Mayor Martin J. Walsh visits Boston Medical Center to Learn about Violence Programming



Kate Walsh, Lisa Allee and community violence program team with Mayor Walsh at the podium

Mayor Martin J. Walsh toured Boston Medical Center (BMC) today along with representatives from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and met with teams from the Division of Acute Care & Trauma Surgery and the Emergency Department who are on the front lines of dealing with the repercussions of violence we see too often here at BMC. The mayor held a press conference after his tour with BMC CEO Kate Walsh and his meeting with the providers from the CVRT (Community Violence Response Team) and Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP) programs. The mayor conveyed in his press conference that he has made the issue of violence a key initiative in his administration and we are proud he visited BMC on his second full day as mayor.

Kate Walsh introduced Mayor Walsh to a large crowd of medical personnel and administrative staff that gathered in the lobby of Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center for the press conference. She alluded that VIAP is proud of its ongoing and strong partnership with the BPHC and with this program they continue to empower individuals to help break the cycle of violence.  Mayor Walsh took to the podium and reiterated that one of his top priorities in office is to reduce homicide in our neighborhoods, lower violence in the city and continue to help families affected by violence.  He mentioned that too many individuals in our city are exposed to violence and that about half of all high school students know somebody who has been murdered.

Mayor Walsh praised BMC on the great work in helping individuals affected with violence by providing legal, housing, educational and employment resources. He also praised the city and the hospital on the exceptional care they provided during Boston Marathon Bombings. BPHC commissioner, Barbara Ferrier also spoke briefly, referring to BMC as the city’s number one hospital and that she is “absolutely awed at the care and compassion every individual shows to patients and families that walk in”.  She mentioned that the staff at BMC understands the complexities that come with trauma and tailor programs to address individual needs.

ImageKate Walsh presents Mayor Walsh with a Boston Trauma t-shirt

ImageMayor Walsh speaking at press conference in lobby of Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center at Boston Medical Center

About the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP)

Boston Medical Center’s Emergency Department’s VIAP program is a national leader in hospital-based violence Intervention programs.  Utilizing a case management model, a VIAP advocate is assigned to every patient who suffers a stab wound or gunshot wound.  They provide advocacy with navigating community agencies as well as with housing, job training, and court accompaniment amongst the services they provide.  VIAP also has a family support coordinator that provides advocacy to the family members of these patients. (Elizabeth Dugan, VIAP Program Manager 617-414-4926)

About the Community Violence Response Team (CVRT)

Boston Medical Center’s CVRT program provides free mental health services to all those patients who present to the hospital with life threatening interpersonal violence injuries, including high level assaults, stab wound and gunshot wound patients.  Similarly to VIAP, CVRT assigns a mental health clinician to every patient who presents to BMC with these injuries. The CVRT clinician provides crisis intervention, counseling and ongoing therapeutic support at the bedside and upon discharge to the patient as well as any family members or friends impacted by the violence. CVRT also provides these services to families affected by homicide.   CVRT is primarily funded through a VOCA open bid grant. (Lisa Allee, CVRT Director 617-414-8007)


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