NJ looks to hospitals to combat violence
New Jersey is launching a new effort in the hopes of reducing violence, including gun violence.
During a news conference in Jersey City on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy, along with former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, announced nine Garden State hospitals will share $20 million in federal funding for hospital-based violence intervention programs.
The governor said the programs are designed to enhance services to victims and break cycles of violence in hard-hit communities by combining medical treatment and recovery services with education, counseling and social services.
“It means substance abuse treatment. It means things like tattoo removal so people can quite literally begin life with a cleaner slate," Murphy said. "It means creating a true continuum of support back home in one’s own community.”
He said these programs “will allow us work directly to turn around lives at a single point of contact, the hospitals.”
Giffords, who was shot in the head during an assassination attempt nine years ago and suffered a brain injury, has become a gun control advocate.
She told those assembled “stopping gun violence takes courage, the courage to do what’s right. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line. Now is the time to come together, be responsible, Democrats, Republicans, everyone. We must never stop fighting — fight, fight, fight."
She added “be bold, be courageous. The nation is counting on you.”
The programs are being launched with $20 million in federal Victims of Crime Act funding.
“Good intentions at the end of the day are just good intentions," Murphy said. "We are focused on results.”
A statement by the governor's Office says a primary goal of the New Jersey Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program is to link hospitals and other medical facilities with community-based organizations that are already working to assist victims and reduce violence of all types, including domestic violence.
The nine hospitals receiving funding are: the Center for Family Services in Camden, the Trinitas Health Foundation in Elizabeth, Atlantic Care in Atlantic City, Capital Health in Trenton, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Monmouth County, and St. Jopeph's in Paterson.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.
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