Dr. Sakran is a nationally recognized activist coalition builder. His activism first achieved national recognition when he founded Doctors for Hillary, a network of healthcare workers who supported Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the basis of her gun prevention platform. In 2020, Sakran co-founded a subsequent coalition, Doctors for Biden, to rally healthcare professionals around the campaign of Joseph R. Biden for President.
Sakran continues advocating for universal background checks, closing loopholes that allow customers at gun shows to bypass background checks, preventing "straw" purchasers from legally buying guns for people with criminal records, greater restrictions on "military-style weapons," and safe storage of firearms in households.
On November 7, 2018 the National Rifle Association's comment telling doctors to "stay in their lane" resulted in response on Twitter from Sakran, telling them that "As a Trauma Surgeon and survivor of #GunViolence I cannot believe the audacity of the @NRA to make such a divisive statement. We take care of these patients every day. Where are you when I’m having to tell all those families their loved one has died".
The tweet went viral and resulted in a robust response from healthcare professionals. A few days later Sakran established the Twitter account @ThisIsOurLane as a way to unite the medical community who care for gun violence victims. As of Fall 2020, This Is Our Lane counted well over 43,000 among its followers.
Dr. Sakran’s research in public health and specifically firearm injury prevention has been recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Academy Health. A recent study published in Health Affairs, Emergency Department Visits for Firearm-Related Injuries in the United States, 2006-14 was given an honorable mention as one of the 2017 Outstanding Article of the Year Award by Health Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).
In February 2019, Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force invited Sakran as his guest to the State of the Union, recognizing his commitment to ending gun violence as both a survivor, and now trauma surgeon.
Al Jazeera +, November 8, 2019
On February 6, 2019, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee invited Sakran to testify at the hearing on Preventing Gun Violence.
In 2019, Dr. Sakran was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar for his research on safe gun storage. As part of the project, Dr. Sakran produced an animated video to bring attention to the issues caused by unrestricted access to guns.
C-SPAN via Brady: United Against Gun Violence, February 8, 2019
In 2020, Dr. Sakran was selected by the National Academy of Medicine to be a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow. He served in the office of U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, where he worked on health policy and regulatory issues, including the historic CARES Act and Safe Authorization for Vaccines in Emergencies (SAVE) Act.
Co-written and co-produced Dr. Joe Sakran