Health, Community and Government Leaders to Outline Actions to Prevent Gun Violence at Northwell Health’s Annual Forum

President Joe Biden’s director of Domestic Policy Council Amb. Susan Rice headlines the largest health system in New York’s annual Gun Violence Prevention Forum

Michael Dowling (right), president and CEO of Northwell Health speaks with Chethan Sathya, MD, director of Northwell’s Center for Gun Violence Prevention. (Credit: Northwell Health)

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y.--()--As the U.S. Senate continues to negotiate and debate President Joe Biden’s comprehensive “Build Back Better” plan, which includes $5 billion for violence intervention programs, Northwell Health will virtually host its third annual Gun Violence Prevention Forum on December 15 starting at 11 a.m. ET. All are welcome to register for the free, three-hour event at

The Gun Violence Prevention Forum focuses on mobilizing the collective efforts of the health care industry, government, the private sector, advocacy groups, law enforcement, gun violence survivors and their families to help inspire action to address a public health crisis that claimed a record 43,635 American lives in 2020 and more than 41,000 so far this year.

The year’s forum keynote speaker will be Susan Rice – the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – who is the director of the U.S. Domestic Policy Council. Amb. Rice will share insight around the $5 billion in the “Build Back Better” plan and how it could be used to help reduce gun deaths through hospital and community-based violence intervention programs and research.

In a very personal moment, one mother will share the story of her son, who was accidentally shot and killed by a teenage relative. She will detail her family’s struggle and advocacy that stemmed from the incident.

Northwell Health President and CEO Michael Dowling will host the forum, which spotlights other notable speakers, including:

  • Edward Skyler, executive vice president, global public affairs, Citi
  • James A. Mercy, PhD, director, division of violence prevention, Centers for Disease Control
  • Charles H. Ramsey, former Philadelphia police commissioner & Washington, DC chief of police
  • Fatimah Loren Dreier, executive director, Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI)
  • A. Marc Harrison, MD, president and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Joseph Sakran, MD, director of emergency general surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital and gun violence survivor
  • Rev. Michael McBride, director, Urban Strategies & Live Free Campaign
  • Jim Ross, mayor of the city of Arlington, Texas

“Last week’s tragic shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan is an urgent reminder that we need to take action against senseless gun violence,” said Mr. Dowling. “We hope this forum, new research and hearing from members of our communities and government will help educate and lead to substantial policy change and behaviors to prevent any more deaths.”

To hear more from Mr. Dowling about Northwell Health’s mission to end gun violence, Click here.

Northwell Health created the Center for Gun Violence Prevention, led by Chethan Sathya, MD, a pediatric trauma surgeon, after the inaugural Gun Violence Prevention Forum in 2019. The Center aims to make firearm injury and mortality prevention strategies part of routine health care, especially within at-risk communities. To do this, the team continues to invest in research and urge government leaders to fund anti-gun violence programs. In 2020, Northwell Health was awarded a $1.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to establish a universal screening process to identify and intervene with those at risk of firearm injury.

Earlier this year, Northwell Health also launched a Gun Violence Prevention Learning Collaborative, which now includes hundreds of clinicians, researchers, executives and other health care workers from 35 states. The Learning Collaborative has served as a forum for health professionals to share their experiences and lessons learned through monthly sessions focused on best practices on such topics as data collection to effectively partnering with faith-based groups and other community-based organizations on violence prevention efforts.

“There needs to be a shift in the way we address the issue with patients and educate clinicians around gun violence,” said Dr. Sathya. “By hearing from those affected by tragedy and others on the frontlines, we stand a better chance of introducing effective new interventional strategies to prevent senseless gun violence.”

For more information about this year’s Gun Violence Prevention Forum program, speakers and to register your virtual attendance, please visit

About Northwell Health

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 77,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Matthew Libassi


Matthew Libassi