Sinai Health System, Illinois Public Health Institute, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Major Chicago Universities Join Forces to Tackle Chicago’s Gun Violence Epidemic
Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative Formed to Share Research and Identify Gaps in Knowledge through Community-Informed Agenda
CHICAGO, IL — As City leaders lament the more than 4,000 gunshot victims this year–up more than 1,000 from last year–top academic and public health researchers in Chicago are joining together in a major collaboration designed to catalogue and share existing research, solicit community input, and develop and disseminate data that will help those on the front lines reduce and prevent gun violence and deaths in Chicago.
The Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative (CGVRC) is being convened by Sinai Health System and Illinois Public Health Institute, with a number of Chicago’s top academic researchers and community engagement experts, including Access Community Health Network, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Cook County Health & Hospitals System, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University, Lurie Children’s Hospital, National Louis University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Syracuse University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and others. The goal of the Collaborative is to provide evidence-based solutions that reflect the needs of Chicago communities and help social service agencies, community organizations, law enforcement officials and others more sustainably address this public health crisis.
“We see the ravages of gun violence every single day in our trauma center and emergency rooms, and we will not sit idly by while grave injuries and homicides continue to escalate and devastate our city,” said Karen Teitelbaum, President and CEO, Sinai Health System.
Formed in response to a federal ban on gun research, the group has already begun gathering and cataloguing existing research on Chicago-area gun violence. That research will be a key resource available for public access and download on the CGVRC website, chicagogunviolenceresearch.com. The Collaborative is planning to host in-depth community engagement sessions to hear from community leaders and advocates about the most urgent research needs going forward.
“This is a ground breaking collaboration,” said Chris Harris, Sr., Pastor, Bright Star Church in Bronzeville. “As Bright Star Community Outreach further develops TURN (The Urban Resilience Network) Center, this effort will show families facing trauma that a partnership between residents and researchers could shift the paradigm of the way we address gun violence in Chicago and beyond.”
CGVRC is also planning a spring 2017 conference that will bring together community based organizations–including clergy, school leaders, and criminal and social justice groups–as well as local and national researchers, policy makers, and funders to create a community-driven research agenda and to share research-informed practices in gun violence prevention.
“This opportunity to pool research and information about gun violence is critically needed. Our collective effort can help provide the building blocks to change the trajectory too many of our city’s young people are facing,” said violence researcher Karen Sheehan, MD, Medical Director, Injury Prevention and Research Center at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics & Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
“This is a public health emergency, and we need to join together to develop a comprehensive approach. We need to understand what gaps exist in the research and ensure that everyone working to address this crisis has access to evidence-based solutions,” said Elissa Bassler, CEO, Illinois Public Health Institute.
For more information, to add your voice or to get involved, please visit www.chicagogunviolenceresearch.com.