Brown, U.S. Officials Announce Funding for Hospital-Based Domestic Violence Program at UMMC

For immediate release: August 11, 2014


Karen Lancaster

[email protected] | 410-328-8919

UMMC’s “Bridge Project” is Maryland’s 10th Hospital-Based Domestic Violence Screening Program

Hospital-Based Domestic Violence Screening Program

BALTIMORE, Md. – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown was joined by U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, health care representatives, domestic violence advocates, and state and local officials to announce funding for a Hospital-Based Domestic Violence Program at University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). The Bridge Project, which will serve incoming patients at both the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the UMMC Emergency Department, will be funded in part by a $50,000 grant from the Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) made possible by federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. Additionally, UMMC has received a grant from Verizon to support the program, which was also formally announced at today’s event.

“With the opening of The Bridge Project at the University of Maryland Medical Center, our state’s 10th hospital-based domestic violence screening program, we’re taking another important step towards ending domestic violence in Baltimore and in neighborhoods throughout Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Although we’ve driven down violent crime to the lowest levels in three decades, domestic violence continues to impact thousands of families throughout our state, and we will not rest until every Marylander is safe in their home and in their community.”

The Bridge Project was founded this year under UMMC’s broader, nationally recognized Violence Intervention Program with the mission of breaking the cycle of intimate partner and sexual violence in Baltimore City and its contiguous counties. The Bridge Project provides hospital-based crisis counseling, safety planning, referrals, and follow-up services to domestic violence victims identified at The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the Adult Emergency Department at UMMC. The program assists victims with shelter placement, locating legal assistance and identifying follow-up counseling and other services. One of the primary objectives of the program is to establish round the clock coverage from on-call domestic violence intervention specialists. The grant funding from the State will enable the hospital to provide these services after hours and on weekends and holidays.

“We are grateful to the State of Maryland and Verizon for their support, which enhances our ability to help victims of domestic violence who come through our doors – not only by attending to their medical needs but also by making counseling, referrals and other assistance available to them around the clock, every day of the year,” said Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. “At UMMC, we are not only committed to treatment and healing, but also to prevention. Initiatives such as the Bridge Project offer people immediate assistance and meaningful alternatives that are crucial to helping break the cycle of violence.”

Joining Mr. Rivest, Lt. Governor Brown, and the other elected officials at today’s news conference were several physician leaders and faculty members of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, including:

  • Carnell Cooper, M.D.
  • Deborah Stein, M.D., associate professor of surgery, chief of trauma at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
  • Brian J. Browne, M.D., professor of emergency medicine and chief of emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center

The Verizon grant, which began in January 2014, is being used for emergency housing, client needs, transportation, and some staff training. Both grants complement each other, allowing UMMC to run a comprehensive program such as the Bridge Project.

The UMMC program will be Maryland’s 10th hospital-based domestic violence program designed to meet the goals of the Governor’s 2010 Executive Order, “The Maryland Domestic Violence Health Care Screening and Response Initiative.” In four years, the Administration has doubled the number of hospital-based domestic violence programs in the state, an effort led by Lt. Governor Brown. As outlined by the Executive Order, the programs aim to identify victims at an early stage in the cycle of domestic violence and extend comprehensive services to prevent future physical and emotional injury.