The BulletPoints Project

Clinical tools for preventing firearm injury

Health professionals overwhelmingly feel that firearm injury prevention is within the scope of their medical practice.

Several major medical professional societies, including the AMA, ACP, AAFP, ACEP, and ACS, have recently published or renewed statements on the medical community's role in reducing firearm injury. In 2017, the California Medical Association wrote that "expanded education and training are needed to improve clinician familiarity with the benefits and risks of firearm ownership, safety practices, and communication with patients about firearm violence."

Nonetheless, firearm injury prevention remains largely absent in medical school curricula and other training programs for doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. As a result, providers often feel inadequately knowledgeable about the risk factors for firearm injury and appropriate recommendations to keep patients and their loved ones safe.

The BulletPoints project will fill this gap by researching, developing, implementing, and evaluating training programs for health care providers to work with patients to prevent firearm-related harm.

BulletPoints will engage with key stakeholders—injury prevention experts, clinicians, firearm owners and safety instructors, specialists in health professions education, law enforcement, hospital systems, and researchers—from California and around the country. The evidence-based, specialty-specific, and rigorously evaluated curricula for health care professionals will be responsive to both the needs of providers and the desires of patients.

BulletPoints Mini Symposium

Watch our digital symposium from March 2020 for an intro to the BulletPoints team, the curriculum components, and a preview of where we're headed.

Download the presentation (pdf)

The BulletPoints training programs will cover:

  • Firearm injury scope and trends
  • Determinants of risk for firearm injury
  • Prevention strategies
  • Health care providers' role in prevention
  • Provider training in firearms, including uses, benefits and risks of ownership, storage practices
  • Assessing risk for firearm-related harm
  • Best practices for talking with at-risk patients
  • Tools for providers in presence of acute risk
  • Relevant California firearm policies

BulletPoints will equip providers with clinically-relevant knowledge on firearms, their uses, benefits, risks, and safety to make providers comfortable engaging with patients about the risk of firearm access and the importance of firearm safety just as they discuss other household risks. BulletPoints will work with patients, health care providers, and firearm owners to develop appropriate and effective firearm injury prevention strategies when someone's risk for injury is elevated and access to a firearm further increases the chance of injury or death.

Assembly Bill 521, sponsored by Assemblymember Marc Berman and signed in October 2019, authorized 3 years of funding for BulletPoints through the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center.

Our Team

Amy Barnhorst, MD
Director
Dr. Barnhorst is an emergency and inpatient psychiatrist whose work doing violence and suicide risk assessments led to her interest in firearm injury prevention. She’s a nationally recognized expert on firearms laws and mental illness, and her academic focus is on the interface between firearm violence, suicide, and mental illness. Drawing on her previous career as an educator, she is active in medical education and works with both state and federal legislators to craft evidence-based firearms and mental health laws. She has presented nationally on these topics, and writes about them for Psychology Today and the New York Times.
Garen Wintemute, MD, MPH
Director, the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center
Dr. Wintemute is the founding director of the Violence Prevention Research Program and holds the Baker–Teret Chair in Violence Prevention at the University of California, Davis. He also directs the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, the nation’s first publicly-funded center for research in this field. He was among the first to study firearm violence as a public health problem. He practices and teaches emergency medicine at UC Davis Medical Center and is a professor of emergency medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. His current research focuses on violence risk factors and interventions to prevent violence.
Rocco Pallin, MPH
Director of Education
Rocco began work at the Violence Prevention Research Program and the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center as a data analyst with particular interest in firearm policy evaluation and clinician interventions for prevention of firearm injury. She has studied provider practice recommendations and directed the What You Can Do initiative. Rocco has a background in youth development and community health.
Amanda Charbonneau, PhD, MPP
Director of Research and Evaluation
Amanda is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Violence Prevention Research Program in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include the effects of laws, policies, and trainings on practitioner judgment and decision-making in the prevention of violent injuries.
Kara Toles, MD
Advisor, Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Toles is an attending physician and clinical educator in the department of emergency medicine at UC Davis. She is also the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the department. She trained at an urban, inner-city hospital and thus has lived experience and expertise in caring for violently-injured patients. She also has background in Africana studies and is passionate about ensuring that all patients, with a special focus on marginalized patients, receive excellent and equitable care.
Rameesha Asif-Sattar
Program Support
Rameesha started working with BulletPoints after graduating from UC Davis in 2019, assisting with literature compilation, and provides administrative support to a diverse array of projects with the Violence Prevention Research Program. Rameesha is applying to Medical Schools, hoping to incorporate both research and clinical work into her future career.

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