June 1, 2018

Cook County Health’s (CCH) Stroger Hospital today joined groups around the country working to enhance awareness of the impact of gun violence by participating in National Wear Orange Day.

During a press conference at Stroger Hospital today, Dr. Faran Bokhari, Chairman, Cook County Trauma & Burn Unit asked we remind our legislators that there is more they can do.

“Every victim should serve as a reminder that we have not done enough,” Bokhari said. “We are tired of telling our patients and their families that they need one more surgery or that they won’t walk again because someone had access to a weapon that was intended for the battlefield. This is senseless and it is our job to do anything and everything we can to protect our communities.”

In an average year, Stroger Hospital’s trauma unit sees more than 5,000 unique patients with 1,000 of those having gunshot wounds. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, 96 people are killed by guns in the US and another 192 are injured by them.

More than 1,000 people have been shot so far this year in Chicago. Despite Chicago and Illinois having some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, it continues to be the epicenter of this modern public health epidemic. The experience in Chicago and Illinois demonstrates why state-by-state laws are not sufficient and why we need federal gun control laws.

The CCH supports common sense gun regulations and other measure to combat the mortality and morbidity caused by firearms including:

–  A ban on high-capacity automatic/semi-automatic firearms bump stocks and silencers
–  Strengthening permitting and universal background checks
–  Requiring anyone who sells a gun to have a dealer license
–  Requiring reporting of a lost or stolen gun within 48 hours
–  Funding research on gun violence to develop public health initiatives
–  Investing in more trauma informed care services to support victims of gun violence in their recovery.