This Friday, June 4, Massachusetts General Hospital staff are invited to wear orange in recognition of Gun Violence Awareness Day. The national event honors the victims of gun violence, shows support for the gun safety movement and calls attention to gun violence as a major medical and public health crisis.
In previous years, staff gathered on the Bulfinch Lawn, however, this year employees are instead invited to show their solidarity by sharing photos of their orange attire. Photos can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion on a dedicated Apollo page (the Mass General intranet). Or, on Twitter to @MGH_GVPC and @MassGeneralNews, with the hashtags #Endgunviolence and #thisisourlane.
Since 2015, the Mass General Gun Violence Prevention Coalition—a multidisciplinary group including nurses, administrators, physicians, police and security officers, social workers, therapists, community activists and concerned community members—has worked to develop guidance for clinical staff to talk to patients about gun safety. Two years ago, the hospital launched a dedicated center, the Mass General Center for Gun Violence Prevention, focused on reducing injuries and deaths related to firearms and promoting safety in the home and in the community through education, engagement and research.
“We bring together people with diverse ideas,” says Hemal Sampat, MD, of the Hospital Medicine Unit and a member of the coalition. “We encourage any staff member who is interested in being a part of this ongoing effort to join us. We meet once a month and focus on efforts to promote safety and injury prevention.”
The coalition also works closely with the community and recently raised more than $10,000 during the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, a fundraising event to benefit the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. The organization, based in Dorchester, supports families of victims of gun violence through counseling and other services.