Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue

The research, education and action goals of the Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue Initiative are being carried on by the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center. The Initiative’s GVPHI Advisory Committee is in transition and will serve as an advisory board for the center.

Gun violence as a public health issue initiative

In 2016, in the wake of the Pulse Night Club shooting, OHSU joined Portland State University, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, and community leaders and organizations across the Portland metro area in addressing gun violence as a public health issue and launched the Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue  Initiative

Under the leadership of Dr. Brian Gibbs, the institutions formed the GVPHI Advisory Committee composed of faculty, researchers, students, health care providers, community members, and county and state public health organizations.

The committee’s goal was to prevent firearm-related violence and injuries in Oregon by advancing public health approaches and best practices and policies for prevention through research, education, advocacy and action. They used the guiding principles of anti-racism, community engagement and collaboration in their work.

The committee was initially charged with organizing three forums to identify opportunities to collaborate to reduce gun violence, increase awareness of and address the social determinants of gun violence, promote empathy and healing, and support transparent, ongoing conversations about race relations and implicit bias on the OHSU and PSU campuses.

One forum brought together participants from the OHSU and PSU campus communities, a second forum drew participants from the Portland metro community, and a third forum was held for the Portland business community.

The Advisory Committee continued to meet since that initial year of work, launching a journal club, speakers’ bureau and ongoing research initiatives as part of the work of the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center.