Kansas Violent Death Reporting System

About Kansas Violent Death Reporting System

The Kansas Violent Death Reporting System (KsVDRS) is a state-based surveillance system that compiles information on violent deaths from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database. Combining data in a systematic manner provides a more complete picture of when, where, and how violent deaths occur.

In 2014, suicides accounted for 42,773 and homicides accounted for 16,121 deaths nationwide.(1) Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 34 year olds.(2) Homicide is the third leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 4 years and people aged 15 to 34 years.(2)

Tragically, 477 people died by suicide in Kansas in 2015.(3) Homicide claimed another 130 lives.(3) Violence is preventable; we can work to reduce these numbers.

The above information is derived solely from death certificates. To inform Kansas prevention and intervention efforts, additional data is needed to accurately piece together various factors surrounding violent deaths. KsVDRS’s data sources include:

  • Death certificates
  • Law enforcement reports
  • Coroner reports
  • Toxicology

Linking information about the “who, when, where and how” from data on violent deaths provides insights about “why” they occurred. The goal of KsVDRS is to: 

  • Inform public health professionals, law enforcement, violence prevention groups, policy maker, and the local public about violent death trends
  • Utilize knowledge gained from the system to help guide focused prevention efforts
  • Identify risk and protective factors related to violent deaths
  • Evaluate the impact of state and local prevention efforts

With a comprehensive view of why violent deaths occur, we can work together more effectively to identify those at risk and provide preventive services. Accurate information about violence is the first step.

Success of the program relies heavily upon collaboration and communication with key partners across the state including the KDHE Office of Vital Statistics, Police Departments, Sheriff Offices and Coroners.

Contact Us

Jeff Wilhelm
Program Coordinator
Kansas Violent Death Reporting System
Bureau of Health Promotion
Curtis State Office Building
1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274

Email Jeffrey.Wilhelm@ks.gov
Phone 785-296-0351
Fax 785-559-4236


  1. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, and Tejada-Vera, B. Deaths: Final Data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 65 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. June 30. 2016.  Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/nvsr.htm. Accessed 16 Sept 2016.
  2. 2016 National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC using WISQARS™. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/leading_causes_of_death_by_age_group_2014-a.pdf
  3. Oakley D, Crawford G, Savage C. 2015 Kansas Annual Summary of Vital Statistics. Topeka, KS: Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 2016.