Gun violence is a major public health concern in the U.S. and its related health issues have increased in the COVID-19 era. Since 2019, we received funds to explore risk factors for gun violence, develop collaborative learning and educational video sessions, and implement the Violence Outreach Intervention and Community Education (VOICE) Program in New Jersey. Recently, we received feedback from University Hospital (UH) and New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) that there is an urgent need for healthcare staff to receive training in gun violence prevention and intervention.
The Association of American Medical Colleges recently reported that threats against healthcare workers are rising. Hospital safety directors reported that violence against healthcare workers increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A recent national survey of more than 2,000 nurses indicated that almost half (48%) reported an increase in workplace violence. We are seeking funding to pilot test a hybrid VOICE Program in the UH and NJMS community. The proposed program will benefit our medical community members who are at risk for violence at workplace, including gun violence. It will also help healthcare workers to better provide violence prevention and intervention for their clients based on the Train-the- Trainer principle. These steps are necessary to create a culture of support around violence in the health care setting. This study aims to create a VOICE Program website to increase accessibility for the local medical community and make its content enduring and to tailor and implement a hybrid VOICE Program for UH and NJMS staff.
Principal Investigator (PI): Ping-Hsin Chen, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School