American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM) and the Aspen Institute Join Forces

July 29, 2021

AFFIRM at the Aspen Institute will continue working to address the gun violence epidemic

Contacts: Olivia Giamanco

Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute


Washington, DC, July 29, 2021 – Two nationally known non-partisan organizations with a commitment to reduce gun violence and prevent firearm injuries and deaths in the US have joined forces.  On July 8, 2021, the board of directors of AFFIRM — the country’s leading organization dedicated to ending the nation’s firearm injury epidemic using a public health approach — voted to become an initiative of the Aspen Institute. In this new arrangement, AFFIRM at The Aspen Institute — as the enterprise will now be known — will be run under the auspices of the Institute’s Health, Medicine & Society (HMS) Program.

“AFFIRM has made tremendous strides since our founding in 2017, but as this issue continues to dominate the headlines, we know it is time to take our work to the next level. The common ethos of the Aspen Institute and AFFIRM will allow us to amplify our message and programs that provide immediate interventions and solutions to addressing this public health crisis,” said Christopher Barsotti, MD, FACEP, FAEEM, and Co-Founder and CEO of AFFIRM. Barsotti will serve as director of AFFIRM at The Aspen Institute.

“At AFFIRM, we know that firearm injury can be solved only when we move past the current us-versus-them debates. When we center our solutions on shared goals of health and safety, we can achieve change. The partnership with the Aspen Institute allows our shared work to have a greater impact. We look forward to applying our health-based approach together,” said Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, FACEP, Co-Founder of AFFIRM and a member of the Aspen Institute’s fifth class of Health Innovator Fellows.

Firearm injury transcends class, race, geography, and political affiliation. AFFIRM at the Aspen Institute will bring together the best ideas for preventing firearm injury into one hub, workshop them to solicit diverse perspectives and reach consensus, and provide support for implementing effective strategies through convenings and distributive leadership – all with the goal of helping to end the epidemic of gun violence and reduce firearm injuries and deaths.

“The Health, Medicine & Society Program is excited and proud to be the new home of AFFIRM at The Aspen Institute,” commented Ruth Katz, JD, MPH, HMS Executive Director and Aspen Institute Vice President. “The group brings extraordinary expertise and experience in addressing this national crisis as a public health crisis, requiring a public health solution. Coupled with the Institute’s unparalleled convening power and strong reputation for action-oriented problem solving, we believe AFFIRM at The Aspen Institute can create lasting change to reduce firearm suicide, domestic violence, and homicide.”


About AFFIRM at the Aspen Institute (AAI)

AFFIRM at the Aspen Institute (AAI) creates practical, scalable, and immediate health-based solutions to reduce all forms of firearm-related injuries in the United States. By focusing exclusively on health and safety while recognizing the value and legitimacy of firearm ownership, we have the unique ability to unify and convene diverse stakeholders around three universal goals: 1) reduce health risks, 2) promote resilience, and 3) prevent firearm misuse at every opportunity. Accordingly, AAI is the hub of a premier coalition of academic and frontline professionals from healthcare, firearm training, public health, risk management, education, law enforcement, social work, and community action. Using rigorously empirical methods, we partner with the communities we work within to achieve consensus and build interdisciplinary, evidence-based strategies and standards of care for firearm injury prevention that apply to everyone, everywhere. Each one of us can be part of the solution, starting now. For more information, visit

About the Health, Medicine & Society (HMS) Program

Established in 2005, HMS brings together influential groups of thought leaders, decisionmakers, and the informed public to consider health challenges facing the US in the 21st century and to identify practical solutions for addressing them. Its rigorously nonpartisan work spans a range of timely topics – from the opioid epidemic, end-of-life care, vaccines, and gun violence to public health communication, health systems innovation, and much more. At the heart of most HMS activities is a package of research, convenings, and publications that supports policymakers, scholars, advocates, and other stakeholders in their drive towards change. For more information, visit

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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