MMS 12th Annual Public Leadership Forum on Firearm Violence: April 5

BY GREG GOULD
MMS PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF

“Do you have a gun in your home?” This simple question can feel like a difficult subject to broach with patients.

On November 18, 2015, the MMS hosted the Initiating a Conversation with Patients on Gun Safety webinar to help physicians confidently and sensitively discuss firearm ownership and safety with their patients.

The webinar addressed a broad range of important gun safety issues: advice on starting conversations in both pediatric and adult settings, the medical and legal issues relevant to physicians, proper safe storage techniques, the history of firearms in the United States, and the significant effect the presence of a firearm has on the chance of a fatal suicide attempt. A recording of the one-hour CME program is now available on the MMS website at www.massmed.org/gunsafety.

MMS will hold its 12th Annual Public Leadership Forum, Firearm Violence: Policy, Prevention, and Public Health, on April 5. The forum will discuss the role of clinicians in implementing a public health approach to understanding and addressing the epidemic of firearm violence facing the nation. The forum will take an integrative approach by bringing together speakers that come from a diverse array of backgrounds, including law enforcement and community activism. Presentations and discussion panels will discuss topics ranging from the epidemiology of firearm violence to techniques physician clinicians can use to begin discussions on firearm safety with their patients.

Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., executive director of the American Public Health Association, will keynote the program, addressing gun violence in America as a problem of public health and actions that medical professionals can take to help keep their communities and patients safe. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey will speak about the steps being taken by law enforcement to reduce gun violence throughout the Commonwealth. David Hemenway, Ph.D., director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, will present research on the epidemiology of firearm violence and the impact of both intentional and unintentional firearm injury on public health. Reverend Jeffrey Brown, president of Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace, will share his experience in planning and implementing community-based interventions to prevent firearm and other forms of violence.

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