‘We would like to eliminate it’: Atrium Health discusses public health approach to violence intervention

Atrium launches program to prevent violence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In the last nine days, there have been five shootings in the city of Charlotte.

That’s a trend Atrium Health is trying to decrease.

Three minors were injured in two separate shootings on Tuesday, March 30.

Two teenagers were shot on Hovis Road and a seven-year-old girl was shot on Marble Street. Three people were arrested in the shooting that injured the seven-year-old.

On March 22, William Perry was shot and killed near Tuckaseegee Road. On March 24, Davyon Farrer was shot and killed near Beatties Ford Road.

Ryan Autry was shot and killed on March 30 near West Sugar Creek Road.

Atrium Health announced its hospital-based violence intervention program last month. The partnership with the city of Charlotte focuses on violence intervention and combatting recidivism with a public health approach.

3 Things: Charlotte leaders announce hospital violence intervention service

This will be the first program of its kind in North Carolina.

Dr. David Jacobs, from Atrium Health, says, like other diseases, violence presents a pattern and can be passed between communities and families.

“We know risk factors for the disease, we know protective favors against the disease, and we know cures for the disease so it makes sense to think about this as a disease and treat it that way,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said they are not seeing patients yet, but they are establishing protocols and will soon begin the hiring process. He also said they are still working with patients in their trauma units and assessing their needs.

Through the hospital-based violence intervention program, victims will receive assessment, counseling and social support from a multi-disciplinary team in the following areas: Stabilization, Recovery & Rehabilitation, Community Reintegration, Self-Reliance & Self-Referral.

“That may be GED, that may be drug counseling, that may be tattoo removal, gang de-involvement,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said they will assess the needs of the patient on a case-by-case basis, their research has found there’s a one in four chance a person will be a repeat trauma victim but through this program, the goal is to lower that rate.

“The hope would be that we would substantially reduce that one in four chance. We would like to eliminate it but being realistic we want to substantially reduce that one in four risk,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said they expect to hire and start onboarding over the next four to six weeks.

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