University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) is a major provider of health care for residents of the South Side of Chicago and one of Bright Promises Foundation's partners in our Promoting Resiliency initiative, which was launched in 2012 with the goal of helping children who have experienced trauma overcome the impacts of toxic stress and receive the support they need to lead happy, successful lives.
To achieve this goal, Bright Promises partnered with agencies across the city to provide education and training to parents, caregivers, and service providers so that they can understand the symptoms of trauma and how to promote protective factors in children.
The area served by University of Chicago Medicine encompasses 34 neighborhoods in which extreme violence is a part of many children’s everyday lives. In 2012, children injured by violent injury represented 23.5% of Comer Pediatric Trauma patients, more than 4 times the national average (5.4%) for pediatric trauma centers.
Hospital-based violence intervention programs like Healing Hurt People-Chicago serve as a bridge between a victim’s medical and psychosocial needs in the aftermath of traumatic experiences. Successful violence intervention programs in the United States have a strong presence in hospitals that treat the clients they serve.
This project focused on incorporating Healing Hurt People-Chicago into the standard of care for children and families affected by
violence, ensuring that referrals to Healing Hurt People-Chicago are made by healthcare providers
when appropriate, as well as to improve practices in trauma-informed care for
Because Healing Hurt People-Chicago relies on the “golden window of opportunity” for patient engagement at the time of injury, early patient identification and referral continue to be crucial to the program’s success. Therefore there were two major areas of focus for this program: (1) Improving patient referrals to the Healing Hurt People Chicago services and (2) Creating interprofessional training workshops to educate healthcare providers about Trauma Informed care.
Recent achievements that have resulted from Bright Promises partnership with University of Chicago Medicine include:
- Consultation provided to Sen. Dick Durbin (D -IL) and his staff regarding theTrauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act
- Presentions at 5 conferences together with teenage gun-violence survivors who have been officially made members of the Trauma-Informed Care team
- New partnerships with Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Friend Family Health Center, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, University of Chicago Medicine Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Medicine Department of Medicine, and Windy City EM
- 19 Trauma-Informed Care trainings for more than 300 medical staff and hospital personnel
Our partners at University of Chicago report that the Trauma-Informed Care initiative "continues
to enhance relationships and foster increased collaboration between members of
our team and the medical providers and hospital staff who have attended
One mother who remains active in this program after her teenage son was caught in gang crossfire described the support she recieved as a lifeline: "The fact that this
program is here to throw you a lifeline, you don’t even realize you need the
lifeline until you grab onto it and take that first deep breathe. And you know
there is somebody here who is going to help me.”
Dr. Brad Stolbach, Clinical Director of Healing Hurt People-Chicago, best captured the importance and impact of this program:
“It’s not easy to figure out how to navigate these streets, how to stay safe, how to get what you need in order to move forward in your life. It’s really about giving people the support that they need to deal with what they’re going through, so they can stay safe and get on track.”
Bright Promises' work with University of Chicago around trauma-informed care will continue to make a lasting impact long into the future. According to our partners: “Bright Promises support has allowed us to work closely with the team planning for the soon-to-be-open University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) adult Level I Trauma Center to ensure that its services are not limited to medical trauma, but are holistically trauma-informed.”
Below is one of the many training resources that were generated as a part of this program and which will continue to be distributed locally and nationally through the ongoing work of the Trauma-Informed Care team at University of Chicago: