Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio about one week ago put physicians, nurses and other health care workers once again on the front lines of tragedy.
We grieve for the victims and admire the resolve of these first responders to act quickly and skillfully to care for the injured and help their communities heal.
It is in the wake of these tragedies that U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, of Maryland, called gun violence a “national public health crisis.” Like other public health crises, injury and death from firearms are preventable.
Unfortunately, hospitals have direct experience with the devastation brought on by gun violence. As care providers you are working diligently to curb aggression – on your own premises and in the communities you serve. You provide crisis intervention, trauma education, counseling, and other support systems. You have early identification, escalation processes and programs to aid employees affected by trauma. And, you train for mass casualty events in your emergency preparedness work.
But we know there is more to do. Let’s commit to partner with our public officials and other leaders to address violence as a public health matter – to keep our communities safe and to advance the health of all Marylanders.