Grant funding extended to support continuation of hospital-based violence intervention programs
The Virginia Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program Collaborative has received a third year of grant funding to continue the important work of providing clinical and post-clinical support services to community violence victims.
Ongoing HVIP work is an example of how Virginia hospitals are leading efforts to reduce gun violence in Virginia communities through proven, effective, and evidence-based strategies. The HVIP Collaborative in Virginia is facilitated by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s not-for-profit affiliate, the VHHA Foundation, and is grant-funded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Victim Services Grant Program, through the U.S. Department of Justice.
The third year of grant funding (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022) will help support HVIP initiatives at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD), Riverside Regional Medical Center, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and VCU Health. During the first two years of the grant, HVIP initiatives have operated at these Virginia hospitals and health systems: Bon Secours Richmond, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Riverside Regional Medical Center, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and VCU Health.
Through March 2021, HVIP initiatives at Virginia hospitals have served 1,820 patients, including 1,739 served since the April 2020 onset of COVID-19. Participating hospitals have collectively maintained a re-injury rate of approximately 1.4 percent. This accomplishment occurred even as participating HVIP hospitals experienced a 63 percent increase in emergency department discharges for violent injury from April-October 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to direct medical care provided to community violence victims, participating HVIP hospitals also provided hundreds of patients with information about victim rights, victim advocacy and support during emergency medical care, assistance in applying for public benefits, crisis intervention services, emergency financial assistance, transportation assistance, and shelter or housing services.
“Virginia hospitals have operated under some of the most challenging circumstances of our lifetime over the past year. As we all confronted a global public health emergency, our hospitals and their team members also continued to do extraordinary work that is not directly related to COVID-19,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “The grant-funded Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program is a shining example of how hospitals are not only focusing their efforts on direct patient care, but also working to address the underlying social and environmental factors that impact community health. The positive results for patients reported so far by HVIP participating hospitals showcases how hospitals’ community outreach endured and expanded even during the pandemic. We are excited to advance this work for another year thanks to continued grant funding.”
Added VHHA Foundation Senior Director Kelly Cannon: “Supporting this extraordinary work by our frontline health care heroes, and watching their efforts make a real difference in people’s lives, is so wonderful to witness. We are already seeing the positive returns for people who have been served by these programs, which offer supports to help individuals recover from incidents of community violence and move on with their lives. We expect to see it have a lasting community impact for years to come.”
Looking ahead, additional grant funding will enable hospitals to enhance efforts focused on addressing community violence through further technical assistance and training. The addition of CHKD in the latest round of grant funding will lead to an extension of additional support services to pediatric patients impacted by community violence. And a collaboration with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, which has contributed funds to support Tidewater-area hospitals in receiving training from The Healthcare Alliance for Violence Intervention, will enhance this ongoing work. As COVID-19 cases decline, participating hospitals will also work to integrate services in communities where patients live. The grant, which was awarded to the VHHA Foundation in 2019, is currently in year two of the initial grant cycle, which will end on June 30.
In May 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam announced the initial award of $2.45 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding to support implementation of the HVIP model at select Virginia hospitals. The current grant is part of a funding package approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board of DCJS. The HVIP project is supported by Award No.21-B4739VP19 awarded by the DCJS Victim Services Grant Program, Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice or its grant-making component.