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June 19, 2001

Firearm Injury Center at Penn Receives a $1.2 Million Grant from the Joyce Foundation

(Philadelphia, PA)- The Firearm Injury Center at Penn (FICAP) has received a grant from the Joyce Foundation to expand its study of firearm violence. The main goal of the grant is to formalize a center for the scientific study of the reduction of firearm and violent injury while enhancing ongoing research, advocacy, and dissemination of scientific findings.

FICAP was originally established in the Division of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1997. FICAP is a natural evolution of the ongoing clinical work and research of C. William Schwab, MD, FACS, from the School of Medicine, and Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN, from the School of Nursing.

The FICAP's mission is to create safer communities through the systematic reduction of firearm injury and its repercussions to the individual, family, and society. This mission has been accomplished by empowering health care providers with scientific data and successful strategies to reduce firearm injuries within their communities. Established within FICAP in March 1998, the Medical Professionals as Advocates Program (MPAP) uses a community specific, data-driven approach to design interventions to reduce firearm violence in three small cities and rural regions of eastern and north central United States. FICAP's mission is further supported by the intellectual guidance of a well-respected Advisory Board, comprised of national leaders in medicine, law, journalism, criminology, philanthropy and government.

FICAP's work is driven by the fact that nearly 100 Americans are killed by a firearm every day, making firearms the second leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. In 1998, 57% of the suicides and 38% of the homicides were firearm related, totaling 30,700 firearm deaths that year. In 1999, 65% of all murder victims were killed by a firearm. In the vast majority of both firearm suicides and firearm homicides, the handgun is the predominant weapon. While handguns comprise only one third of all firearms, they account for two thirds of firearm crime, over 80% of all firearm homicides, and approximately 70% of all firearm suicides.

FICAP's work over the last three years has made it the core center for the study of firearm injury at the University of Pennsylvania and a national leader in strengthening the ability of healthcare professionals to address firearm violence as a public health issue. By supporting the firearm injury center's commitment to interdisciplinary research and continuing advocacy, dissemination, and center development, the grant awarded by the Joyce Foundation will further expand the science of understanding and reducing firearm violence.

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