As firearm-related deaths and injuries continue to rise, more attention is needed to develop strategies to mitigate mortality caused by firearms, according to public health researchers, including the University of South Florida College of Public Health’s Dr. Karen Liller, a professor in the department of community and family health.
Dr. Liller was among the public health researchers from 42 schools and programs of public health, spanning 22 states and 17 gun violence prevention and advocacy organizations, who convened this November in Boston for the “Public Health and Firearm Epidemic: A National Consultation.” An action agenda to encourage gun safety resulting from that national meeting was published online yesterday in the American Journal of Public Health. The AJPH editorial is titled “Academic Public Health and the Firearm Crisis: An Agenda for Action.”
Dean Sandro Galea, Boston University School of Public Health, arranged for the November consultation after the presidential election results to discuss what top priorities of the newly elected administration should be to address the firearm epidemic and how public health professionals can help spur those priorities.
“The firearm-related injury and death rates in the United States need to be immediately addressed through comprehensive and collaborative partnerships involving many sectors, such as academia, funding agencies, industry, local and state government, injury prevention programs, law enforcement, gun owners, and more,” said Dr. Liller, a child and adolescent public health professor specializing in unintentional injury prevention.
“In the state of Florida, I hope to move this agenda forward by working with the state and local injury prevention groups and programs. We need to especially reach out to foundations as possible advocates and funding sources for our research and outreach efforts.”