Doctors search for 'vaccination to violence' as people treated for gunshot wounds more than double since 2020

NOW: Doctors search for ’vaccination to violence’ as people treated for gunshot wounds more than double since 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Doctors are searching for a "vaccination to violence" as the number of people treated for gunshot wounds continues to climb.

"This is just like any other disease," Chief of Trauma Surgery at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Dr. Marc De Moya said.

Unlike any other disease, gun violence is mostly preventable. That's where the frustration sets in for De Moya. 

"What is more trying, quite frankly, is the fact that not enough is being done to prevent this from happening. Period," De Moya said.

Froedtert Hospital treated 25 people for gunshot wounds this weekend alone. Ten of those victims were from Friday night's mass shooting in downtown Milwaukee. 

Froedtert and Children's Wisconsin are the only two level one trauma centers in Southeastern Wisconsin. 

"Injuries ranged basically from gunshot wounds to the chest, gunshot wounds to the abdomen, gunshot wounds to the extremities," De Moya said.

Those numbers are right on trend with what De Moya has seen over the past two years.

"We get gunshot victims almost every day now," De Moya said.

Froedtert reports treating 294 non-fatal shooting victims so far this year. That's more than double the 140 patients treated for the same injury by this point in 2020.

"We have a responsibility to address this issue and do more than we've ever done, given the gravity of the situation we're in," Reggie Moore, the director of violence prevention, policy and engagement at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said.

In hopes of turning those numbers around, Moore paid a visit to the Oval Office. He joined mayors and police chiefs from around the country in advocating for the use of ARPA funding going toward violence prevention.

"It's a responsibility that I took seriously," Moore said.

The Milwaukee Office of Violence prevention received a total of $11.4 million in ARPA dollars from the state and city.

Director Arnitta Holliman said the federal funding will be spent over five years.

OVP requested $16.8 million.

"The return on investment and prevention is clear and common sense," Moore said.

Next time city leaders sit down to plan potential solutions, De Moya said doctors would like to be included. 

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