EMRA Statement on Mercy Hospital Mass Shootings

November 26, 2018

“Last week, our nation experienced a tragedy at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, when a brave police officer, a pharmacy resident, and an emergency physician colleague of ours were gunned down. It’s heartbreaking,” said Omar Z. Maniya, MD, MBA, president of the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA). “Dr. Tamara O’Neal had just graduated from residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017, and was widely regarded as outgoing, full of life, and someone who always went out of her way to help others. On behalf of EMRA, I want to express our sincerest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.”

In addition to supporting the O’Neal family and Mercy Hospital community, Dr. Maniya encourages action on a broader scale.

“It is a tragedy that gun violence has become far too common in the fabric of our society. As emergency physicians, we’re at the front lines of saving lives and witnessing the heart-wrenching consequences of firearms firsthand: This is our lane. EMRA strongly believes that something must be done to curtail the number of casualties of reckless gun violence, and that is why we’re collaborating with other organizations and coalitions, such as AFFIRM, to study the health impact of firearm safety.‘”

To that extent, EMRA helped establish the EMF/EMRA/AFFIRM Firearm Injury Prevention Resident Research grant. In the wake of the Mercy Hospital shooting, EMRA has made a donation to the Tamara E. O’Neal Memorial Fund and donated to AFFIRM (American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine) in Dr. O’Neal’s memory. We invite everyone to do the same, and for EM residents in particular to consider the following actions to get involved:

  1. Apply for the $12,000 EMF/EMRA/AFFIRM Firearm Injury Prevention Resident Research grant by Feb. 28.
  2. Apply to become the resident member on the AFFIRM Advisory Board by Dec. 15.
  3. Join EMRA in actively promote regulatory, legislative, and public health efforts that:
    • Improve public and privately funded research on firearm safety and injury prevention;
    • Support repeal of the Dickey Amendment, which directly influences funding allocated to firearm-related research;
    • Create a confidential national firearm injury research registry while encouraging states to establish a uniform approach to tracking and recording firearm-related injuries;
    • Investigate the effects of socioeconomic and other cultural risk factors on firearm injury and provide public and private funding for firearm safety and injury prevention research;
    • Strengthen universal background checks for all firearm purchases;
    • Restrict sale and ownership of weapons, munitions, and large-capacity magazines that are designed for military or law enforcement use;
    • Promote access to effective, affordable, and sustainable mental health services;
    • Never prevent physicians from educating and discussing with their patients the use of firearms, prevention of injury, both intentional and unintentional, and means to safeguard weapons;
    • Support a high standard of firearm safety and operational training for firearm purchase.

About EMRA
The Emergency Medicine Residents' Association is the largest and oldest independent resident organization in the world. EMRA was founded in 1974 and today has a membership more than 16,000 residents, medical students, and alumni. Due to democratically representing the overwhelming majority of Emergency Medicine Residents and our extensive history of advocating for residents, EMRA is the voice of emergency medicine physicians-in-training and the future of our specialty.

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