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AtlantiCare receives Violence Intervention Program funds

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AtlantiCare was one of 11 recipients of funds to support the continuation of the state's Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program.

Gov. Phil Murphy and and Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced the $5.2 million in funding Friday.

NJHVIP sites connect victims to a multidisciplinary team of trauma-informed, survivor-centered service providers to facilitate recovery and reduce the long-term impact of victimization while reducing the likelihood of retaliation.

AtlantiCare's Regional Trauma Center and Behavioral Health joined the program in 2021, with a collaboration that focuses on those ages 13 to 40 who are hospitalized as the result of so-called interpersonal violence that includes shootings, stabbings and other traumatic injuries.

The goal of the program is to break the cycle of violence among victims of community-based personal injuries.

“Our innovative hospital-based intervention programming has shown the benefits of interrupting cycles of violence at the hospital bedside,” Platkin said. "Thanks to Governor Murphy, the funding we are announcing today demonstrates the clear commitment to continuing our public health approach to public safety, supporting our community partners, and providing victims of violent crime critical services at a time of crisis. This is how we forge a path to healing and greater safety.” 

The funds were originally provided by the federal Victims of Crime Act, but now comes from the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Fund, which reinvests in the communities most impacted by cannabis criminalization.

“Meeting survivors of violence where they are during such a critical time of their healing journey is essential to their well-being,” Murphy said. “The New Jersey Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program is a crucial resource to address both the mental and physical ramifications of violence in our communities, providing a light at the end of the tunnel when it is needed most."

The response teams are composed of medical and community providers that include clinicians, social workers, case managers, violence interventionists and community health workers who coordinatea comprehensive range of services for victims and their families.

Victims are able to leave the hospital already engaged in services, which range from crisis intervention, conflict mediation and peer support to applying for resources from the Victim of Crime Compensation Office and getting connected to mental health and substance use interventions.

“By centering the service-delivery process around individuals who have been harmed, NJHVIP aligns with Attorney General Platkin’s survivor-centered, trauma-informed approach to public safety,” said Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of the Division of Violence Intervention and Violence Assistance. “These grants will help VIVA ensure that NJHVIP partnerships are able to continue to promote holistic healing for survivors of community violence.”

This next round of funding supports the continuation of the HVIP initiative, which has now put in place evidence-based models, practices, policies, and partnerships to operate hospital-connected programs that support crime victims and ensure that culturally appropriate victim services are available.

These awards will fund HVIP sites in 10 counties, including Inspira Health Network's Life Worth Living based in Cumberland County.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, May 19, 2024
STEWARTVILLE
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