(Philadelphia, PA)- The Firearm Injury Center at Penn (FICAP) has received a grant from the Joyce Foundation to expand its study of firearm violence. The main goal of the grant is to formalize a center for the scientific study of the reduction of firearm and violent injury while enhancing ongoing research, advocacy, and dissemination of scientific findings.

FICAP was originally established in the Division of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1997. FICAP is a natural evolution of the ongoing clinical work and research of C. William Schwab, MD, FACS, from the School of Medicine, and Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN, from the School of Nursing.

The FICAP's mission is to create safer communities through the systematic reduction of firearm injury and its repercussions to the individual, family, and society. This mission has been accomplished by empowering health care providers with scientific data and successful strategies to reduce firearm injuries within their communities. Established within FICAP in March 1998, the Medical Professionals as Advocates Program (MPAP) uses a community specific, data-driven approach to design interventions to reduce firearm violence in three small cities and rural regions of eastern and north central United States. FICAP's mission is further supported by the intellectual guidance of a well-respected Advisory Board, comprised of national leaders in medicine, law, journalism, criminology, philanthropy and government.

FICAP's work is driven by the fact that nearly 100 Americans are killed by a firearm every day, making firearms the second leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. In 1998, 57% of the suicides and 38% of the homicides were firearm related, totaling 30,700 firearm deaths that year. In 1999, 65% of all murder victims were killed by a firearm. In the vast majority of both firearm suicides and firearm homicides, the handgun is the predominant weapon. While handguns comprise only one third of all firearms, they account for two thirds of firearm crime, over 80% of all firearm homicides, and approximately 70% of all firearm suicides.

FICAP's work over the last three years has made it the core center for the study of firearm injury at the University of Pennsylvania and a national leader in strengthening the ability of healthcare professionals to address firearm violence as a public health issue. By supporting the firearm injury center's commitment to interdisciplinary research and continuing advocacy, dissemination, and center development, the grant awarded by the Joyce Foundation will further expand the science of understanding and reducing firearm violence.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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