Health Check: Grant targets gun violence and kids

Health Check: Grant targets gun violence and kids. (MGN)

A five year, $5 million NIH grant targets gun violence and kids.

It’s the largest federal grant in 20 years to look at how science can be applied to injury prevention in children and adolescents.

"We see around 200 gunshot wounds a year here,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, an attending physician at southern new england’s only level one trauma center: Rhode Island Hospital.

"There are about 50 gunshot deaths in Rhode Island each year,” she continues.

"Most of the Rhode Islanders who die, almost 80 percent of Rhode Islanders who die from gunshot wounds, actually die from suicide."

Dr. Ranney also co-chairs the governor's gun safety task force. This grant, she says, is big news.

"It's similar to how we've tackled the opioid epidemic. We're getting together the best and brightest researchers in injury prevention and in violence prevention and bringing them together and we're doing a number of work groups.”

Dr. Ranney will be leading the work group on mental health.

"One of the things we'll be looking at is in the wake of these mass shootings: what is the effect on community and on society and what can we do to decrease this, to decrease the fear."

And in the case of the Parkland School mass shooting in February:

"Identifying what are those risk factors. But then you at look at Parkland and everybody knew he was at risk so then one of the things we're going to talk about is once we know that someone's at risk, what's the right thing to to do thelp them to keep them safe and to keep their community safe."

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