Cincinnati’s University Hospital hopes a new initiative will help prevent young men from becoming repeat customers in their ER because of gun violence, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Hospital officials, Mayor Mark Mallory, and the Cincinnati Bar Foundation announced the start of “Out of the Crossfire.” Gunshot victims will be evaluated to assess their employment history, education, living quarters, drug or alcohol use, environmental factors, socio-economic status, prior episodes or hospitalization for violence, coping skills, and support systems.
A coordinator will help victims get individual or family counseling, develop a safety plan, find social service agencies for help, and develop peer mentoring groups for victims. Organizers hope solving issues such as unemployment and drug abuse can keep gunshot victims from turning to violence for retribution or returning to it as the only life they know. Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher is optimistic that the program, similar to one in Baltimore, can reduce gun violence. Hospital workers have a chance to reach out to victims at a critical point, he said. The initiative will link gunshot victims with peers who are survivors of gun violence.