The Silent Toll of Gunshot Injuries

When a person is shot, trauma surgeons like Dr. Derek Lumbard and his teammates at HCMC often have about 5 minutes’ notice that a patient is coming their way.

“Survival from the injuries is only the beginning,” he said. “If someone is still living, are you helping them thrive and actually live? Or is it good enough for them just to be alive?”

So Lumbard is also studying the longer-term effects of firearm injuries, and he participates in the Next Step program, the state’s only hospital-based violence intervention program.

Any of the 900 people so far served by Next Step can remain with the program indefinitely, said Kentral Galloway, the program’s director. They’re matched with job training, education or help finding suitable housing for a fresh start.

“It’s like a lifelong journey because we don’t really have a discharge,” said Galloway, who lost a cousin in a still-unsolved shooting in 2009.