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Chicago Physicians Apply Public Health Tools to the Firearm Pandemic

Firearm Pandemic Series, Part One, by Howard Wolinsky, can be found in the April 2023 issue of  Chicago Medicine Magazine.

Halleh Akbarnia, M.D. had just finished her ER shift at around 1a.m. on Oct. 28, 2018 and was leaving Community First Medical Center in the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

“A car drove by and started shooting towards me, but the driver was really shooting at a gentle- man who was standing just around the corner from me. But I couldn’t see that. All I could hear were the bullets,” said Dr. Akbarnia.

“For me, it felt like every bullet was the last bullet that I’ll probably hear before it hits me, and I’ll die as I’m running to my car. There is a tremendous feeling of fear that you have when you run. The feeling that every student had running away from the shooter at Michigan State or every person had at Highland Park as they ran when they heard the bullets or the feeling that kids have in our inner cities daily when they run in their neighborhoods when they hear bullets.”

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