18 health systems back Biden's $5B gun violence prevention plan

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Eighteen health system presidents and CEOs have signed a request to Congress supporting President Joe Biden's $5 billion hospital and community-based gun violence prevention plan.

More than 1,300 healthcare professionals also signed the request that was sent to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., according to a July 21 news release.

"From trauma bays to operating rooms, health care professionals see the breadth and severity of the gun violence crisis in stark terms," said Michael Dowling, CEO and president of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health. "We have a responsibility to respond and protect the health of our patients and communities — but to do that most effectively, we need Congress to help us do our jobs. Addressing gun violence isn't a Republican issue or Democratic issue — it's a public health issue."

Gun violence in America is at crisis levels, the release said. In 2020, there were a record-breaking 43,559 firearm-related deaths and more than 39,000 additional injuries in the United States. The nation is on track to surpass that record in 2021.

"Gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, the release said. "For example, gun violence is the leading cause of death for young Black men in America — accounting for more deaths than the next nine leading causes combined."

The 18 health system executives who signed the request:

  1. Michael Dowling, president and CEO, Northwell Health

  2. Steven Corwin, MD, president, CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian (New York City)

  3. Lloyd Dean, CEO, CommonSpirit Health (Chicago)

  4. Sunil Eappen, interim president, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston)

  5. David Entwistle, president and CEO, Stanford (Calif.) Health Care

  6. Robert Garrett, president and CEO, Hackensack (N.J.) Meridian Health

  7. Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City)

  8. Jim Hinton, CEO, Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas)

  9. Thomas Jackiewicz, president, University of Chicago Medical Center

  10. Richard Liekweg, CEO and president, BJC HealthCare (St. Louis)

  11. Kevin Mahoney, CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System (Philadelphia)

  12. Stephen Mette, M.D., CEO, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center (Little Rock)

  13. Barry Ostrowsky, president and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health (West Orange, N.J.)

  14. Philip Ozuah, MD, Phd, CEO, Montefiore Medical Center (New York City)

  15. Peter Slavin, MD, president, Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)

  16. Mike Slubowski, president and CEO, Trinity Health (Livonia, Mich.)

  17. Karen Teitelbaum, president and CEO, Sinai Chicago

  18. Peggy Troy, president and CEO, Children's Wisconsin (Wauwatosa) 

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