Northwell to use $1.4M NIH grant to establish firearm injury prevention screening

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health will use a $1.4 million grant to establish a screening protocol to assess people for risk of firearm injury.

Part of the health system's research study on firearm injury prevention, the new screening will involve clinicians in the emergency department asking patients specific questions about having firearms in their homes and determining their risk of injury. The patients' responses will be scored and entered into their EHR. The study also aims to develop intervention strategies.

The screening and intervention strategies will first be piloted at three Northwell hospitals: South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y.; Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park; and Staten Island (N.Y.) University Hospital. The protocols will then be expanded across the health system.

The health system received the grant from the National Institutes of Health.

"Gun violence is a public health issue, and this NIH-funded study is a step in the right direction to finally addressing it as one," said Michael Dowling, Northwell president and CEO. "Unfortunately, we have been dealing with two pandemics — COVID-19 and gun violence. By screening for firearm safety in our facilities, we can better understand how and why this senseless bloodshed continues to increase at historic rates."

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