JCDH new Hospital-linked Violence Intervention Program

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Department of Health has named the Offender Alumni Association, or OAA, as the organization that will run its county-wide Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program.

It is designed to support victims and families of gun violence.

JCDH has been working to adopt this Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program for more than two years ensuring it was the right fit for our community.

JCDH recognizes gun violence as a major health concern, and with a recent uptick in violent crime, health leaders felt an intervention was long overdue creating a Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program, or HVIP, in hopes of breaking the cycle of violence.

“We put out a request for proposals, we had several applications from community organizations. I had a 14-member grant review committee including representatives from UAB, the Health Department, and our community to make sure we get this right, and OAA was the one that was selected,” said Jefferson County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Wilson.

OAA is a Birmingham-based non-profit that offers peer to peer support for formerly incarcerated people.

Dr. Wilson said the organization was already doing much of the work the HVIP hopes to accomplish preventing gun violence victims from becoming victims again.

“There has been some data that has shown that they have a very high chance of ending back up in the hospital or ending up dead after this first occurrence. So, we’re trying to keep them safe and help them heal and get on to a new life trajectory,” Dr. Wilson said.

OAA’s Executive Director, Deborah Daniels, said she’s honored to be part of the program.

“I’m a former offender myself and what society would call a repeat offender, and once I turned my life around, I knew that there was a need for us to be part of the solution of the violence and the crime that plagues our neighborhoods, our communities, and our families. Then this opportunity became available to us, which we were already doing, going to the hospitals, visiting those who were a part of our program that had fallen victim to violence, and meeting with families and so we decided to apply,” Daniels said.

OAA received a $1.1 million grant from JCDH to operate the program in its first year.

The Birmingham City Council approved $2.1 million to operate the program in years two and three.

Dr. Wilson is hoping to the launch the program within the next three to four months.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE WBRC FOX6 NEWS APP

Subscribe to our WBRC newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email.

Copyright 2022 WBRC. All rights reserved.