Yale New Haven Health CEO: Recent gun violence 'hits too close to home'

In the wake of a May 24 shooting at a Texas elementary school, healthcare, medical and public health leaders have called for action to end gun violence while expressing sadness and despair.  

Most of these leaders are in communities that have not experienced a situation comparable to the one where an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, leaving at least 19 students and two adults dead.

The circumstances are all too familiar to Christopher O'Connor, however. Mr. O'Connor is president and CEO of Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health, which is based about 30 miles from Newtown, Conn., the city where 26 children and adult staff members were shot and killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Mr. O'Connor also works in a state that neighbors New York, where a mass shooting occurred at a Buffalo grocery store May 14. 

"As our nation once again harshly comes to grips with more senseless acts of violence, we fortify ourselves against a sea of all too familiar images of lost lives and innocence," Mr. O'Connor said in a May 25 statement shared with Becker's. "As a parent and as a healthcare leader, I find the tragic consequences of [this month's] mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., and yesterday's horrific events in Uvalde, Texas, hit too close to home. "

The memory of the children and teachers lost in the Sandy Hook shooting "burns fiercely today as we gather in support of those family members, friends, teachers and students who mourn those struck down in the spring of their youth in Uvalde, as well as those killed in Buffalo," he said. 

Mr. O'Connor called for bolstering support for behavioral health services as well as efforts to eliminate gun violence.

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