Virginia hospital teams selected for violence intervention initiative

vhha Virginia Hospital & Healthcare AssociationSeven Virginia hospital teams have been selected as participants in a Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services grant-funded initiative aimed at improving public safety and health outcomes for victims of violence in high-need communities.

The Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs grant, awarded to the VHHA Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, will be implemented at several hospitals to help expand resources for survivors of serious violence during and after hospitalization.

Program participants include two Bon Secours Richmond Health System hospitals, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Riverside Regional Medical Center, Sentara Careplex Hospital, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and VCU Health.

Across the country, the HVIP model has proven to be a successful strategy in reducing community violence and related rehospitalizations. Participating hospitals and their teams will each implement a violence intervention model with the goal of reducing the prevalence and the effects of violent injuries. Virginia’s HVIP collaborative will focus on serving patients who need treatment for gunshot wounds, stabbings, or assault (known as community violence), as well as sexual and domestic violence.

The primary patient population to be served through this program are those victims of violence ranging in age from 10-30 who reside on the Hampton Roads Peninsula, in the Richmond region, and in Norfolk and surrounding communities.

The program’s goals and objectives include:

  • Increasing the number of hospital staff members trained to provide intervention services through the HVIP model.
  • Enrolling survivors of violent crime in the collaborative and providing them with access to wraparound community services focused on health care, vocational and recreational programs, conflict resolution, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and housing and transportation assistance.
  • Enhancing connections between participating hospitals and community-based agencies which perform complementary work to help support people recovering from violence and their families. Examples of these potential partner organizations include faith-based groups, child or dependent care assistance programs, and transportation assistance programs.
  • Achieving a 10 percent decrease in the number of injuries, reinjuries, and instances of mortality relating to gun violence, stabbings, assault, and sexual and domestic violence in the participating hospitals’ service areas following the close of the two-year grant period.

“Virginia hospitals are on the front lines in the work to address emerging and legacy public health challenges in the communities they serve,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “The DCJS grant funding will support important community, sexual, and domestic violence intervention work at Virginia hospitals as they respond to the trauma of violence experienced by patients. This program will support participating hospitals in serving patients impacted by violence beyond their hospitalization and discharge through engagement with community partners and resources.

“Implementing the HVIP comprehensive care model for complex patients at Virginia hospitals is a critical step in developing sustainable partnerships across the Commonwealth. These partnerships will help improve lives and break the destructive cycle of violence one person at a time,” Connaughton said.

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