Friday, November 23, 2012

Health, Healing and Hope for Victims of Domestic Violence

Last week I had the privilege of welcoming Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown to the GBMC campus as he announced Maryland’s seventh hospital-based Domestic Violence Program (DVP).  Joining Lt. Gov. Brown was Maria Harris Tildon, vice president of corporate communications for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, who presented GBMC with a check for $15,470 toward the DVP. 

As a pediatrician, I have seen firsthand the impact of domestic violence in the home and the critical role medical providers can play in addressing this issue. We are fortunate to have two outstanding professionals leading these programs,  Linda Kelly and Sally Hess, who are educating and training our medical staff to better identify and respond to patients in need.  In this way, GBMC is adding a new program that will help us better meet our mission of health, healing, and hope for those in our community. 

This is another example of GBMC HealthCare focusing on what patients need. While others are amalgamating hospitals and propping up unnecessary bed capacity to get market share and drive up the cost of care in our region, we are adding this new service which will never cover its direct costs on patient revenue, let alone be profitable.  

GBMC has been serving victims of violence for many years through our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination program (SAFE), which has always had the goal of expanding its services to include victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Now that this is a reality, the goals of the GBMC DV program include providing direct services (24/7 crisis response such as support, education, safety planning, referral to community resources and follow-up) to any patient, staff or community member experiencing IPV, educating staff on the effects of DV on health, and how to best identify and support patients experiencing IPV.

To date, GBMC’s DVP has provided services to more than 50 individuals.  We anticipate serving an average of 30 patients per month by 2014 based on similar-sized hospital programs.  In addition to corporate and state grants, the program is being financially supported by generous donations from our community.  We are grateful for all the support that is allowing GBMC to continue its legacy of providing healthcare services for women across the community.

To learn more, watch a video of the press conference announcing the program.

Our Green Team Gets Recognized for its Accomplishments
L-R: Keith Magel, Regional Manager, ARAMark; Jim Duerr, Corporate Materials Manager Director, GBMC; Matt Tresansky, Nutrition Director at GBMC, ARAMark; Ryan O'Hara, Retail Manager at GBMC, ARAMark ; Keith Sappington, Food Production at GBMC, ARAMark; Michael Forthman. Vice President of Facilities & Support Services, GBMC; John Chessare, M.D., President & CEO, GBMC HealthCare system
Congratulations to everyone involved with our Green Team, led by Michael Forthman, vice president of facilities and support services, on the occasion of the GBMC HealthCare system being recognized with one of five Trailblazer Awards at the Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E) Environmental Excellence in Health Care Conference. Trailblazer Awards are given annually to hospitals that have shown leadership in advancing sustainability in their operations.

GBMC was recognized for its dedication to providing improved diet options for patients, employees, and visitors. During the first month after launching a campaign to promote healthier beverages, hospital sales of non-sugary drinks exceeded sugary ones for the first time on record. GBMC reduced food waste by 1,100 pounds per month from March to August of 2012, and installed hydration stations which encourage refilling reusable bottles with filtered water.

Treating everyone the way you want your own loved ones treated…with clean hands.
I also wanted to recognize our employees, who are working hard to reach our hand hygiene goal. As you know, if we achieve a score of 79 percent or greater in November, we will pay out a bonus in December to eligible employees.  We are just past the halfway point for November, and our hand hygiene compliance score is at 81%.  We still have a ways to go, though!  I encourage you to keep up the good work!  Practicing hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent healthcare acquired infections.

If it were your loved one, you would want to be sure that any staff entering the room had clean hands.   This will be an excellent achievement, so let’s all work together to make sure we clean our hands on the way in and on the way out every time!  

Finally, I hope everyone in our GBMC family had a happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.  Each day I am thankful for every member of our team who does the very best they can do in whatever role they play in helping provide the best possible care for our patients. 

1 comment:

  1. Proud to have an hospital organization dedicated to helping all those affected by DV in our community. I'm glad it's no longer viewed as a "private matter," and general rise in awareness.

    Related to DV, is GBMC doing anything to train/educate their staff in spotting potential victims of sex trafficking? The red flags are somewhat similar to DV, but I encourage all health care workers to educate themselves about modern day slavery. (You can check out the Polaris Project for more info. at

    Thank you.


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