Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest health care providers, has launched a new Center for Gun Violence Research and Education.
With an initial $1.3 million in grants, the Center’s goal will be to reduce the incidence and impact of gun violence, including intimate partner violence and suicide.
Kaiser said throughout the U.S., the Center will work to address the emotional and psychological trauma related to the aftermath of shootings and will focus on the profound impact gun violence has had in communities of color.
In addition, the Center will develop, test and scale public health and health care solutions to address gun violence.
These include research efforts focusing on solutions and interventions to gun violence, education efforts to inform the public and innovation efforts focusing on novel public health and health care processes, policies and intervention models to prevent gun violence.
“It is increasingly and distressingly clear that gun violence is a public health crisis in the U.S., claiming lives and creating trauma with untold, long-lasting consequences for countless people,” Bechara Choucair, MD, chief health officer and senior vice president for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente said.
“As a major health care organization caring for 12.6 million people, we are in a unique position to expand, amplify and implement promising work underway by health care and public health leaders to prevent future gun-related injuries and deaths, starting with a series of grants to organizations focused on addressing gun violence,” Choucair said.
Kaiser’s grant partners include: The Ad Council, Big Cities Health Coalition, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and RAND Corporation.
Gun violence remains a leading cause of premature death in the U.S., claiming more than 45,000 lives each year and surpassing motor vehicle fatalities as the leading cause of injury death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Center builds on Kaiser’s 2018 work on gun violence as a public health issue with the formation of the Task Force on Firearm Injury Prevention and an accompanying $2 million in research funding to study clinical interventions to prevent gun injuries and deaths.
“Through safe gun storage, we have the power to protect our loved ones from preventable tragedies,” Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, said.
“We applaud Kaiser Permanente for bringing organizations together so we can collectively reduce gun violence at scale. This funding will help us expand the reach of the End Family Fire campaign and continue to prevent the needless and tragic loss of lives due to unsecured firearms,” Sherman said.