In 2021, the University of Michigan launched the new Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention to generate knowledge and advance innovative solutions that reduce firearm injury, a public health crisis that leads to more than 100 deaths per day across the United States.
“Firearm violence led to nearly 40,000 deaths nationwide last year, and the stark reality that we all must come to grips with is that this public health crisis is unfortunately growing more intense every year,” said Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research and the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine.
“We have an incredible opportunity here with this new institute to really address the problem head on through collaborative research and scholarship. By partnering with rural and urban community leaders and other key stakeholders, we can leverage our expertise and resources so that together we achieve our common goals of decreasing firearm injury and death, all while respecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
A $10 million university commitment over the next five years will support the institute, which launched as a presidential initiative in 2019 to formulate and answer critical questions around safety and violence.
Learn more about firearm injury prevention research at U-M in this Michigan Minds special series:
REBECCA CUNNINGHAM, MD: DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES, COMMONS GOALS
Rebecca Cunningham discusses how the university can leverage its expertise and partnerships to decrease firearm injury and death, all while respecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
MARC ZIMMERMAN, PHD: YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Research endeavors led by Marc Zimmerman show that engaging local residents in community greening efforts can lead to a substantial reduction in firearm violence.
CINDY EWELL FOSTER, PHD: PREVENTING YOUTH SUICIDE
Cindy Ewell Foster is partnering with residents in the Upper Peninsula to develop a firearm safety education program that aims to reduce morbidity and mortality among youth.
PATRICK CARTER, MD: INTERVENTION IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM
Patrick Carter is studying whether a behavioral intervention program can reduce risky firearm behavior and violence among youth in urban communities who seek emergency care.
LISA WEXLER, PHD: SAFE FIREARM STORAGE
Lisa Wexler is developing a suicide prevention approach to encourage safe firearm storage in homes across rural and remote Alaska, which has suicide rates far above national averages.
JUSTIN HEINZE, PHD: STUDYING SCHOOL SAFETY
Justin Heinze researches school-based violence and is measuring the efficacy of a new anonymous reporting system that is designed for early identification of threats in a school community.
JANE PROPHET, PHD: THE ROLE OF ART AND DESIGN
Creative events and innovative artworks can help generate awareness around the impact of firearm violence and also help individuals affected by the ongoing crisis heal, says Jane Prophet.
JASON GOLDSTICK, MD: RISK ASSESSMENT FOR FIREARM VIOLENCE
Jason Goldstick is exploring whether machine learning can assess young people’s risk for firearm violence so that prevention resources and emergency interventions work effectively.