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City of Austin, TX

06/10/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2021 16:14

Austin Public Health Announces Office of Violence Prevention Program Manager

Austin, Texas -- The City of Austin's Michelle Myles will serve as the City's new Office of Violence Prevention Program Manager, effective immediately.

Under the direction of Interim Austin Public Health (APH) Director Adrienne Sturrup, the Office of Violence Prevention Program Manager will be responsible for shaping policy and coordination of violence reduction and community safety strategies throughout the city.

'I'm so happy to have Michelle contribute to the Austin Public Health team in this capacity,' said Sturrup. 'Michelle has extensive experience in data-informed strategies and solutions to direct effective social services implementation and programming. She most recently came from the Austin Public Health Homeless Services Division (HSD), holding the position of Acting Program Manager during the pandemic addressing COVID-19 safety concerns in emergency shelters, creating non-congregate shelters (Protective Lodges); and providing handwashing stations, portable toilets, mobile showers and food access initiatives within the City of Austin.'

Ms. Myles has held diverse positions in the human services field to include managing homelessness contracts for Austin Public Health as a Program Coordinator, Regional Quality Improvement Specialist for a mental health-managed care company, Case Manager for the Downtown Austin Community Court working to house individuals experiencing homelessness, Supportive Housing Program Manager for Foundation Communities as well as managing a Family Childcare program for the United States Air Force.

'I'm very excited to continue my work with Austin Public Health leading the Office of Violence Prevention,' Myles said. 'Throughout my career, I have been passionate about working to heal and prevent trauma, violence, and abuse. The prevalence of violence, like other societal ills, exists in part due to a historical lack of investment in certain segments of our population; as a result, addressing violence through an equity and public health lens is integral to developing meaningful solutions that improve the lives of individuals and our community.'

In August of 2019, Council adopted Resolution No. 20190822-069, which established a Task Force on Gun Violence, sponsored by Council Members Alter, Tovo, Ellis, Renteria, and Kitchen. The purpose of the Task Force was to advise Council on potential actions the City can take to reduce gun violence at the local level and to make recommendations for enhancing existing resources and campaigns, such as safe storage education, community and domestic violence intervention, and gun surrender programs. The Task Force's key suggestion was to create an appropriately resourced Office of Violence Prevention.

'We look forward to incorporating Austin Public Health into our overall plan to address gun violence within our community,' said Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon. 'The health and safety of our residents and officers are our priority.'