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Swedish Covenant Hospital Hosts Impactful Violence Prevention Day

by Bill Ligas | Jun 14, 2017

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Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Violence Prevention Program recently convened more than 100 health care providers and advocates for a Health Care Summit on Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault to inspire community collaboration to address the health care sector’s role in identification and response to these forms of violence. 

The event, sponsored by Allstate Corporation, opened with a keynote address by Elaine Alpert, M.D., MPH, an internationally-respected scholar and consultant in family violence, sexual assault and human trafficking from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine.  

Other speakers included representatives from Apna Ghar, Between Friends, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force, Family Defense Center, KAN-WIN, MacNeal Hospital, Metropolitan Family Services, Rape Victim Advocates (RVA), Salvation Army Stop-it Program, Office of the Attorney General and Swedish Covenant Hospital. The summit was preceded by a networking breakfast.

Themes highlighted during the summit included:

● The window of opportunity in the health care sector for identification and first response to domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault
● How to build trauma-informed and survivor-centered health care systems that recognize the impact of trauma on both patients and staff and take special care to diminish the likelihood of re-traumatization within the health care setting 
● The ways in which the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program sets a standard of care by offering extensive training to forensic nurse examiners to make them highly qualified to recognize and support patients impacted by domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault 
● The concern that the immigrant community may be fearful to report or seek medical treatment for domestic violence and sexual assault within the changing landscape of immigration policies
● The need for greater clarity around health care providers’ reporting requirements and survivor-centered collaborations with law enforcement and child welfare authorities
● The value of clear and accurate documentation in a health care provider’s electronic medical record in the event that a victim of violence decides to pursue legal remedies
● The importance of securing internal champions, leadership buy-in and community partnerships when developing health care programs and responses

For more information regarding Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Violence Prevention Program, please contact Kate Lawler, Director, Violence Prevention Program, at 773-878-8200, ext. 6772, or via email at klawler@SwedishCovenant.org.