February. He is certainly a psychologist to look up to.