Statement of purpose Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs) provide trauma-informed, culturally competent, community-based services to violently injured patients. The HVIP model centers on violence intervention specialists who engage patients in the hospital, provide advocacy during the visit and deliver intensive case management after discharge. HVIPs promote psychosocial healing and improved social determinants of health for under-resourced communities of color disproportionately impacted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and structural violence. This study seeks to describe the initial impact of COVID-19 on these programs and their clients.
Methods/Approach A survey, developed with input from HVIP staff, probed changes in community violence, service delivery, and client needs. 32 programs, located in 19 states and DC, were invited to take the survey online. Descriptive statistics were calculated to describe changes between 2019 and 2020 clients served, implementation practices and client outcomes.
Results Preliminary results of the first 17 surveys completed (56% response rate) are reported. Compared to February 2020 there was a slight increase (5.6%) in patients seen in the Emergency Department who were eligible for HVIP services in April 2020 and a significant increase (58.2%) in June 2020, reflecting increased interpersonal violence during the pandemic. From March through June of 2020, programs served 19.5% more clients than during the same period in 2019, showing increased demand for these services. The types of services needed also shifted during the pandemic with increases in food and financial assistance requested. 16 out of 17 programs reported providing COVID-19 specific support to clients and communities.
Significance Preliminary results suggest COVID-19 has had a significant impact on communities impacted by violence and HVIP implementation across the country. This study begins to provide a greater understanding of programs’ and clients’ needs in the present context. As the pandemic endures, additional research is warranted to identify policy, training and funding priorities.
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