June 5 is the fourth annual Hospitals Against Violence Hope (#HAVhope) Friday. This year’s national day of awareness, which is taking place as protests against police brutality and racism continue throughout the country, is intended to highlight how hospitals and health systems can come together with their communities to foster healing, hope and peace.
Hospitals play an essential and multifaceted role in the wellbeing of their communities. This includes providing critical and lifesaving services to victims of violence and helping survivors, their families, and their communities manage the ensuing physical and psychological traumas caused by violence.
In 2016, under the leadership of the AHA Board of Trustees, the association developed the Hospitals Against Violence (HAV) initiative to shine a light on how hospitals and health systems are working to heal victims of violence and prevent further acts of violence.
The AHA has developed resources and shared examples from hospitals across the country focused on preventing youth violence, combating human trafficking, and preventing workforce and workplace violence, among other areas. Never has this work been more important to the health and safety of our hospitals and our patients. And while many of these programs are having positive effects on their communities, we know more must still be done.
As cornerstones of your communities, hospital and health system leaders have a meaningful opportunity to lead initiatives to reduce the risk for violence and advocate for advancing health for all individuals.
#HAVhope Friday provides an opportunity to reinforce the importance of hope, healing and justice so that we can achieve a society of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health.