Durbin Joins Congressional Black Caucus Virtual Health Summit On Gun Violence

Durbin discusses the effect of trauma on children and his Chicago HEAL Initiative

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined  a “Virtual Health Summit on Gun Violence” hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. The discussion focused on addressing gun violence in Chicago and nationwide, including how public health systems are conducting violence intervention initiatives to reduce violence. The event was also hosted by U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) and Obama Administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan, now Managing Director of Chicago CRED.

“Gun violence is at an epidemic level and we need to take on this crisis with public health solutions,” Durbin said. “We have seen promising public health intervention efforts in Chicago and I’ve been proud to be closely associated with several of them: trauma-informed care, and the HEAL Initiative. My hope is that the work being done in Chicago can help public health institutions drive real results in their communities.”

Durbin discussed his Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act, provisions from which were signed into law in 2019, to better identify and support children who have faced trauma.  It increased mental health funding for schools, trained more providers, and created a federal task force to promote best practices.

Durbin also discussed his Chicago HEAL Initiative: which stands for Hospital Engagement, Action, and Leadership. The Initiative is a group of the ten largest hospitals serving Chicago working together on solutions to help reduce gun violence. These hospitals made 16 public commitments on ways they could use their economic footprint, world-class health capabilities, and community engagement to address the root causes of violence and health disparities in 18 neighborhoods across Chicago.