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Health leaders urge Congress to fund programs against gun violence

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Leaders from more than a dozen major health systems are calling on Congressional leaders to support President Joe Biden’s proposed $ 5 billion investment in community violence prevention programs.

in a letter Sent to the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate on Wednesday, the executive directors of the 18 systems along with more than 1,300 health professionals urged lawmakers to maintain the inclusion of the violence prevention provision within the Biden’s $ 2 trillion employment and infrastructure plan.

“From trauma areas to operating rooms, healthcare professionals view the breadth and severity of the gun violence crisis in stark terms,” ​​said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of New York-based Northwell Health, it’s a statement. “We have a responsibility to respond and protect the health of our patients and communities, but to do so in the most effective way, we need Congress to help us do our job. Addressing gun violence is not a Republican or a Democratic problem, it is a public problem health problem. “

Take a look at Modern Healthcare’s Special report on how hospitals are responding to gun violence.

The letter called for a public health response to gun violence similar in intensity to the effort made to impact the COVID-19 pandemic.

The homicide rate increased 30% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a January report from the Criminal Justice Council, with increases in almost all 34 cities surveyed.

The call to fund prevention programs is the latest in a campaign launched by Northwell Health in 2019 that urges healthcare stakeholders to form a unified voice to push for gun control legislation.

The campaign echoes the work that various health care providers have done in recent years to connect victims of gun violence with the support of behavioral health care and other resources to prevent further escalation of violence.

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