Dr. Joseph V. Sakran is the Board Chair and Chief Medical Officer for Brady, leading the organization’s efforts to lift the voices of healthcare professionals in the gun violence prevention movement. Dr. Sakran is currently the only medical professional serving as the Board Chair and the first Chief Medical Officer of a gun violence prevention organization. As a trauma surgeon and survivor of gun violence, Sakran has dedicated his career to treating vulnerable communities and advancing public health solutions to this growing public health epidemic.
An award-winning researcher and pioneer in promoting firearm injury prevention, Dr. Sakran’s dedication to his field is rooted in his lived experience of trauma from gun violence. At the age of 17, Dr. Sakran was nearly killed after being shot in the throat with a 38-caliber bullet after a high school football game. The doctors and nurses who saved his life inspired him to pursue a career in medicine and public service.
“Medical professionals have an opportunity to work beyond the bedside to protect the health of our communities, which is why I am honored Brady has elected me as the first physician, and survivor, to chair a major gun violence prevention organization.”— Dr. Joseph Sakran
An active leader for the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Sakran serves as the Executive Vice Chair of Surgery, Director of Clinical Operations for Surgery, and Associate Professor of Surgery and Nursing. His public health research — specifically on firearm injury prevention — has been recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Academy Health. Dr. Sakran is also the 2020 recipient of Johns Hopkins’ Catalyst Award for pioneering research on physicians’ role in educating patients on safe gun storage. In 2019, Dr. Sakran was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar in which he furthered his research on safe gun storage. He has also been selected to serve as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow for the National Academy of Medicine, where he advised U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire on health policy and regulatory issues from 2019 to 2020.
Dr. Sakran gained international prominence in 2018 when the NRA told doctors concerned about gun violence to “stay in their lane” and avoid addressing the topic. Dr. Sakran spoke out to illustrate that healthcare professionals are on the frontlines of this epidemic. In response, Dr. Sakran launched @ThisIsOurLane, a grassroots movement of medical professionals committed to reducing firearm injuries and deaths. Now a part of Brady, @ThisIsOurLane has mobilized tens of thousands of health care professionals around gun violence prevention, including through advocacy trainings and public health campaigns on safe firearm storage, firearm suicide prevention, and more.
Dr. Sakran received his medical degree from the Medical School for International Health in Israel, a unique collaboration between Ben-Gurion and Columbia University. He later completed a fellowship in Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care, and Emergency General Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Masters in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Sakran earned his undergraduate degree from George Mason University, where he first trained as an emergency medical technician and firefighter.
A prominent and regular news commentator, Dr. Sakran has spoken about his personal and professional experiences, including treating gunshot victims, on national outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC.