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For Immediate Release
Audrey Bergin Named to Baltimore County's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team
The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team of Baltimore
County recently named Audrey Bergin, coordinator of the Domestic Violence
Programs at Northwest Hospital , as its only health care
representative. The Review Team was established to identify and remedy
gaps in services and understand the circumstances leading up to and resulting in
domestic violence-related homicides or suicides.
"Representation of the health care community on the
Review Team is important as we often interact with victims who have been
injured,” said Bergin. "The accrediting body in health care requires all
emergency departments to screen people for domestic violence. Women exposed to
violence in the home many times complain about migraines, chronic pelvic pain,
depression, anxiety and other health problems. These screenings often enable us
to help before the situation escalates.”
Baltimore County's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team
also includes directors for the county's domestic violence service providers, in
addition to members from the state's attorney's office; Baltimore County Police
Department; the county's Health and Social Services Departments, Parole and
Probation as well as the Baltimore County Office of Law. The Review Team
is presently working on setting up the protocol and is expected to begin
reviewing cases in fall 2006.
"The main responsibility of the Review Team is not to
investigate the actual homicide, but to take a deeper look at the details
leading up to it and identify places were the system can improve in the future
to prevent such outcomes,” Bergin explained.
Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and Calvert County
already have established Domestic Violence Fatality Review teams. Baltimore City
is the process of putting a team together.
The Domestic Violence Program at Northwest Hospital began in fall of 2004 and is
one of only four hospital-based domestic violence intervention programs in
Maryland. In addition to providing education to medical staff, the program
provides victims of domestic violence information regarding safety planning,
available shelter and legal options as well as crisis counseling, advocacy and
referrals to community resources.
Northwest Hospital is a member ofLifeBridge Health, a regional health
organization, which includes Sinai
Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Jewish
Convalescent & Nursing Home, and related subsidiaries and
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