Gun Violence Initiative


The Gun Violence Initiative was launched in spring 2015 to tackle one of our greatest public health challenges: death and injury as a result of gun violence.

We invite scholars, medical professionals, community leaders, and citizens to take a hard look at the serious and tragic public health consequences of gun violence in America. The initiative explores three key themes: What we know, what we need to know, and what to do about this critical issue.

“Bringing together our academic strengths to address major societal challenges is a part of our mission,” said Chancellor Wrighton. “Our goal, by engaging in the conversation, is to help develop real solutions that have a real chance of making a real difference and, in the process, help to reduce death and injury from firearms.”

We work with national experts, partners across Washington University, and stakeholders throughout the St. Louis community to:

  • Better understand and raise awareness of the issues;
  • Identify gaps in available data and research, and explore ways that Washington University can help address those gaps;
  • Empower policymakers and the public with better information to guide their decision-making; and,
  • Find actionable measures that can lead to the reduction in gun violence.

Key projects we’re working on within the Gun Violence Initiative include:

  • Life Outside of Violence (LOV)
  • CALM
  • Stop the Bleed
  • St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission

Read more about our key projects.

Media Coverage ON Institute for Public Health
Initiatives & Programs to End GUN Violence

St. Louis Public Radio: Missouri Gun Death Rate Among Highest In The Nation, CDC Says

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Messenger: Wash U doctors, researchers have message for NRA: ‘This is our lane.’ 

KSDK-TV, Chan. 5 Cover Story: Life Outside of Violence, New hospital Partnership to Stop Violence

KTVI-TV, Fox 2 News: Hospitals Stepping Up In Response to Rising Gun Violence Against Children

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Healing the Deep Wounds of Violence (guest columnist Dr. Laurie Punch)

KTVI-TV, Fox 2 Now St. Louis: City hospitals and universities collaborate on violence prevention

KSDK-TV: 4 St. Louis hospitals are teaming up to fight violence

St. Louis Public Radio: Gun violence in St. Louis prompts citywide hospital, university prevention program

The Kansas City Star: St. Louis hospitals team up on violence prevention

KMOV-TV: Missouri Bar meeting focuses on reducing violence on St. Louis streets

The Seattle Times: St. Louis hospitals team up on violence prevention

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Four city hospitals work together on violence prevention

St. Louis Public Radio: One patient at a time, this WashU program works to reduce gun suicides

New York TimesDoctors Need to Talk to Families About Guns and Dementia 


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For more information about the Gun Violence Initiative, please contact: Paola (Poli) Rijos-Saitta, MSW, LCSW
314-747-1456 |