Johns Hopkins Medicine Joins Coalition of Health Systems, Hospitals and the Ad Council in Tackling an Urgent Public Health Crisis: Gun Violence


Johns Hopkins Hospital exterior
Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Campaign aims to increase nationwide public awareness and education to help reduce firearm deaths, injuries and impact of gun violence on youth in America

Feb. 27, 2024 – Johns Hopkins Medicine is among a group of health systems and hospitals backing a gun violence prevention initiative announced today to address this urgent public health crisis and its impact on youth. The initiative will be funded by the National Health Care CEO Council on Gun Violence Prevention and Safety, a group of chief executives who represent some of the nation’s largest health systems and hospitals.

A recent analysis of CDC data by KFF shows that firearm injuries have been the leading cause of death among children and teens (ages 1-19) for three consecutive years, and now cause more children’s deaths than cancer. Though tackling the crisis of gun violence may feel like a daunting task -- and most Americans believe that gun violence will increase over the next five years -- there is common ground and broad agreement on several paths forward. And according to the Johns Hopkins 2023 National Gun Policy Survey, a majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation or gun-owning status, felt similarly about the potential for these solutions, showing that there are steps we can all take to reduce gun violence in our nation.    

“Effectively addressing gun violence first requires appreciating that it is a highly complex issue,” said Kevin Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Successful solutions both strike at the root cause and address its impact on communities. This initiative fuels our collective ability to create a better tomorrow while also providing resources to address today’s problems."

With an initial donation from the group of $10 million, the campaign plans to elevate the issue of gun violence in the United States and reduce firearm deaths and injuries in the country. The major emphasis will be on prevention strategies, such as educating adults about the actions they can take in their homes and communities to protect the nation’s youth and save lives.

Throughout the country, health systems and hospitals, such as Johns Hopkins, have seen firsthand the toll gun violence takes on communities. They collectively treat tens of thousands of gun injuries annually, and health care workers serve on the frontlines, treating patients and their families, the Ad Council says. The unique point of view that health care providers have in treating victims of gun violence and working to prevent gun violence in their communities will be instrumental in shaping the campaign’s strategy, bringing urgency and credibility to the issue.

In addition to Johns Hopkins Medicine, lead funders for the initiative include BJC Health System, Froedtert ThedaCare Health, Inc., Intermountain Health, MedStar Health and Northwell Health.