Minnesota health care systems declare gun violence a public health crisis

Health systems commit to collectively address growing crisis.

Minnesota (June 8, 2022) – Health care leaders across Minnesota are joining together to express their shared view that gun violence is a public health crisis. Health care systems share a unique perspective on this growing crisis and the impact the lives lost and those forever changed by gun violence has on the health and well-being of our communities.

To address the epidemic of gun violence both locally and nationally, Minnesota’s health care systems have pledged to collaborate and take action on the development of solutions to prevent gun violence and advance important conversations on reforms to protect patients, employees and communities.

The CEOs from Allina Health, CentraCare, Children’s Minnesota, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, Gillette Children’s, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, North Memorial Health and Sanford Health have released the statement below:

Minnesota health care systems declare gun violence a public health crisis

As leaders of some of our state’s health care systems, we believe it is time to declare gun violence as a public health crisis and to work to prevent the deaths of innocent people of all ages and backgrounds. We must look no further than the recent shootings on a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a school in Uvalde, Texas, a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and countless others just this past year to see its devastating impacts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020 more than 19,000 American lives were lost due to homicide involving a gun. That same year, guns became the leading cause of death for children and teenagers. These statistics are appalling and outrage us as health care providers and should outrage us all. Everyone deserves a world where they can feel safe and live their lives without fear of gun violence.

Gun violence and its horrific impacts are preventable. It has reached epidemic levels and represents a significant threat to public health.

As health care providers, we see the impacts of gun violence firsthand every day. We uniquely understand the devastation of this violence in our hospitals and clinics, and the toll it takes on individuals, families, communities and the care providers who treat the victims. We have an important role to play in creating a safer future for all.

We will continue to be fierce advocates for the safety of our employees, patients and the communities we serve, inside and outside our hospital and clinic walls. By formally declaring gun violence as the public health crisis that it is, we will collectively seek the solutions required to save lives and stem the tide of violence.

Lisa Shannon
President and CEO
Allina Health

Marc Gorelick, MD
President and CEO
Children’s Minnesota

James Hereford
President and CEO
Fairview Health Services

Jennifer DeCubellis
Hennepin Healthcare

J. Kevin Croston, MD
North Memorial Health

Kenneth Holmen, MD
President and CEO

David Herman, MD
Essentia Health

Barbara Joers
President and CEO
Gillette Children’s

Andrea Walsh
President and CEO

Bill Gassen
President and CEO
Sanford Health


Alexandra Rothstein