Turning great ideas into healthier communities


When we know what works: PHI Statement on Las Vegas and Puerto Rico

October 02, 2017


"I have made my life’s work the prevention of illness and promotion of health. So many of my PHI coworkers—and so many of you—have spent decades researching and evaluating issues to uncover what works to keep people safe, healthy and alive. My heart is breaking this week for the lives that have been lost due to gun violence in Las Vegas, and the deaths occurring in the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. And I am angry, because we already know what to do to stop these kinds of deaths from happening.

"To address gun violence, we need stronger policies that limit access to the kinds of guns people can own, who can own them and where they can use them. We need legislation that implements public health solutions to gun violence, and we need legislators who will support those bills.

"We can’t stop hurricanes, but we can act immediately and aggressively to speed resources to those affected by climate events, especially the most vulnerable and isolated. We need to do that, today, to stop more deaths in Puerto Rico. In the long term, we need to shore up infrastructure and look at mitigation and climate adaptation strategies—again, starting with those who have the fewest resources.

"It is never unseemly or untimely to call for solutions when those solutions will save lives. To do nothing, when we know what works, is unconscionable."