What does it mean to take a public health approach to reducing gun violence? | Expert Opinion

By The Philadelphia Inquirer, | January 4, 2022

Stoneleigh Fellow Ruth Abaya authored an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer explaining how a public health approach can reduce gun violence. 

Imagine a busy night in a local emergency department. The waiting room is full of patients, and everyone is working to make sure every patient is seen. But in the back of their mind, they are listening for a sound that’s become all too familiar — an overhead notification that another victim of gun violence will need life-saving care. Everyone runs to the trauma bay, ready to give it their all. Sometimes those efforts are successful. Sometimes they are not. But each time, the trauma that violence inflicts — on the patient, their family, their community, and their care team — lingers long after the trauma bay is silent.

As a pediatrician, these calls are devastating. And many times, my colleagues have reached out to me with one question: what can we do to prevent this? Tired of treating patients after the shots are fired, they long to be part of a solution that begins much further upstream.

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