Document Type

Journal Article

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Publication Source

The Journal of Trauma Injury Infection and Critical Care





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Background: Firearm violence is the second leading cause of injury-related death. This study examined the use of local trauma centers as lead organizations in their communities to address firearm injury.

Methods: Three trauma centers in cities with populations less than 100,000 were linked with a university-based firearm injury research center. A trauma surgeon director and coordinator partnered with communities, recruited and directed advisory boards, established a local firearm injury surveillance system, and informed communities using community-specific profiles. Primary process and outcome measures included completeness of data, development of community-specific profiles, number of data-driven consumer media pieces, number of meetings to inform policy makers, and an analysis of problems encountered.

Results: Local trauma centers in smaller communities implemented a firearm injury surveillance system, produced community-specific injury profiles, and engaged community leaders and policy makers to address firearm injury. Community-specific profiles demonstrated consistent firearm suicide rates (6.58–6.82 per 100,000) but variation in firearm homicide rates (1.08–12.5 per 100,000) across sites. There were 63 data-driven media pieces and 18 forums to inform community leaders and policy makers. Completeness of data elements ranged from 57.1% to 100%. Problems experienced were disconnected data sources, multiple data owners, potential for political fallout, limited trauma center data, skills sets of medical professionals, and sustainability.

Conclusion: Trauma centers, when provided resources and support, with the model described, can function as lead organizations in partnering with the community to acquire and use community-specific data for local firearm injury prevention.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Richmond, Therese S.; Schwab, C. William; Riely, Jeaneen; Branas, Charles C.; Cheney, Rose; Dunfey, Maura (2004) Effective Trauma Center Partnerships to Address Firearm Injury: A New Paradigm, The Journal of Trauma Injury Infection and Critical Care 56(6) pp 1197-1205.


Trauma center, Firearm injury, Surveillance, Community action, Injury prevention



Date Posted: 22 May 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.