Gun Violence was the subject of Woodhull Hospital’s last lecture in a series they held in September for National Preparedness Month. As part of their effort to provide better health to their community, they see this also extends to issues that impact health and safety. Alan James, who directs special projects for the Fund for NYC Health + Hospitals, served as moderator for a list of speakers from Guns Down Life Up, Save Our Streets, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Cure Violence, among others.
A consensus of the speakers conveyed that collaboration is a necessity for prevention of gun violence. Law enforcement and community organizations that have relationships with gangs (for example) need to keep their parts separate to a certain extent, yet eventually their work is coordinated as a unit that moves toward the same goal: to decrease and eventually stop gun violence.
When Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s Community Coordinator Evelyn Cruz took to the podium she said, “Gun Violence is a public health crisis. Every year gun violence takes 35,000 lives. This costs the economy $127B.” Concluding that this money would be better spent elsewhere if there was a more efficient means of prevention. To that end she mentioned that the congresswoman introduced the Reducing Gun Violence in Our Neighborhoods Act last October. The bill would strengthen federal reporting requirements for stolen or lost guns, establish a national database for missing firearms and utilize technology so that the origin of recovered weapons can be identified, assisting law enforcement investigations.
Gregory Calliste, CEO of Woodhull Hospital, announced that Woodhull Hospital welcomed the opportunity to provide the public and staff information on a very important subject and was pleased to give a platform to many community organizations. He said that Woodhull keeps an open door in hopes that the listeners would keep an open mind.