Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation’s second-largest nonprofit health system, awarded the first round of grants in early July for a comprehensive, system-wide violence-prevention program called “United Against Violence.” The faith-based health care system will provide more than $500,000 in grants this year to underwrite innovative violence-prevention programs from Denville, N.J., to Tacoma, Wash.
The national violence-prevention initiative, which is the first of its kind to be sponsored by a nonprofit health care system, was inaugurated with 14 grants to health care facilities operated by CHI, which includes 78 hospitals in 20 states. The grants will help fund initiatives that focus on everything from youth dating violence to programs aimed at identifying the root causes of domestic violence against women age 12 to 21. CHI, which announced the ambitious project last year, plans to provide millions of dollars in grants over the next several years for the “United Against Violence” campaign.
“The grants are a component of CHI’s strategic initiative to prevent violence in every community we serve,” said Kevin Lofton, CHI’s president and chief executive officer. “Our emergency departments see the results of violence every day. Our system-wide initiative seeks to prevent all types of violence – including domestic violence, child and elder abuse, gun violence and school violence – in order to create healthier communities.”
The violence-prevention grants are from CHI’s Mission and Ministry Fund, established in 1996 by the organization’s founding congregations to promote healthy communities across the nation and around the world. Since its formation, the fund has awarded more than 240 grants totaling in excess of $29 million. This is the first year that a specific, dedicated round of grants was made available for violence-prevention programs.
CHI’s violence-prevention initiative is linked directly to a fundamental mission that calls for the organization to reach outside of the four walls of its hospitals and health care facilities to serve the needs of the broader community. While many of CHI’s facilities administer community wide programs to address violence, “United Against Violence” will allow facilities to either expand existing programs or develop new initiatives in collaboration with partners in their communities.
Among the facilities receiving the first round of violence-prevention grants:
Saint Clare’s Health System, Denville, N.J., will develop a “Community Response to Violence Project” to help adolescent girls who exhibit at-risk behavior make safe and healthy decisions. The project, which is expected to include a coalition of more than 20 community organizations, will also focus on issues related to gang violence as a way to promote primary prevention and intervention
Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa, will use its grant to intervene before violence occurs for young women age 12 to 21 by developing collaboration between community experts, education leaders and the medical community to identify causes and related risk factors for domestic violence impacting this population of young women.
Franciscan Health System, Tacoma, Wash., is considering several initiatives, including the expansion of its “Cops and Docs Program, which serves about 2,700 young people in conjunction with two of its five facilities – St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; and St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood. In addition, Franciscan will launch an effort to analyze all existing violence-prevention programs in its large service area to help determine unmet needs.
Violence Prevention Grants:
Franciscan Foundation, Tacoma, WA, $14,700
Good Samaritan Behavioral Health, Dayton, OH, $88,940
Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation, Cincinnati, OH, $14,720
Holy Rosary Medical Center, Ontario, OR, $16,220
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, Louisville, KY, $68,150
Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA, $26,500
Mercy Medical Center, Nampa, ID, $17,420
Saint Clare’s Health System, Denville, NJ, $47,530
St. Francis Medical Center, Breckenridge, MN, $10,395
Saint Joseph London, London, KY, $68,714
St. Joseph Regional Health Network, Reading, PA, $45,108
St. Joseph’s Area Health Services, Park Rapids, MN, $20,716
St. Mary’s Community Hospital, Nebraska City, NE, $40,007
Unity Family Healthcare, Little Falls, MN, $22,000
About Catholic Health Initiatives: CHI is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 20 states and includes 78 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; and two community health-services organizations. Together, those facilities provided $536 million during the 2008 fiscal year in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of $8.2 billion, CHI ranks as the nation’s second-largest Catholic health care system.