A unique hospital-based trauma support program will be expanding to three Philadelphia area hospitals over the next two years. “Healing Hurt People” helps victims of violence who come through the emergency room.
With funding from the city, each hospital will help staff the new violence-intervention program. John Rich, co-director of Drexel’s Center for Non-Violence and Social Justice, says the program is expanding to Temple University, Einstein Medical Center and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
“The hospitals are very enthusiastic. They want to do something,” said Rich. “They want a model that they can implement, and the providers are often just too busy with the incredible illness in the emergency department to do this.”
Research indicates this type of intervention program is important — up to 45 percent of shooting or stabbing victims are likely to be shot or stabbed again within five years. Through case management services and behavioral health interventions the program offers, participants can begin a personalized path to safety.
Dr. Theodore Corbin, associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Drexel, said the program keeps many victims of violence from seeking retaliation.
“It’s an opportunity where people are really at that pivotal moment where they can choose change or retaliation,” said Corbin. “Our efforts are to help them heal and also choose change.”
The program started at Hahnemann Hospital in 2007. It’s the first time any major city has implemented a hospital-based violence intervention program of this size.