In a major advancement for public health, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has appointed Marshfield Clinic Research Institute public health researcher Abdul R. Shour, Ph.D., to the Wisconsin Council on Domestic Abuse. Poised to occupy this role for a term of three years, Dr. Shour’s appointment has earned bipartisan approval from both the Senate and the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, underscoring the institutional affirmation of this critical decision.

Originally from Sierra Leone, Dr. Shour has carved a noteworthy path in the public health sector through his extensive education and subsequent career. His academic credentials include a master's in Sustainable Peacebuilding from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Public and Community Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He began his journey at the University of Sierra Leone, where he obtained a bachelor’s in the social sciences, majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies, where he served as President of the Society for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Dr. Shour currently plays a dual role, contributing as a project scientist at the Research Institute's Cancer Care and Research Center, while also occupying a position as a clinical adjunct assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. His profound knowledge of women’s health, social determinants of health including domestic violence, and their influence on cancer prevalence and prognosis is expected to bring a unique and informed outlook to the council's decision-making process.

The appointment comes at a critical juncture, as data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Abuse reveals that intimate partner violence affects one in three women and one in four men in the U.S. Dr. Shour’s present research delves into the interplay between metastasized cancer, adult trauma and the probability of domestic violence encounters. Alongside his earlier work on social health determinants and their impacts on pregnancy and health outcomes, Dr. Shour is seen as a significant addition to the council.

Operating from Marshfield, Dr. Shour is deeply involved in examining local and national data on social health determinants and their ramifications on cancer. His dedication to studying social determinants of health –including domestic abuse, gun violence, access to health care services and cancer disparities – is mirrored in his prolific scholarly publications.

Evers, in his appointment letter, lauded Dr. Shour, saying, “Your experience, knowledge and dedication will be a true asset to my administration and a great benefit to the people of Wisconsin.”

In response to his appointment, Dr. Shour expressed his gratitude and commitment.

“Being chosen for this vital role is a significant honor, and I deeply respect the Council's role in shaping policy and extending services in the realm of domestic abuse,” Dr. Shour said. “This appointment allows me an extraordinary opportunity to apply my research and dedication to the issue of domestic abuse and its impact on chronic disease outcomes such as cancer.”

He expressed his gratitude towards Dr. Laura Cassidy, dean of Global Health at MCW; retired MCW professor, Dr. Kevin Hamberger; Marshfield Clinic Research Institute’s Cancer Care and Research Center Director Adedayo Onitilo, M.D., Ph.D.; Associate Director Ernest James; and Ryan Natzke, Chief External Affairs Officer at Marshfield Clinic Health System.

The Council, comprised of 13 members, provides guidance to the Office of the Governor, the Department of Children and Families, and the legislature on matters pertaining to domestic abuse funding and policy. As Dr. Shour’s tenure commences on July 1, he’s prepared to contribute to critical decisions that could steer the future course of domestic abuse prevention and intervention in Wisconsin, and on a national scale.