Mass General's Consortium for Affordable Medical Technology (CAMTech) recently held its Gun-Violence Prevention: Hack-a-thon and Demo Day to generate innovative solutions in gun-violence prevention, mental health, community resilience and public policy.

Employing a public-health approach to gun-violence prevention, the Massachusetts General Hospital Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) held its Gun-Violence Prevention: Hack-a-thon and Demo Day, on June 15, 2018, bringing together clinicians, government representatives, public health experts and members of the community to generate innovative solutions in gun safety, mental health, community resilience and public policy.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh emphasized the need for innovation in addressing gun violence.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh emphasized the need for innovation in addressing gun violence.

The MGH Gun-Violence Prevention Coalition was well represented at the event. The coalition is a multi-disciplinary group of nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and physicians, passionate about gun safety and gun-violence prevention. Members of the coalition attended the Hack-a-thon to share ideas and brainstorm solutions to help curb the gun-violence epidemic and improve the lives of survivors.

Gun-Violence Prevention Solutions

Based at Mass General Global Health, CAMTech is a global network of partners focused on driving health innovation.

In April, CAMTech’s Challenge Summit facilitated a discussion that provided critical insight into gun-violence prevention. As a follow-up to the Summit, the Hack-a-thon served as a platform for a diverse community to come together to craft solutions over a 48-hour period. Participants with a variety of backgrounds and skill sets pitched more than 60 ideas, formed cross-disciplinary teams, and ultimately presented 10 potential solutions.

At the end of the day, CAMTech awarded its $10,000 grand prize to “Team Good Guy with a Gun,” whose members included Peter Greenspan, MD, (Mass General); Kaleigh Killoran (Harvard Business School); Zoe Wolszon (MIT); and Christian Paxson (Special Forces weapons sergeant and firearms instructor). Team Good Guy with a Gun’s proposed innovation was an app-based educational tool that uses embedded public service announcements to train gun owners about gun safety.

Staff nurses Kim Smith Sheppard, RN, (left) and Elise Gettings, RN attended the Challenge Summit.
Staff nurses Kim Smith Sheppard, RN, (left) and Elise Gettings, RN attended the Challenge Summit.

Exploring New Education Strategies

The Gun-Violence Prevention: Challenge Summit, Hack-a-thon and Demo Day was supported by the MGH Gun-Violence Prevention Coalition, Lattice Innovations (CAMTech’s partner in India), the MGPO and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Currently, a nurse-led research study at Mass General is exploring nurses’ knowledge and comfort level around asking patients about firearms and safe gun storage. Findings will inform the development of nurse- and patient-education strategies.

To learn more about how you can support CAMTech and other Mass General Global Health programs, please contact us.

For more information about Mass General’s gun-violence prevention efforts, contact Nick Diamond, marketing and communications manager, CAMTech, or staff nurse Kim Smith Sheppard, RN.

This article first appeared in Caring Headlines, a publication of the department of Nursing and Patient Care Services.