Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic and The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth announced a new collaboration to implement the pioneering Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The program launched recently at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby and will expand to St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne and Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia in the coming weeks.
The VIPP aims to tackle the critical issues of gun and group violence plaguing the region by providing much-needed resources to those affected by violence, reducing traumatic stress and future violence involvement, and creating safer communities by breaking the cycle of violence. The data-driven approach, backed by compelling evidence, will help target the program effectively, making a transformative impact in the lives of those affected by violence.
“We should treat violence as a communicable disease,” said Greg Casey, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and medical director of the VIPP. “Through the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, our goal is to make our communities safer places to live, work and enjoy life.”
With a focus on hospital- and community-linked violence intervention strategies, the community-based, trauma-informed VIPP will be modeled after an evidence-based program, where trained violence intervention specialists provide immediate response to individuals experiencing gun and other forms of community violence, conduct clinical crisis assessments, provide short-term therapy and case management and refer individuals and families to social safety net providers in the community for long-term support.
“We are immensely grateful for this opportunity to work with Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic through funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency,” said Andrea Griffith, chief development officer of TLC. “Together, we will be able to provide impactful and effective intervention programs that not only address the immediate effects of violence, but also works towards long-term prevention within the communities we serve.”
The PCCD grant will primarily fund several staff positions for the VIPP, including a violence intervention clinical supervisor based at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, who will work with Casey to coordinate referrals and program enrollment. The team will also include three violence intervention clinicians and three violence intervention specialists, who will work in pairs at each participating hospital. These team members will provide crisis response, trauma-informed counseling and trauma-informed case management services, aligned with the goals of the program.
To learn more about the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, visit thelincolncenter.com/vipp/.