The Intersection of Health and Gun Violence

Community & Civics
Health & Wellness
Social Justice & Impact

Event Details


Day 1 - September 9, 2022

The gun violence epidemic in the United States continues to pose a threat to the well-being of its citizens. In Philadelphia, this crisis is closely tied to health equity, as people of color account for 95% of all shooting victims in the city (source: Billy Penn). Session participants will address the ways that health and well-being intersect with gun violence and identify potential solutions.

Speaker Information
Greg Deavens Headshot

Greg Deavens

Gregory E. Deavens, CPA*, CGMA, is president and chief executive officer for Independence Health Group (Independence), parent of Independence Blue Cross, one of the nation’s leading health insurers. He assumed the role in January 2021. Mr. Deavens joined Independence in 2017 as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. In this capacity, he led the company’s financial functions as well as its Actuarial, Underwriting, and Enterprise Risk Management organizations.

Prior to joining Independence, Mr. Deavens was employed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), where he served as corporate controller from 2012 to 2016 and as CFO for the U.S. Insurance business from 2006 to 2012. Before joining MassMutual, Mr. Deavens held senior financial roles at NY Life, CIGNA, and GE Capital. Mr. Deavens began his career in public accounting with Price Waterhouse, where he specialized in financial services while working in the firm’s New York, London, and St. Louis offices.

Headshot of Dr. Jerome Adams

Dr. Jerome Adams

Dr. Jerome Adams was appointed as a Presidential Fellow and the Executive Director of Purdue's Health Equity Initiatives on October 1, 2021. He is also a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the departments of Pharmacy Practice and Public Health. As the 20th U.S. Surgeon General and a prior member of the President’s Coronavirus task force, Dr. Adams has been at the forefront of America’s most pressing health challenges. A regular communicator via tv, radio, and in print, Dr. Adams is an expert not just in the science, but also in communicating the science to the lay public, and making it relevant to various audiences.

Dr. Adams is a licensed anesthesiologist with a master’s degree in public health, and ran the Indiana State Department of Health prior to becoming Surgeon General. In the State Health Commissioner role he managed a $350 million dollar budget and over 1000 employees, and led Indiana’s response to Ebola, Zika, and HIV crises. Notably, Dr. Adams helped convince the Governor and State Legislature to legalize syringe service programs in the state, and to prioritize $13 million in funding to combat infant mortality. As Surgeon General, Dr. Adams was the operational head of the 6000 person Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and oversaw responses to 3 back to back category 5 hurricanes, and to a once in a century pandemic.

Headshot of Philip McCallion, PhD

Dr. Philip McCallion

Philip McCallion, PhD, is professor and director of the School of Social Work within the College of Public Health at Temple University. His research advances evidence-based interventions in health promotion, falls reduction, caregiver and family support, dementia management and service system redesign. His work has included training and research in the area of Adult Protective Services. McCallion is visiting/adjunct professor at Trinity College Dublin, a John A. Hartford Foundation Social Work Faculty Scholar and Mentor, and a fellow of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Gerontological Society of America and the American Academy for Social Work and Social Welfare. Serving on international consensus panels and the board of the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia, McCallion is the national consultant on intellectual disabilities and dementia for the U.S. National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center. Professor McCallion has over 250 publications and has received over $47 million in grants and awards from Federal, State, International and Foundation funders.

Chidinma Nwakanma Headshot

Chidinma Nwakanma, M.D.

Chidinma Nwakanma has been practicing Emergency Medicine at Penn Medicine for the past 5 years. She completed her residency at Stony Brook University Hospital and a fellowship in Advanced Critical Care and Resuscitation subsequently. Her professional interests include critical care, women’s health, global medicine (particularly in West Africa and the Caribbean) and health equity as it pertains to Black/Brown communities. She is very passionate about increasing under-represented minority (URM) representation in medicine and has been very pivotal at increasing the number of URM faculty and residents in the Emergency Department at Penn. She currently acts as the physician lead of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-racism in the Emergency Department at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. In this role, she has led several efforts focused on various health equity initiatives. In addition, she is a fierce advocate for her patients and has a strong focus on racial disparities and socioeconomic determinants of health. This focus is highlighted in her work leading her department in combating the surge of gun violence as well as organizing community COVID vaccine clinics in West and Southwest Philadelphia to address inequitable vaccine distribution and availability in Black and Brown communities. Most recently, Dr. Nwakanma's anti-gun violence efforts have been centered on hospital-based interventions, mental health of at-risk youth, community-based efforts and advocacy for legislative gun reform.