Dr. Edward E. Cornwell of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, is developing an antiviolence video he hopes will be used as a public service announcement, says the Baltimore Sun. Cornwell is splicing music videos that depict violence with footage of hospital-room carnage, one scene showing him tending to a lifeless body he calls Male Z that just arrived in the emergency room. The images are intended to drive a wedge between Hollywood and reality. “These kids out here don’t know the difference,” said Cornwell, chief of adult trauma surgery at Hopkins. “That’s the problem.” The video is about five minutes long. He hopes to get it on television and distribute it to national help agencies. Last month, he presented a rough cut at a Children’s Defense Fund meeting in Tennessee.
Since 1998, Cornwell has crusaded in Baltimore against gun violence – the very incidents that have made him a highly regarded practitioner at one of the nation’s best hospitals. While the number of Baltimore homicides was down last year from four years earlier, Cornwell says the number of emergency room visits for shootings is rising. “Once they get here, it’s too late to be talking about anti-violence messages to them. We have to reach them before they get here, before they become a victim,” Cornwell said. “But nobody is doing it, everybody is afraid. But somebody has to try. Why not a trauma surgeon?” Cornwell, 47, is a Washington native and the son of a surgeon. In 2000, he was featured in Hopkins 24/7, an ABC television documentary. What is unique about Cornwell’s effort is that he wants to work independent of the hospital, said Dave Chang, a Hopkins researcher. “I think most people who have done this have tried to focus on hospital-based programs. It’s like trying to teach people to swim from the bottom of the pool,” Chang said. “True prevention has to take place from outside a hospital. What happens out there is more important than what happens in here, and Dr. Cornwell knows that.”