AHS CEO James Jackson called a press conference following a shooting at Oakland’s Rudsdale Newcomer High School that wounded six people.

“We’ve seen almost a doubling of the violent crimes here at our facility. So something has changed. I’m a son of Oakland. I grew up in Oakland… I’m calling on community leaders, and I’m prepared to lean in myself, we’ve got to do something better.”

Highland Hospital saw about twice as many gunshot wounds (GSWs) in 2022 and 2021 than it did in the two previous years. The Highland Hospital Trauma Center reports that the upward trend began with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is projected to remain high this year.

Gun violence is a health inequity that disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color in Alameda County. The same areas that have the most GSW-related emergency department visits also have the highest rates of stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

“As the safety-net health care provider in Alameda County tasked with healing and serving all in our community, it is incumbent on us to the sound the alarm. We’re seeing an increase in gun violence that is devastating,” Jackson said.