Last week, to kick off Gun Violence Awareness Month and further address the gun violence public health crisis, the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP), which is overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris, convened healthcare executives, leaders, practitioners and service providers to discuss the ways in which the health care sector is taking action to prevent gun violence. The convenings focused on the importance of hospital-based violence programs (HVIPS), firearm-risk screening and secure gun storage counseling, data and research, and regional collaboration.  Senior Administration Officials discussed steps that the Biden-Harris Administration is taking in each of those spaces to accelerate the recent progress we’ve seen in preventing gun violence.  

Summit of Health System and Hospital Executives on the Public Health Crisis of Gun Violence

On June 6, OGVP hosted nearly 80 executives and leaders representing health systems and hospitals from across the country to discuss the importance of utilizing a public health approach to preventing gun violence. This is the first time that the White House has ever convened health systems and hospitals to discuss public health solutions to gun violence. During the convening, representatives from major health systems such as Intermountain Health and Northwell Health alongside the Children’s Hospital Association and hospitals like Boston Children’s Hospital, and universities like the Duke University Health System, among many others, gathered at the White House to discuss their role in taking action to address the public health crisis of gun violence. The participants discussed how heath systems and hospitals are working to implement and expand hospital-based violence intervention programs, engage in system-wide safe gun storage counseling to prevent suicide, and the collection of gun violence data.

White Coats at the White House

On June 7, which is also Wear Orange Day in honor of the victims and survivors of gun violence, OGVP convened 80 medical professionals, from doctors to nurses to emergency responders, to discuss the trauma and long-term impacts they witness firsthand due to the gun violence public health epidemic affecting their communities.

In addition to medical practitioners, the event included gun violence survivors and organizations committed to addressing the public health epidemic of gun violence, including:

  • Doctors for America
  • This is Our Lane
  • Brady United
  • Scrubs Addressing the Firearms Epidemic
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians
  • The Health Alliance for Violence Prevention
  • The American College of Physicians
  • The American Geriatrics Society
  • The American College of Preventive Medicine. 

As a part of the convening, Doctors for America discussed the ways in which doctors can use their positions as trusted messengers to educate patients and members of the public on evidence-based gun safety practices, encourage safe and open dialogue with patients and community members on guns, and collaborate with other medical professionals to prevent firearm-related injuries.

The President has taken a whole-of-government approach to prevent crime, promote public safety, and end the epidemic of gun violence tearing apart communities nationwide. In January, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice, also announced new executive actions to help promote safe storage of firearms that implement President Biden’s Executive Order on promoting safe gun storage, which has been shown to dramatically reduce children’s risk of self-inflicted harm and unintentional shootings.

The President’s American Rescue Plan also helped states and over one thousand cities, towns, and counties across the country to invest over $15 billion in public safety and violence prevention.  Communities have invested those funds to support additional police officers, expand community violence intervention, add crisis responders, and more. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) that President Biden signed in 2022 provided an additional $15 billion for mental health, school safety and violence intervention programs.


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