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Minnesota health care systems declare gun violence a public health crisis

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Minnesota (June 8, 2022) – Health care leaders across Minnesota are joining together to express their shared view that gun violence is a public health crisis. Health care systems share a unique perspective on this growing crisis and the impact the lives lost and those forever changed by gun violence has on the health and well-being of our communities.

To address the epidemic of gun violence both locally and nationally, Minnesota’s health care systems have pledged to collaborate and take action on the development of solutions to prevent gun violence and advance important conversations on reforms to protect patients, employees and communities.

The CEOs from Allina Health, CentraCare, Children’s Minnesota, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, Gillette Children’s, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, North Memorial Health and Sanford Health have released the statement below:

As leaders of some of our state's health care systems, we believe it is time to declare gun violence as a public health crisis and to work to prevent the deaths of innocent people of all ages and backgrounds. We must look no further than the recent shootings on a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a school in Uvalde, Texas, a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and countless others just this past year to see its devastating impacts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020 more than 19,000 American lives were lost due to homicide involving a gun. That same year, guns became the leading cause of death for children and teenagers. These statistics are appalling and outrage us as health care providers and should outrage us all. Everyone deserves a world where they can feel safe and live their lives without fear of gun violence.

Gun violence and its horrific impacts are preventable. It has reached epidemic levels and represents a significant threat to public health. 

As health care providers, we see the impacts of gun violence firsthand every day. We uniquely understand the devastation of this violence in our hospitals and clinics, and the toll it takes on individuals, families, communities and the care providers who treat the victims. We have an important role to play in creating a safer future for all. 

We will continue to be fierce advocates for the safety of our employees, patients and the communities we serve, inside and outside our hospital and clinic walls.  By formally declaring gun violence as the public health crisis that it is, we will collectively seek the solutions required to save lives and stem the tide of violence.

 

Lisa Shannon                                                                    Kenneth Holmen, MD
President and CEO                                                           President and CEO
Allina Health                                                                      CentraCare

 

Marc Gorelick, MD                                                             David Herman, MD
President and CEO                                                           CEO
Children’s Minnesota                                                         Essentia Health

 

James Hereford                                                                Barbara Joers
President and CEO                                                          President and CEO
Fairview Health Services                                                 Gillette Children’s

 

Jennifer DeCubellis                                                           Andrea Walsh
CEO                                                                                  President and CEO
Hennepin Healthcare                                                        HealthPartners

 

J. Kevin Croston, MD                                                        Bill Gassen
CEO                                                                                  President and CEO
North Memorial Health                                                     Sanford Health

 

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Health system media contacts:

Allina Health | Conny Bergerson, Director Public Relations | 612-270-9935
conny.bergerson@allina.com

CentraCare | Karna Fronden, Public Relations Manager | 320-251-2700 ext. 71381
Karna.Fronden@CentraCare.com

Children’s Minnesota | Nick LaFave, Director, Communications | 616-309-9191
Nick.LaFave@childrensmn.org

Essentia Health | Louis St. George, External Communications Manager | 218-260-6557
Louis.StGeorge@EssentiaHealth.org

Fairview Health Services | Aimee Jordan, Media Relations Manager | 612-306-1811
ajordan5@fairview.org

Gillette Children’s | Erika Rasmussen, Media and Public Relations Specialist | 651-229-1744
ErikaLRasmussen@gillettechildrens.com

HealthPartners | Annelise Heitkamp, Communications Manager | 763-443-5980
Annelise.M.Heitkamp@HealthPartners.Com

Hennepin Healthcare | Christine Hill, Media Relations | 612-919-8711
Christine.Hill@hcmed.org

North Memorial Health | Kara Hille, Senior Public Relations Specialist | 763-581-2370
Kara.Hille@NorthMemorial.com

Sanford Health | Paul Heinert, Manager Media Relations | 605-312-4330
Paul.Heinert@SanfordHealth.org