1,000+ hospitals, health groups join Northwell gun safety coalition

More than 1,000 hospitals and health associations have joined a campaign led by New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health that encourages parents to ask about gun safety. 

The campaign aims to reduce deaths caused by guns among children by encouraging parents to ask other parents and caregivers about gun safety and access, according to a Sept. 28 news release. Thirteen children die from guns in the U.S. every day, making it the leading cause of death in kids, according to the CDC. 

"Much like you ask the parent of your child's friend about food allergies, or if there is a pool, you should also ask if there is a gun in the home," Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, said in the release. "Health systems, including Northwell Health, understand that gun violence is a public health crisis and one way we can all contribute to curbing the crisis is prevention. It starts by asking the question." 

The American Hospital Association and Children's Hospital Association are among members of the gun safety effort, which includes a website offering tips for parents on how to start a conversation on gun storage and access. 

Northwell has launched several initiatives focused on gun violence prevention over the last several years. In 2021, the health system launched a Gun Violence Prevention Center Collaborative for Health Systems and Hospitals, a grassroots initiative that creates a space for those in healthcare to discuss the effects of gun violence, share best practices and collectively take action. 

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