In Response to the Shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh
The senseless shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue this weekend unfortunately has become a more common occurrence in today’s world. The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) extends its heartfelt thoughts to those killed in the shooting, their families, and all those affected by this horrible event. [Notably, we lost one of our own, family physician, Jerry Rabinowitz, MD, practicing in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood.]
Violence is a significant public health issue. As such, both the direct and indirect impact of violence on individuals and communities has significant impacts on the health of populations. Prevention of violence requires understanding factors that shape and create risk for perpetrators of violence and abuse without excusing or mitigating personal responsibility for criminal behaviors such as this hateful crime. Furthermore, the PAFP believes that federal and state policies can balance responsible gun ownership with health, safety, and societal well being with a critical need for gun violence prevention research and public health surveillance as a mechanism of prevention.
Family physicians stand strong in addressing this public health issue through prevention, risk factor identification, treatment, and advocacy for policies and strategies. Through community health partnerships and advocacy work, the PAFP remains committed to creating and contributing to policies designed to keep our communities healthy.
— David O'Gurek, MD, President
The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians