11:24 AM

Northwestern Medicine joins Chicago health systems in national gun safety movement to address firearms as leading cause of death in kids


Health systems across the country join together to encourage parents to ask about gun access and safety measures

Hopsitals united

CHICAGO -  Guns are the leading cause of death for kids. Thirteen children die from firearms every day. To help address this crisis and encourage parents to take action by asking about gun safety, Northwestern Medicine along with Advocate Aurora Health and Advocate Children’s Hospital, Loyola Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Edward-Elmhurst Health, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, OSF HealthCare and OSF Children’s of Illinois, Rush University System for Health, UChicago Medicine and Comer Children’s Hospital joined more than a thousand hospitals, health systems and associations in communicating a public awareness campaign.

“No child should lose their life from a firearm not stored properly in a secure location,” said Dean M. Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. “These senseless deaths can and need to be prevented. Our hope is this effort sparks a nation wide discussion on the safe storage of firearms and creating a safe environment for our children to live and play.”

By asking about safe gun storage, the campaign is meant to help parents and caretakers feel empowered to ask other parents about access to guns. Broadcast, print and digital ads and a website highlight that access to unlocked guns can lead to death, suicide and gun violence, making it more likely that children die from guns than cancer or automobile accidents. The website provides tips on how to have a conversation with other parents about safely stored firearms, and encourages parents and caregivers to normalize this conversation.

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About Hospitals United

Impetus for this and other public service campaigns comes from over 100 healthcare marketing and communications executives representing the nation’s most prominent health systems, children’s hospitals, and hospital and health associations. Meeting regularly for a decade, they share knowledge, experience, best practices and resources, knowing they can accomplish more together. Founded and led by national healthcare leader Rhoda Weiss, Ph.D., the expanded coalition is partnering with Northwell Health, its Senior Vice President Ramon Soto and its Gun Violence Prevention Learning Collaborative for Hospitals and Health Systems for this effort. Many participants are also forming regional coalitions to offer messages of prevention and safety, hope and healing.