Ruppersberger Secures Nearly $1.1 Million for Violence Intervention Programs in Baltimore
(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today announced nearly 1.1 million to support two hospital-based violence intervention programs in Baltimore in legislation that advanced in the U.S House of Representatives. The funding was included in the Commerce, Justice and Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee in a 33 to 26 vote today and now heads to the full House for consideration.
Congressman Ruppersberger, an Appropriator, secured $497,000 for a violence intervention program at University of Maryland Shock Trauma and another $600,000 for a program at LifeBridge Health’s new Center for Hope, both of which work to disrupt the cyclical nature of violence by supporting patients recovering from violent injury before becoming victims – or perpetrators – again.
Hospital-based violence intervention programs have shown significant decreases in re-hospitalization due to intentional violent injury and criminal activity and increases in employment following recovery.
“These programs help victims of violent injury regain their footing in the community before they become repeat victims or even perpetrators themselves, helping to break the cycle of violent crime,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Not only do these programs ultimately save tax dollars, they also shift social work away from police and first responders. I want to thank my fellow Appropriators for acknowledging the benefits of violence intervention programs to both individual victims and the entire community and I urge my colleagues to support this bill on the House floor.”
“Hospital based Violence Intervention Programs play a crucial role in reducing the burden of violent injury, an epidemic disproportionally affecting our neighboring communities. Congressman Ruppersberger’s community project funding will bolster Shock Trauma’s evidence-based interventions and is an investment we will use to reduce rates for violent injury among very vulnerable populations,” said Thomas M. Scalea, MD, Physician-in-Chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “This funding is key to uncovering root causes for violence and interrupting the often-fatal cycle for our patients. We sincerely thank Dutch for his steadfast support for all victims of injury.”
“LifeBridge Health’s hospital-based violence intervention programs – housed in our Center for Hope - provide our communities with targeted responses to injury and abuse. We provide an immediate response to violence by dispatching our professional staff to the community as well as to patients who may be in a hospital bed as a result of injury. We also provide on-going engagement with victims and their families following an event. Our goals are to reduce the effects of trauma that has occurred, and ultimately we endeavor to break the recurrent pattern of violence. Proactively, we provide pathways to job training and employment, housing and wellness. The funding secured by Congressman Ruppersberger will ensure that more victims, families and community residents have access to these life-altering interventions,” said Daniel Blum, president of Sinai Hospital and Grace Medical Center, and senior vice president, LifeBridge Health.
The projects are among nine Community Project Funding Requests submitted by Congressman Ruppersberger in the 12 various appropriations bills for 2022. They are among 2,887 projects submitted by all members of the House of Representatives, only some of which will be approved.
The $81.3 billion CJS appropriations bill funds agencies and programs in the Departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as NASA and the National Science Foundation. The legislation supports economic development and law enforcement, as well as efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, climate change and more.