“Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis” was formed in spring 2015 to look at one of our greatest public health challenges: death and injury as a result of gun violence.
On this page:
Through this effort, we invite scholars, medical professionals, community leaders, and citizens to take a hard look at the serious, tragic public health consequences of gun violence in America. The initiative will explore three key themes: What we know, what we need to know, and what to do about this critical issue.
We are working 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 could help address those gaps;
- Empower policymakers and the public with better information to guide their decision-making; and
- Find actionable measures that would lead to the reduction in gun violence.
“Bringing together our academic strengths to address major societal challenges is a part of our mission,” said Chancellor Wrighton during the launch event for the initiative that took place in April 2015. “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.”
If interested in getting involved with this initiative, you can:
- Give to the Gun Violence Initiative. Be sure to type Gun Violence Initiative in the field requesting preference for entering your own designation.
- Receive regular updates about the initiative and its activities by subscribing to our email newsletter;
- Attend and participate in our diverse lineup of events and programs;
- Design a research project and apply for a relevant funding opportunity;
- Read and learn more about these issues via our Initiative News & Updates, the Gun Violence series on the Institute’s blog, or at the Resources & Reading links listed below.
Project Coordinator: Paola (Poli) Rijos-Saitta, MSW, LCSW
firstname.lastname@example.org | 314-935-9282
View a full list of upcoming and past events and programs connected to Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis.
View a list of events and programs in the St. Louis area by visiting the St. Louis Violence Prevention Collaborative calendar.
Initiative News & Updates
Click HERE to read more about past Initiative News & Updates.
St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Collaborative
Washington University in St. Louis and the United Way of Greater St. Louis have formed a joint partnership that aims to provide support and resources to local initiatives that are uniting in their efforts to combat gun violence in the region. The St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Collaborative will work to reduce violent crime in the region by promoting a coordinated, well-resourced support system and interventions among area governments, institutions and agencies that serve individuals and families most at risk of violent crime.
Youth and Gun Violence: NOW Is the Time For Action
Story Stitchers youth hosted a second video-taped discussion November 10 at Kranzberg Arts Center’s Black Box Theater to reopen topics explored in last year’s discussion.
Medical Students Learn Public Health Impact of Gun Violence in New Course
This fall, the Washington University School of Medicine is offering a class titled ‘Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue’ for the first time. Various medical school faculty, faculty from other schools at Washington University and Saint Louis University, and experts from local community organizations working on issues related to gun violence are teaching the course, which is designed to survey all major aspects of gun violence as a public health issue.
Pediatricians should change gun safety talk
Washington University Research Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Institute scholar, Jane Garbutt’s research found half of kids in families studied spend time in households with firearms. Garbutt’s study also received coverage on CBS and ABC news.
High Schoolers Tackle Systems of Gun Violence
A few dozen St. Louis area high school students gathered for a summit this summer to discuss how system dynamics can affect gun violence in the community. The second annual Changing Systems Student Summit took place June 28-July 1 and was sponsored by the Brown School, its Social System Design Lab, and the Institute for Public Health, all at Washington University in St. Louis.
Institute for Public Health
The Institute for Public Health is offering special funding for gun violence prevention projects through its rapid funding mechanism, Public Health-Cubed.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a Program Announcement for: Research on the Health Determinants and Consequences of Violence and its Prevention, Particularly Firearm Violence. This funding opportunity includes a wide span of basic, clinical and translational studies, interventions at the individual, family and community level, and research to identify the best ways to disseminate and implement efficacious and evidence-based interventions in real-world settings.
Application Due Date(s): Standard NIH dates apply.
PA Expiration Date: January 8, 2017
If you are interested in pursuing a grant application to the NIH as part of this PA, please contact Poli Rijos. The Institute may be able to provide support to help with your application.
Resources & Reading
Provided by the Becker Medical Library and the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, this guide will point to resources to raise awareness focusing on the issues surrounding gun violence as a public health issues in our nation.
St. Louis ORGANIZATIONS FOCUSED ON REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE
- St. Louis Gun Crime | Website from Jennifer M. Joyce, Circuit Attorney, City of St. Louis
- Interactive: Gunfire in St. Louis | from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Put Down the Pistol Initiative | from Better Family Life
- Lock it for Love | free gun locks from Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice
- St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence
- Alive and Well STL | a community-wide effort focused on reducing the impact of stress and trauma on our health and well-being
- Community Mediation Services of St. Louis | local organization that helps bring people together to resolve differences
Volunteering & Voting
- “Take Action” page from the St. Louis Gun Crime website, including a list of organizations seeking volunteers to help
- Volunteer page listing opportunities from the United Way of Greater St. Louis
- Missouri Elections & Voting includes 2016 Missouri Election Calendar and 2016 Initiative Petitions for Missouri
- The Trace | An online compendium of gun violence related news.
- Gun Violence Prevention from APHA | Articles, fact sheets, data sources, and other useful information about gun violence from the American Public Health Association.
- The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence | Maintains the most comprehensive information on U.S. firearms regulation anywhere, including in-depth summaries of federal and state firearms laws and policies nationwide.
- Gun Violence from the blog of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University | A collection of articles from experts across Washington University and beyond examining gun violence from diverse perspectives.
- Be SMART Campaign | Handouts, resources, and tools to promote this campaign created to reduce unintentional child shootings
National Organizations Focused on Gun Violence Prevention
- Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence | Develops and implements extensive public health and safety programs and utilizes the courts to reduce gun violence.
- Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth (UNITY) | Utilizes a public health, or prevention, approach to violence.
- Gun Violence Archive | An online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 1,200 media, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence.
- Violence Reduction Network | The U.S. Department of Justice collaborates with cities in the Violence Reduction Network to support and enhance local violence reduction efforts.
- National Network for Safe Communities | Supports cities implementing interventions to reduce violence and improve public safety, minimize arrest and incarceration, strengthen communities, and improve. relationships between law enforcement and the communities it serves.
- Everytown for Gun Safety | Seeks to improve our understanding of the causes of gun violence and the means to reduce it – by conducting groundbreaking original research, developing evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public.
- Mothers in Charge | The mission of Mothers In Charge is violence prevention, education and intervention for youth, young adults, families and community organizations.
- Editorial: Lessons From Australia’s National Firearms Agreement | from JAMA
- Association Between Gun Law Reforms and Intentional Firearm Deaths in Australia, 1979-2013 | from JAMA
- Study provides picture of firearm injuries, deaths among St. Louis-area children | Dec. 2015 story in the Washington University Record on recent study
- After Bolden shooting, a public health perspective on gun violence | Aug. 30, 2015 St. Louis Public Radio story on the shooting of Jamyla Bolden and the potential for public health to address gun violence
- Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence | 2013 Report from the Institute of Medicine
- Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From 8 Health Professional Organizations and the American Bar Association | from the Annals of Internal Medicine
- Experts Discuss Mental Illness, Risk for Violence, and Gun Ownership | from Psychiatric News
- The Epidemiology of Firearm Violence in the Twenty-First Century United States | from the Annual Review of Public Health
- Commentary: Evidence to Guide Gun Violence Prevention in America | from the Annual Review of Public Health
- Focused Deterrence and the Prevention of Violent Gun Injuries: Practice, Theoretical Principles, and Scientific Evidence | from the Annual Review of Public Health
- Cure Violence: A Public Health Model to Reduce Gun Violence | from the Annual Review of Public Health
- Effects of Policies Designed to Keep Firearms from High-Risk Individuals | from the Annual Review of Public Health