Recent Publications

Gun violence and access to firearms in Chicago: Federal, state, and local legislation.

 

Deaths from guns and other violent assaults are the third leading cause of death among 15-34 year olds in the United States, as well as a significant source of morbidity.  In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 39,773 deaths from firearms, the highest number in over 40 years. Steadily increasing over the past decade, the number of firearms now exceeds people in this country (357 million guns versus 317 million people). 

 

In 2017, shootings with firearms caused 1,543 deaths in Illinois. Chicago continues to experience a substantial toll of gun violence, landing Chicago at the center of national gun policy discussions. There were 603 homicides reported by the Chicago Police Department in 2017, following 2,782 shooting incidents. In 2015, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reported nearly 150,000 registered firearms in Illinois, a rate of 11.4 per 100,000. 

 

This brief examines federal, state, and local gun laws, and their relevance to reducing the toll of gun violence in Chicago and improving the safety of all Chicagoans, particularly in light of research demonstrating that firearm laws directly correlate with death rates.

Bunting, S, Benjamins, M, and Homan, S (2019). Gun violence and access to firearms in Chicago: Federal, state, and local legislation. Full reports can be found here.

Persistent and aggressive interactions with the police: Potential mental health implications. 

Persistent and aggressive police encounters may negatively impact current mental health status, through either the frequency or violent nature of these encounters. Using our Sinai Survey 2.0, we examined associations between persistent or aggressive police exposure, measured as number of lifetime police stops or threat or use of force during the respondent’s most recent police stop, respectively, with current PTSD and depressive symptoms among men and women in several diverse Chicago communities.

Hirschtick J, Homan S, Rauscher G, Rubin L, Johnson T, Peterson CE, Persky V (2019). Persistent and aggressive interactions with the police: Potential mental health implications, Epidemiology and Psychiatric Services. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796019000015. Published online: 05 February 2019, pp. 1-8

Study of Nonfatal Gun Violence at Sinai Health System (SHS). 

SUHI Evaluator, Veronica Fitzpatrick completed an extensive study of nonfatal gun violence trends at Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) (attached) and the experience of our patients at MSH and Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and their transition back into community settings, as well as recommendations for strengthening care and reducing trauma: 

  • Homicide rates in SHS neighborhoods are ten times higher than the national average.

  • Last year, there were 787 homicides, which is a 58% increase from 2015.

  • Additionally, in 2017, SHS cared for over 2,700 trauma victims, approximately 800 of which were victims of non-fatal gun violence injury.

The results of the analyses of the care needs of nonfatal gun violence victims pointed to the lack of access to post-acute care. Further, there needs to be support for injured patients to reenter home and community settings. Community health workers were recommended to support patients, help them navigate services and resources to address the social, occupational, housing and economic and family support needs. Read the full report here

Health Care Providers on the Frontline: Responding to the Gun Violence Epidemic. Chapter 1 in Lysaught, TM and McCarthy, MP. A Social Praxis for US Health Care: Revisioning Catholic Bioethics Via Catholic Social Thought.

Noting that gun violence in the US has reached epidemic proportions, the authors  draw on Catholic social thought to outline a series of methodological and practical steps that move us beyond the ethical dilemmas presented in the emergency department (ED) or the moral distress of caring for victims. They reframe the central concept of bioethics—that of personhood—to focus not solely on the personhood of the patient but to see bioethics as a shared act of personhood between bioethicist and patient/community. This framework enables ethicists to envisage an array of responses—community-based intervention strategies, community-building relationships, basic research, and legislative advocacy.

Byrne, M, McCarthy, V, Silva A,  Homan SM. Health Care Providers on the Frontline: Responding to the Gun Violence Epidemic. Chapter 1 in Lysaught, TM and McCarthy, MP. A Social Praxis for US Health Care: Revisioning Catholic Bioethics Via Catholic Social Thought (MN: Liturgical Press Academic, 2018).

Nonfatal Firearm Violence Trends on the Westside of Chicago Between 2005 and 2016.

This article examines trends in non-fatal gun violence at Mount Sinai Hospital over 12 years. Overall, there were a total of 3,962 nonfatal hospitalizations at MSH between the three time periods due to gun violence related injuries. Interestingly, there was a 74.7% increase in female nonfatal hospitalizations from 2009-2012 to 2013-2016.

Fitzpatrick V, Castro M, Jacobs J, Sebro N, Gulmatico J, Shields M, Homan SM. Nonfatal Firearm Violence Trends on the Westside of Chicago Between 2005 and 2016. Community Health (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-018-00603-8.