Skip to Main Content

New Haven Proud

August 31, 2023

To the YSM Community:

I live in New Haven. One of the joys of returning to Yale in 2020 has been the unexpected pleasure of living in New Haven. I often walk to and from work or to after-work events. An evening constitutional clears the mind. My husband and I love dining al fresco in one of our city’s many eateries. We “jog” the Farmington Canal Greenway. Having lived in the South for 33 years, I brought stereotyped perceptions of Northerners when I arrived. The people of New Haven would be gruff and aloof. Nay, not so. Other walkers nod along the pathway. My dry cleaner greets me by name. The folks at the firehouse indulge our grandson’s interest in their trucks. And I have many times experienced the kindness of strangers.

Why am I sharing this? Because as a citizen of New Haven and the dean of our school, I feel it’s important to reflect on a recent caricature of New Haven as a perilous place to live. Like many post-industrial cities, New Haven has wrestled with crime, but data from the New Haven police department indicates that violent crimes have declined 37.8% from 2019 to 2022 (the last full year for which there are data) and property crimes have declined 26% over the same period.

To be clear, the safety and security of our community are of the highest priority to Yale School of Medicine (YSM). Urban healthcare environments present unique safety and security risks. YSM and Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) have not been exempt from this national trend, and a spate of events on or near the medical school campus a few months ago heightened concerns about safety. As we have shared in messages and town halls, YSM, YNHHS, the Yale Police Department (YPD), the New Haven Police Department, and the New Haven Parking Authority have been collaborating extensively to increase safety and security near the medical school campus and in clinical settings. YPD has increased its staffing around the medical school, and in coordination with Yale’s security team, has expanded the visibility of security in the area. It has also deployed more mobile video technology in the medical school and Science Park areas, including in and around offices, garages, and parking areas. The university is installing additional blue “emergency” phones in the vicinity of YSM. The Yale Shuttle system has added a “to door” service from the medical school during evening and night hours, and a walking escort service is available to pedestrians. The university’s LiveSafe app provides an effective and immediate way to communicate with YPD via a mobile device. These prevention efforts have already and will continue to enhance the livability of New Haven.

I am not alone or astute in my observations about living in New Haven. The New York Times touted New Haven as having “the cuisine and culture of a major metropolis, but the laid-back vibe of a smaller place” and lists the city among the top 50 places to visit in 2023. U.S. News & World Report also ranked New Haven among the top 100 places to live in the U.S. for 2023–2024. Here are a few things our students enjoy about New Haven and its neighborhoods: the running/walking trails, East Rock Park, West Rock Ridge State Park, museums, art galleries, historic buildings, bookstores, coffee shops, and a wide variety of restaurants (including favorite pizza places, of course!). If you would like to share what you love about New Haven, you can do so here.

YSM is of New Haven. Our faculty, staff, and students are having an impact by fighting addiction, promoting healthy child and adolescent development, providing care to those who need it, partnering to address environmental risks of disease, and more. Our faculty, staff, and students also live here and feel proud of our city.

As a reminder, a number of helpful resources are available on the Safety & Security page on the MyYSM site.


Nancy J. Brown, MD
Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine
C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine