January 31, 2017
University Hospitals is one of five recipients statewide of a new grant to help hospitalized victims of violent crimes. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is awarding a total of $2.6 million to UH and four other Ohio medical centers to create Trauma Recovery Centers that provide crisis intervention services to these victims.
According to DeWine, Ohio will be just the second state in the nation with a network of Trauma Recovery Centers. A similar program in California has shown that 74 percent of its patients showed improved mental health. In addition, the California program showed a 56 percent increase in victims returning to employment.
“A hospital's primary focus should always be a patient's physical well-being, but victims of violent crime suffer in other ways,” DeWine said. “Through this effort, victims admitted to these hospitals will receive immediate access to mental health services in order to help them cope during their hospitalization and after they return home. These Trauma Recovery Centers will fill a gap in connecting victims of crime to services, especially those within underserved, vulnerable populations that may face barriers in accessing or may not know how to access victim services."
UH will partner with Circle Health Service on the project. Trauma counselors will assist patients who are the victims of violent crimes involving gunshot or stab wounds, as well as gang violence, physical attacks, sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence and hate crimes. Assistance may take the form of trauma counseling, help applying for victim compensation, help securing food, clothing or housing, substance abuse treatment, counseling after sexual assault or domestic violence or legal aid. Access to these services will continue after patients are discharged from the hospital.
Edward Barksdale, MD, Division Chief of Pediatric Surgery at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, hopes the new program will to lead to better outcomes for patients who are victims of violence.
"Being a victim of violence has long-term health effects," he told The Plain Dealer. "So much of what we see in trauma is not even what happens in the hospital, it's what happens later, after discharge."
To view the complete Ohio Attorney General's News Release, click here.