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UCI Health commemorates National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Orange County's leading trauma center raises awareness and demonstrates support for gun violence prevention

June 02, 2023
uci health chief operating officer Nathan Shinagawa addressed coworkers at its national gun violence awareness day event
UCI Health Chief Operating Officer Nathan Shinagawa spoke at the
National Gun Violence Awareness Day ceremony at UCI Medical
Center on Friday, June 2.

Orange, Calif. — UCI Health, the region's premier trauma center and provider of critical care services, proudly joined the nationwide movement to raise awareness and take action against gun violence on National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. The event united UCI Health coworkers in a powerful display of solidarity and commitment to ending gun violence.

Attendees clad in vibrant orange attire, the color hunters wear for safety now worn to honor lives lost to gun violence, gathered at UCI Medical Center, representing a collective embodiment of hope, resilience and determination to create a safer future for all.

“Today, we remember those people that we have lost and those that have survived from gun violence. It’s a day where we can reflect as a community — how we can collaborate to really eliminate the problem of gun-related injuries,” said UCI Health trauma surgeon Dr. Theresa Chin.

As of June 1, there have been more than 265 mass shootings in the United States.

UCI Health, as Orange County's sole Level I adult trauma center, has played an integral role in caring for those affected by gun violence. In 2022 alone, the health system treated 123 patients who suffered from gunshot wounds.

According to Orange County Emergency Medical Services, 181 patients sought treatment for gunshot wounds in emergency departments throughout Orange County in 2022. These numbers do not include individuals pronounced dead at the scene or those who were not transported to an emergency department. The Orange County Sheriff's Office reported 157 deaths caused by firearms during the same period.

Friday's event was marked by a ceremony on the lawn in front of UCI Douglas Hospital with a display of 157 orange flowers to represent each of the lives lost in Orange County in 2022. There were also Stop the Bleed demonstrations, followed by a raising of the End Gun Violence flag.

“All those who have suffered from firearm injuries are a mother, father, a son, a daughter, a friend, a coworker," Chin says. "It’s becoming all too common for us to know someone who has been hurt by a firearm."

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About UCI Health

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 21 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.