MetroHealth Trauma Recovery Center Awarded VOCA Grant for Seventh Consecutive Year
The MetroHealth Trauma Recover Center (TRC), nationally recognized for its work in support of victims of violence, has received more than $600,000 as part of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s allocation of federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding.
The grant will help the TRC to establish a new psychology consult liaison service to provide psychological treatment to patients while hospitalized as a result of violence.
“Unfortunately, violent crime is epidemic in our community, and our team and the services we provide to victims is in great demand,” said Megen Simpson, Director of the TRC. “This funding allows us to continue to provide essential services and develop others that effectively support victims throughout their recovery journey.”
In 2022, the TRC served a record 1,646 survivors of violence compared to a little over 1,000 survivors in 2021. There has been roughly a 25% increase in gun-related deaths from 2015 to 2020, and in 2020, gun-related deaths surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the top cause of death for those under 19 years old for the first time, according to the National Institute for Health Care Management.
Currently, TRC services include coaching, peer mentorship, victim advocacy, counseling, care coordination and providing access to other resources. The $600,218 VOCA grant helps fund development of a psychology consult liaison service for patients who are admitted to the hospital as a victim of violence. A psychologist will work with trauma the trauma medical team to address the connection between physical injury and psychological distress resulting from these potentially traumatic experiences. They will perform inpatient diagnostic assessments, facilitate person-centered psychotherapy, work with coaches to alleviate barriers to care and refer patients to the mental health counselors for continued outpatient therapy when needed.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to bring a psychologist to the bedside to work with admitted victims when their traumatic experience is still fresh,” Simpson said. “It allows us to give attention to their psychological wounds even as their physical injuries are being treated. It also gives us an opportunity to work with these patients soon after the trauma occurs, and we know that early intervention can have a positive impact on recovery.”
The TRC, a service of the Center for Health Resilience through MetroHealth's Institute for H.O.P.E.™, is the only program of its kind in Northeast Ohio that is housed within a hospital system. It was established in 2017 with VOCA funding and has received support from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office every year since.
“We are deeply grateful for the continued support of this program,” said MetroHealth President & CEO Airica Steed, Ed.D, RN, MBA, FACHE. “Our Trauma Recovery Center addresses the invisible wounds of trauma and ensures some of the most vulnerable people we serve receive the support they need during their recovery journey.”
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.