Amerigroup Foundation Partners With State of Maryland
BALTIMORE (Oct. 27, 2010) – The Amerigroup Foundation today announced its support for a new domestic violence screening and response program, based at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md. This is now the fifth hospital-based program of its kind in Maryland.
Launch of the program comes on the heels of the governor’s executive order creating the Maryland Domestic Violence Health Care Screening and Response Initiative, which was drafted under the direction of Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, whose cousin was murdered by her estranged boyfriend in a domestic violence incident in 2008.
Lt. Gov. Brown, health professionals and victim advocates spent more than a year researching hospital-based domestic violence screening and response programs. They found that these programs successfully assist victims and reduce incidents of violence. The primary goals of these hospital-based programs are to identify victims at an early stage in the domestic violence cycle, in order to prevent future physical and emotional injury. The hospital-based program provides a greater range of services to victims – from medical treatment to crisis counseling and long-term safety planning and provides additional training to health care staff on recognizing and working with victims of domestic violence.
“We applaud Lt. Gov. Brown for his commitment to improving access to health care services for victims of domestic violence,” said John E. Littel, chairman of the Amerigroup Foundation. “As an organization that partners with states like Maryland to offer solutions to the nation’s health care challenges, we are honored to support those efforts.”
The Amerigroup Foundation will donate $20,000 over two years for the initiative. In 2008, Maryland law enforcement agencies reported nearly 19,000 incidents of domestic violence. Lt. Gov. Brown is hopeful that these programs will help end the cycle of violence.
“Gov. O’Malley and I are proud of the strong partnerships that made this progress possible, and we will continue to work together to provide more opportunities to care for our victims and protect our neighbors from domestic violence,” said Lt. Gov. Brown.
Prince George’s Hospital Center currently serves victims of sexual violence through its Sexual Assault Center, which offers a full range of services, free of charge.