Two Sentara hospitals receive grants to curb violence in communities
Under the Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) grant initiative, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton will each receive $400,000 over two years from a Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) grant initiative aimed at improving public safety and health outcomes for victims of violence.
Each hospital will hire and train staff to implement programs to help break the cycle of violence and help survivors achieve positive long-term outcomes. This includes survivors of shootings, stabbings, sexual assaults and domestic violence.
"We have been working on our own to implement prevention programs, but grant funding has been inconsistent," says Jay Collins, MD, chief of trauma at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and professor of surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). "This generous grant will provide stability to hire skilled professionals to maintain a consistent presence for our patients and communities."
Last year, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, a regional Level I adult trauma cneter, treated 327 gunshot wounds, up from 300 in 2018.
"It breaks out hearts to see trauma patients from violence for a second and third time," says Valeria Mitchell, RN, manager of the trauma service at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. "We fear some of these survivors are on borrowed time without intervention to break the cycle of violence."
In May, 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the award of $2.45M in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding to support implementation of the HVIP model at select Virginia hospitals. The grants is part of a funding package approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board of DCJS. The Virginia HVIP Collaborative is supported by Award No. 20-A4739VP18 awarded by the Department of Criminal Justice Services' 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.
"Survivors of street and domestic violence often return to their homes with little or no social support to prevent future violence," says Kapua Conley, president of Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, Va. "This program will serve as a guding light to those trapped in the darkness of violence."
By: Dale Gauding