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Drs. Kerby and CoxDirector of the Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Jeffrey Kerby, M.D., Ph.D. and Chief of the Trauma Service Daniel Cox, M.D., sat down with WBHM to discuss hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) for gunshot survivors.

In general, trauma volume at UAB has been increasing over the years, and this includes the number of gunshot wounds. Health systems, city officials, and the community have been looking for solutions to the dismal situation.

“We need a solution for rising gun violence, as it negatively impacts our communities and puts a strain on hospitals and medical resources,” said Cox. “The data does not lie: research has found that hospital-based intervention programs for gunshot wound survivors are effective.”

According to the WBHM article, the idea behind an HVIP is to break that cycle and offer a more comprehensive approach to treating survivors of gun violence. The Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery is working with the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, Jefferson County Department of Public Health, and community leaders to establish a program in Birmingham and at UAB Hospital.

“HVIPs have shown success addressing injury recidivism in some communities, and we are hoping for the same result in ours,” said Kerby. “There is also a bill circulating in congress currently that will provide a $5 billion investment support for these initiatives.”

“Physical treatment for gunshots alone is not enough,” said Kerby. “We have to take further steps to mitigate gun violence while also supporting patients most at risk with appropriate tools and resources to help them break the cycle of injury.”