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Letter: Gun control is a worthy cause for Northwell's CEO

Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, is on

Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, is on a crusade to reduce gun violence. Credit: Chris Ware

A reader criticized Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling’s push to end gun violence as grandstanding [“Northwell CEO should fight medical errors,” Letters, Oct. 3].

Before retirement, I worked for more than 20 years directly for Dowling or within his senior management team. His promotion of preventive health has been unwavering, with efforts to improve local housing, to eliminate environmental hazards and to create organic food co-ops.

His focus on gun control is consistent with a core philosophy that the best way to prevent suffering or medical error is to keep people healthy. At the same time, Northwell dedicates significant resources to assuring safety and avoiding medical errors. I was a part of many of these initiatives. Does the reader believe it is not possible to focus on both process and prevention simultaneously?

In addition, the reader, an NRA member, sanitized the statistics he cited about 11,000 firearm homicides in 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that total gun-related deaths in 2017 — from killings, suicides and other incidents — totaled nearly 40,000.

Healing shattered bodies, treating trauma and watching death unnecessarily destroy families is the work done every day by the health care providers Dowling represents.

Cynthia Lovecchio,

  Glen Cove