gun violence

Public Health and Medical Community Pledge to Decrease Gun Violence

By Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County

This blog originally appeared here in the Public Health - Seattle & King County blog Public Health Insider

Firearm-related injury and death, from suicide to accidental injury and homicide – is a major public health problem and a leading cause of premature death in King County and nationally. In 2016, 663 adults and 20 children died from a firearm injury in Washington state, including 144 adults and 7 children from King County.

Firearm-related injuries have very high personal and financial costs to individuals, families and society – and that’s why prevention is essential.  In 2015, the cost of firearm fatalities alone (not counting non-fatal injuries) in King County was almost $200 million from medical costs and lost productivity, and nationally the cost is in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year.


Beyond Thoughts and Prayers

By Dr. Rex Archer, Director of Health, Kansas City, Missouri Health Department

After the trauma of the events surrounding the Las Vegas mass shooting, stories of horror and heroism unfolded from that horrible act.  My compassion and prayers felt somewhat hollow.  I am in a position to move my compassion to actions that make a difference and to save many lives.  That is why I am in public health. Yet, the enormity of the challenge seems daunting.

In Public Health, Good Data are Essential – But Numbers Alone Don’t Always Tell the Whole Story

Welcome to the Big Cities Health Coalition's Front Lines Blog! We’re excited to launch it, and in future months, you’ll find posts from our members, the leadership of 28 of the nation’s largest, most urban health departments, and other key leaders in the field of public health. Here at the Coalition, we focus on research, policy and systems change, and advocacy. Integral to all of these is the availability of timely, accurate local data that is comparable across jurisdictions, so that we can gain insight into conditions on the ground. While there are plenty of resources for data at the state or county level, city level data is hard to come by. And that’s one of the gaps in the field that we’re seeking to fill. We recently published the Big Cities Health Inventory, where we gathered public health data from 26 member cities, and for the first time, put them in one place to allow for comparisons  on various health indicators. The inventory also offers 12 “Winnable Battles Case Studies” that highlight some of the ways cities are tackling key health battles by executing cutting-edge public health practices with large-scale impact.