Chaplain, ER Physican Say Gun Violence Should Be Treated As An Epidemic

CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban hospital is trying to go beyond treating wounds to address the gun violence plaguing the area.

Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood has held a retreat for mothers who lost children to gun violence, prayers for its emergency room and has advocated for treating gun violence as a health epidemic. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

ER Physician Kristen Donaldson said doctors there cannot just treat wounds.

“We do the physical treatment a lot of times. Sometimes we need to address some of the other issues. We need to research to understand what the risk factors are that bring about certain kinds of violence,” Donaldson said.

She saif they must also look at the causes of the violence and work to help the families and communities heal.

Reverend Michael Hayes is a chaplain at the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. That facility is on track to treat more than 300 gunshot victims this year, which is more than last year.

Reverend Hayes said gun violence is an epidemic and should be treated that way.

“Gun violence, gun ownership is such a political issue,” Hayes said. “But talking about it in this term really depoliticizes the issue. It helps us to see we all have a stake in making our city safer for everyone.”

The challenge is getting beyond the talk.

WBBM will talk more about the gun violence epidemic on our “At Issue” program. You can hear more Sunday evening at 9:30 p.m

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