MedStar Harbor Hospital Joins Safe Streets Initiative

June 10, 2019

Hospital-Based Responders Will Work to Reduce Violence in Community, Help Victims

BALTIMORE—MedStar Harbor Hospital has joined Baltimore’s Safe Streets initiative, an evidence-based violence interruption and prevention program, as part of a larger effort to serve its community. Two responders are installed in the hospital’s emergency department to intervene with victims of violent crime.

Safe Streets is a Baltimore health department initiative that funds community-based organizations to employ “street smart” community members whose own experience with violence gives them a personal connection to victims.

The two responders at MedStar Harbor Hospital will deescalate and mediate disputes that could otherwise lead to violence and work to prevent retaliation. The responders will also serve as positive role models and help connect victims and perpetrators with jobs, education and other resources to help them live better lives.

“Violence is a public health crisis and we at MedStar Harbor Hospital want to do our part to try to reduce it,” said Ryan Moran, MedStar Health Director of Community Health – Baltimore City. “Safe Streets is an established, evidence-based program that has been proven to be effective. This is another tool for us to improve the health of our community.” 

MedStar Harbor Hospital has hired one full-time responder and one part-time responder who will work out of the emergency department on evenings and weekends. The hospital’s program launched in March and is connected to an established program in the nearby Cherry Hill community.

The initiative follows other recent efforts by MedStar Harbor Hospital to provide holistic, wrap-around services to its community. In the last three years, MedStar Harbor Hospital has started a program to connect patients to substance abuse treatment, installed community health advocates to work directly with vulnerable patients and help them navigate social services, offered free trainings in the overdose prevention drug Narcan, and provided weeks of home-delivered, healthy food.

“Instead of simply treating patients and sending them home, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a true community resource and a positive force for good,” Moran said. “The community should feel that this hospital isn’t just a good place to go when they’re sick – but a hub and anchor where they can access resources to help them live better lives.”

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About MedStar Harbor Hospital

After more than a century of healing, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a mainstay in the community, serving patients from Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties at our convenient waterside location, with the services of a large, regional medical center in a smaller, more personal environment. With more than 350 affiliated physicians representing 30 medical and surgical specialties, and 1,200 associates, the hospital offers a full range of health care services for patients from infancy through the senior years. From general medicine and surgery, obstetrics, diabetes, pain management, arthritis, orthopaedics, and geriatrics to cardiology and urology, and now behavioral health, our team of caring physicians and associates serves the unique needs of every patient.

In 2016, MedStar Harbor Hospital was named a top hospital in Maryland and in the Baltimore metro area by U.S. News & World Report, receiving high performance ratings in specialty areas, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Gynecology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Heart Failure, Pulmonology, and Orthopaedics.

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