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Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis

  • Eric P. Newman Education Center, Medical Campus 320 S Euclid Ave St Louis, MO, 63110 United States (map)

On April 21, 2015, under the leadership of the Institute of Public Health and the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis will begin a yearlong look at one of our greatest public health challenges: death and injury as a result of gun violence.

The purpose of this initiative is to better understand and raise awareness of the issues, identify gaps in available data and research and explore ways in which 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.

According to the June 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, “the complexity and frequency of gun-related violence combined with its impact on the health and safety of the nation’s residents make it a topic of considerable public health importance.” And in February 2015, the nation’s leading health organizations and the American Bar Association jointly issued a national call-to-action for a public health approach to firearm-related violence and prevention of firearm injuries and death. As one of the world’s leading research institutions—with top-ranked schools of medicine and social work and a multidisciplinary Institute of Public Health—Washington University is well positioned to contribute to this effort.

The launch event in April will include remarks from special guest St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Alan I. Leshner, PhD, CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Edward Lawlor, PhD, Dean of the Brown School will moderate a panel of experts, including James Clark, Vice President of Better Family Life, Robert “Bo” Kennedy, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Becky Morgan, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and Nancy L. Staudt, JD, PhD, Dean of Washington University’s School of Law.



Remarks from special guest, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay


“The Gun Violence Public Health Crisis: What it means and what we need to do”
Alan Leshner, PhD
CEO Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science and chair, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council study committee


Edward F. Lawlor, PhD
Dean, Brown School


James Clark
Vice President, Better Family Life

Robert “Bo” Kennedy, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine

Becky Morgan
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Nancy L. Staudt, JD, PhD
Dean, Washington University School of Law