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Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program starts in Hartford this summer

Hospital-based violence intervention program in Hartford
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:52 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - For the first time ever, all three hospitals in Hartford are working together to assist victims of gun violence with necessary resources.

The initiative is called the Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program.

“In 2002, I lost my son Randy to gun violence so I know firsthand the trauma and all the things parents go through when they lose a loved one and how important it is for us to stand together and make our community better and support families out in the streets,” said Henrietta Beckman, Co-Founder of Mothers United Against Violence.

It’s an unprecedented collaboration in the city of Hartford.

St. Francis Hospital, Connecticut Children’s, and Hartford Hospital are coming together to form a new hospital-based violence intervention program.

“And this matters so much because we know that one of the greatest tragedies of the epidemic of gun violence is those whose lives are touched by gun violence are often touched by gun violence again and again,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin (D – Hartford).

The program will connect victims of gun violence to resources and support systems long after their physical wounds heal.

The collaboration includes Hartford’s three hospitals as well community partners like Mothers United Against Violence, Hartford Communities That Care, and Compass Youth Collaborative.

“Violence is a multifaceted issue. Has many different prongs and therefore we have to take many different angles and come together to support this work,” said Jackie Santiago, CEO, of Compass Youth Collaborative.

Through the program, hospital staff trained in violence intervention will coordinate long-term case management with gun violence victims.

Specialists will also connect patients with mentoring, home visits and provide family engagement and peer supports.

“Quite frankly, this is where we need to be at as a city. The mayor said it’s unprecedented for the city to take on these efforts, and quite frankly the first in the state of Connecticut to bring on these efforts,” said Andrew Woods, Executive Director of Hartford Communities That Care.

The program is built off of St. Francis Hospital’s Violence Intervention Program, which has served nearly 1,900 victims and families of gun violence since 2004.

“This initiative which will work towards standardizing how patients are cared for is crucial in creating more pathways to address the social influences that contribute to violence in our community,” said Ivan Sarmiento/ Interim Nurse Manager, Trinity Health of New England.

The city is committing $2 million dollars to the initiative which begins this summer.