FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Courtney Stewart
Missouri Foundation for Health
New Foundation Partnership Will Enable Valuable
Missouri-Specific Gun Violence Research
Work with the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research will help build a solid base of information on how to address the issue.
ST. LOUIS, MO (January 3, 2020) Missouri Foundation for Health is partnering with the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research (NCGVR) to commission work specific to Missouri. This opportunity, which is open to researchers of different disciplines, as well as doctoral students working on their dissertations, will address gaps in what we know about gun violence and generate evidence to address the issue more effectively. The NCGVR is releasing a request for proposals nationwide as part of its work to fund and disseminate nonpartisan, rigorous scientific research that offers a factual basis for building solutions to the gun violence epidemic. MFH is supporting an add-on component to NCGVR’s request for proposals to undertake additional Missouri-specific work.
Gun violence, defined as firearm-related deaths and injuries, including homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings, is on the rise in Missouri and the nation. Now widely recognized as a public health issue, it impacts people of all ages and backgrounds in all communities across our state. It is one of the leading causes of death in both the U.S. and Missouri, yet we know far less about prevention for this issue than any of the other leading causes.
Gun violence is a complex problem that requires robust research in order to address it effectively. Due to a variety of factors it has been chronically underfunded on a federal level for more than two decades. Missouri-specific research is also very limited, which has led to significant gaps in knowledge around perceptions of gun violence and the impact of promising practices and policies. The research done by NCGVR and its partners will build a base of trustworthy information and facts, enabling stakeholders and the public to take a data-driven approach to addressing this difficult issue.
This work will strengthen Missouri’s gun violence prevention field and make the state a focal point for high-quality, evidence-based, non-partisan research. In addition, the data will be invaluable to inform MFH’s efforts to address gun violence in our region. Over the next several years, the Foundation plans to make additional investments in research to advance better understanding of the impact of gun violence and potential solutions in our region.
MFH has previously supported various gun-violence related work in select areas of the state. This includes the hospital-based violence intervention program Life Outside of Violence, Better Family Life’s De-escalation Centers, The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artist Collective, the suicide prevention program Safer Homes Collaborative, and more.
“The effect of gun violence on our region’s overall health and well-being has been truly devastating,” said MFH President and CEO Robert Hughes. “An important component in effectively addressing this public health issue is to develop the research to generate evidence-based solutions. This is especially true for a topic as complicated and intractable as gun violence. Not only will this work enable the Foundation’s future efforts to be more effective, it will also serve as a resource to other organizations in Missouri and nationwide as they strive for greater impact against this epidemic.”