Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center and Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital are two of seven Virginia hospital teams that have been selected as participants in a Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) grant-funded initiative aimed at improving public safety and health outcomes for victims of violence in high-need communities. 

The Virginia Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) Collaborative grant, awarded to VHHA Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA), will be implemented at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center and Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital to help expand resources for survivors of serious violence during and after hospitalization. 

“The creation of a hospital violence intervention program will allow us to expand our current services to victims of violence through a trauma-informed care approach to violence intervention and prevention efforts," said Bonnie Price, administrative director for community health advocacy for Bon Secours’ Richmond market. “We are excited about the positive changes the grant-funded initiative will be able to provide to this vulnerable population.” 

Across the nation, the HVIP model has proven to be a successful strategy in reducing community violence and related rehospitalizations. Participating hospitals and their teams will each implement a violence intervention model with the goal of reducing the prevalence and the effects of violent injuries. Virginia’s HVIP Collaborative will focus on serving patients who need treatment for gunshot wounds, stabbings, or assault (known as community violence), as well as sexual and domestic violence. The primary patient population to be served through this program are those victims of violence ranging in age from 10-30 who reside in the Richmond region.

These goals will be achieved by training dedicated hospital staff members to provide intervention services. They include wraparound community services such as vocational and recreational programs, conflict resolution, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and housing and transportation assistance. This collaborative model also involves enhancing connections between Memorial Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital and community-based organizations that perform complementary work to help support individuals and their families as they recover from violence. 

“When it comes to serving patients, Virginia’s hospitals do more than just respond to the medical needs of people when they are admitted for care. Hospitals reach into the community to serve the public and promote health and well-being,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “The Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program is a continuation of that commitment to community health exemplified by Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center and Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital. The participation of these two facilities in this DCJS grant funded program will make a real impact in the Richmond region and in the lives of patients and families who have been impacted by community violence.”

In May 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam announced the award of $2.45 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding to support implementation of the HVIP model at select Virginia hospitals. The grant is part of a funding package approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board of DCJS. The Virginia HVIP Collaborative is supported by Award No.20-A4739VP18 awarded by the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Victim Services Grant Program, Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice or its grant-making component.