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AFFIRM Welcomes AMA as New Partner in Effort to Reduce Gun Violence

July 11, 2018

The American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM) today announced that it is partnering with the American Medical Association (AMA) in its effort to restart the science of firearm injury prevention. The United States has a growing epidemic of gun injury. Last year alone, over 38,000 Americans were killed and more than 110,000 were injured by guns. Multiple medical organizations, including the AMA, have called for a comprehensive public health approach to gun violence prevention. Yet firearm injury prevention research remains systematically underfunded by the U.S. government.

AFFIRM has created infrastructure to raise and aggregate private sector financial resources to fund firearm injury prevention research, thereby bypassing political obstacles and inaction.  Together with AFFIRM’s existing partners, this group will seek to reduce gun violence in the same way our country has taken on every other public health crisis: through research, innovation, and evidence-based practice.

“The public’s health is our job as physicians,” said Dr. Christopher Barsotti, AFFIRM’s founding director. “We want to get to work.”

“Gun violence in the United States today is a public health crisis that knows no geographic, political or social boundaries,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “As physicians, we see firsthand every day the devastating impact of gun violence, not just on patients, but on families and communities, as well. We look forward to working with AFFIRM to build the infrastructure for a true epidemiological study of gun violence – something this country has lacked for too long – so we can determine its root causes and save lives.”

In the beginning of the last century, groups of doctors and researchers banded together to tackle cancer. Today, doctors’ organizations are banding together today to combat gun violence. The AMA joins the American College of Surgeons, Massachusetts Medical Society, and the American College of Emergency Physicians, as well as more than a dozen firearm injury prevention researchers in collaboration with AFFIRM.

“This partnership adds to our infrastructure of expertise, funding, and innovation that will enable us to tackle gun violence just as we have tackled dozens of other public health problems,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, chief research officer and co-founder of AFFIRM.

The association combines private sector resources and innovative public health approaches to create a new, powerful evidence base for gun violence prevention. AMA Trustee, Dr. Albert J. Osbahr, III, M.D., will join the AFFIRM Steering Committee.