BJC Healthcare to expand free gun lock program to hospitals in Sullivan, Farmington
Firearm safety strategies at St. Louis Children’s Hospital has helped distribute thousands of gun locks to patients and residents since 2020.
Now, more than 17 BJC Healthcare locations throughout Missouri – including several in mid-Missouri – are implementing the initiative.
By the end of the month, Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital and Parkland Health Center in Farmington will have a “No Questions Asked” basket of gun locks in waiting rooms and screening questions about firearm access for all patients.
Some of the initiatives started in 2020, when Dr. Lindsay Clukies, an assistant professor of pediatrics and associate trauma medical director at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, said doctors started seeing an increase in pediatric firearm injuries.
“We feel strongly that all of these firearm injuries are preventable,” Dr. Clukies said. “So when numbers started increasing, we felt empowered to act and to change.”
The emergency department added what they call a “No Questions Asked” basket of gun locks in the triage waiting room, and have since added screening questions about firearm access for all patients.
“I think it’s really important for us to neutralize the conversation, to make people understand that this is about safety first. Our one goal is just to make sure that children are safe,” said Dr. Clukies.
For those outside of BJC Healthcare’s service area, Missourians can also request a free gun lock on St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s website.