4 major health systems join Northwell's new gun violence prevention campaign

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Multiple healthcare systems have joined New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health's interactive campaign to recognize gun violence as a public health crisis and identify solutions aimed at preventing firearm injury and death, according to an April 9 news release.

Healthcare must drive gun violence prevention, according to the news release. Northwell's newly established Gun Violence Prevention Learning Collaborative for Health Systems and Hospitals is an interactive and apolitical forum that seeks to share and develop best practices for reducing gun violence. More than 300 leaders from Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, University of Chicago Medicine, Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, Little Rock-based University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center, and other hospitals and health systems have joined the collaboration.

Members will begin meeting April 20. Healthcare professionals, hospitals and health systems worldwide are invited to join. Topics include teaching firearm safety, clinical screening for firearm injury and collaborating with schools.  

"The recent killings in Boulder and Atlanta underscore the reality that gun violence is an epidemic that is not going away on its own," said Northwell President and CEO Michael Dowling, who pledged $1 million in 2019 to create the health system's Center for Gun Violence Prevention, led by pediatric trauma surgeon Chethan Sathya, MD. "As healthcare providers who have been on the frontlines of battling the coronavirus pandemic for the past year, we have an obligation to set aside political concerns, and devote time and resources to identify solutions that will help curtail this senseless violence."

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