HOPE interpersonal violence prevention and response program, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare | Health Care Heroes – The Virginian-Pilot


Chesapeake Regional’s HOPE interpersonal violence prevention and response program is a Health Care Hero for Emergency Response. Interpersonal Violence Program Coordinator Meredith M. Noha, a former police officer, probation officer and sexual assault response coordinator, was hired to build the program. (Courtesy photo)
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare hired a former police officer, probation officer and sexual assault response coordinator to launch a program to help victims of interpersonal violence 24/7.
The program, called Healing Opportunities Providing Empowerment or HOPE, is the only interpersonal violence prevention and response program of its kind in Hampton Roads and the only community-based victim support agency in Chesapeake, the health system said. It also provides training for hospital staff and community members.
The HOPE team is on-call for everything from emergency housing to court accompaniment. Interpersonal Violence Program Coordinator Meredith M. Noha is also building partnerships with community organizations and established a community advisory board. HOPE received more than 80 referrals last fiscal year and since July, has helped nearly 70 patients.
Noha shared more details about the program with Inside Business.
Why was the HOPE program created? How did it come to be?
The HOPE Program was started in 2020 after a grant was received from the Department of Justice through the Virginia Healthcare and Hospital Administration to address the cyclical nature of violence. The grant had two tracks to address the concerns of violence and its effects on families, the trauma track or the interpersonal violence track. The trauma track was related to stabbings, shootings and malicious wounding type of events. The interpersonal violence track was related to domestic violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and human trafficking. As Chesapeake Regional is not a level one trauma center and there was not a community-based interpersonal violence response entity in the city of Chesapeake, the health system chose the interpersonal violence track. The purpose of the program is to aid in addressing the patient as a whole and attempting to rectify all concerns that are affecting their physical and mental health. As we know, violence is cyclical in nature and our hope is to address the issue on such a level that families can learn new ways of relating to one another and utilize community resources to further their ability to learn new social structuring.
Why was Chesapeake Regional in a unique position to help?
As the city of Chesapeake did not have a community based interpersonal violence victim response entity, Chesapeake Regional had the unique opportunity to fill that void. We the only hospital based interpersonal violence response entity as well, affording us the opportunity to assist victims 24/7 as their emergency arises. We can meet with victims in a timely manner that gives them all of the options for seeking assistance that they maybe were not aware of before.
How do you measure its success?
We are currently measuring our success by the increasing number of requests for assistance as well as the increased public awareness of our program and its resources. The number of referrals we are receiving is increasing monthly as well as the number of community partnerships we are developing. Our ability to meet the needs of our clients is increasing as well. Our patients are the guiding forces in the nature of our response in assisting them. We allow them to take the power and control back to determine what they need most and in what manner could we be useful. Allowing for the patients to guide the process starts them on firm ground working toward self-sufficiency.
What did it take to build the program?
Building the program was challenging in the fact that I came on board with the hospital just two weeks after the pandemic shutdown. Starting a new program is challenging in and of itself. To do so at a hospital during a never-seen-before pandemic episode was beyond challenging. Tenacity and innovation were the greatest tools I used to work to build the program. Engaging with staff and community members on a cellular level in getting them to see how interpersonal violence can and probably has affected someone they care about gives people a buy-in to the subject matter. We were also able to engage staff in the process by offering a resource to their patients that they hadn’t had before.
Any advice for health care leaders in launching innovative initiatives?
The only advice I can offer regarding being innovative is to think outside the box and work with those already in the field. Take their insight and experience and use it to your advantage to build on the established foundation. Just take your project in a new direction.
— Tara Bozick, editor
Copyright © 2021, The Virginian-Pilot
Copyright © 2021, The Virginian-Pilot

source


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.