DOJ grant aims to use hospitals to reduce retaliatory violence

Posted at 9:37 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 21:42:57-04

A $500,000 Department of Justice grant is aimed at reducing violence in Baltimore with a hospital-based intervention program.

The program, called the Baltimore City Thriving Communities Project, will expand the Safe Streets program into emergency rooms where hospital staff hope to reduce re-admissions by resolving conflicts immediately to prevent retaliation.

"As an emergency physician who has treated patients dying from gunshot wounds, I will never forget the cries of mothers whose children could not be resuscitated in our EDs. I have seen the cycle of violence and trauma, and why we need every interaction to be the point of intervention to stop this vicious cycle. Safe Streets has shown us that violence interruption works: we can prevent shootings and cure violence with credible messengers," said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. "By expanding this model into out hospitals, we can further reduce trauma, save lives, and prevent the risks of re-injury, retaliation and death from gun violence in our communities."

Johns Hopkins will be the first hospital to implement the program.