September 28, 2001
Organizations Receive Funding to Reduce Gun-Related Injuries
For Michigan's Children; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Funds
Programs Across the State
- They're "Locking 'Em Up For Kids' Sake" in Lake, Mason and Oceana
Counties. All across Michigan, community groups are taking aim at protecting
their children from gun injuries, with the help of the Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Michigan Foundation.
The Foundation has granted more than $100,000 to help organizations
statewide implement programs to reduce gun-related childhood injuries in
Michigan. According to Ira Strumwasser, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of
the BCBSM Foundation, the purpose of the Gun Safety Initiative is to fund
and evaluate the effectiveness of different programs in reducing accidental
gun injuries to Michigan children.
"Every year, hundreds of Michigan children are accidentally injured, killed
or commit suicide because a gun is stored in their home either loaded or
with the ammunition stored nearby," said Strumwasser.
Funding recipients include:
* By Our Bootstraps in Ypsilanti: "Guns Ain't Fun" Youth Gun Prevention
* District Health Department #10 in Lake, Mason and Oceana Counties: "Lock 'Em
Up For Kids' Sake
* Hurley Medical Center: "Prevention of Gun Injuries in Genesee County
* Emergency Nurses CARE and Mount Clemens General Hospital: "Unintentional
Gun Injury Prevention Program"
* Wayne State University's College of Urban, Labor & Metropolitan Affairs:
"Mapping Out a Safer Community for Kids"
The programs' methods and goals vary.
The College of Urban, Labor & Metropolitan Affairs' goal is to identify
specific high-risk places, times and groups in Wayne County that represent
the populations most in need of interventions. Using Internet and geographic
information systems technologies, they will analyze existing Wayne County
data on gun violence and make this information accessible to organizations
that are working to reduce gun violence. Their partners include the City of
Detroit Public Health Department and Wayne County Executive Office.
In Genesee County, the Hurley Medical Center's training program for
physicians will enable them to disseminate gun safety information during
routine pediatric visits to approximately 20,000 families.
By Our Bootstraps will partner with the Cathedral of Deliverance church to
conduct "Guns Ain't Fun," free after-school gun safety classes for parents
and children based on safety curricula developed by various national
Emergency Nurses CARE and Mount Clemens General Hospital's efforts will
focus on distributing free gun locks and safety tips, broadcasting a gun
safety video on local cable channels and developing a school-based gun
safety educational program for the 2002 school year. Their partners include
eight police departments.
District Health Department #10's "Lock 'Em Up For Kids' Sake" program will
also focus on providing free gun locks for the more than 1,000 new guns
registered annually in Lake, Mason and Oceana Counties and will also
disseminate firearm safety information through school and other community
events. Their partners include local county sheriff's departments.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is funding work in
Michigan communities to help reduce gun-related childhood fatalities,
including suicides, and accidental shootings because (according to the
Children's Defense Fund):
* Homicide is the third leading cause of death among children age five to 4.
* In homes with children and firearms, 43 percent had at least one unlocked
* More than 4.7 million homes with more than 8.3 million children store
* More than 900,000 homes store firearms unlocked and loaded.
* Approximately 425,000 homes store firearms unlocked, unloaded, but with