Dr. Chethan Sathya,
Director of the Center for Gun Violence Prevention, Northwell Health
It was Dr. Chethan Sathya's first week as a trainee at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago that set him on a groundbreaking path in medicine. He will never forget the fear in the eyes of the parents who rushed in with their 6-month-old daughter suffering from a gunshot.
"I had both my fingers on the bullet wounds, and I remember the horrific expressions that were on the parents' faces," said Sathya, now a pediatric surgeon and the director of Northwell Health’s Center for Gun Violence Prevention in Queens, New York.
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Sathya came to Northwell in 2019 after finishing his fellowship at Lurie and found in its CEO Michael Dowling a kindred spirit interested in taking on gun violence. Discussions led to creation of the violence prevention center. Dowling put the new hire in charge.
Sathya and the center landed one of the first-ever National Institutes of Health grants to study gun violence, which is being used to focus on prevention and put in place a protocol believed to be the first of its kind to screen all patients for risk of firearm injury. Among more than 100 other initiatives, the center has created a collaborative with 600 hospitals in 38 states to develop and share best practices in dealing with gun violence.
"When firearms are the leading cause of death among kids, and I'm seeing that firsthand, you know, we have to do our part to fix this," Sathya said.