FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4/24/2013

Northwest Hospital’s Domestic Violence Program Earns Award from U.S. Department of Justice

Randallstown, Md. – Northwest Hospital’s DOVE Program, which serves survivors of domestic violence, has earned a National Crime Victims' Service Award from the National Office for Victims of Crime, part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will preside at an awards ceremony later today in Washington, D.C., in which he will present the Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services to Audrey Bergin, DOVE Program manager. This particular service award recognizes a program, organization or individual who has helped to expand the reach of victims’ rights and services. 

“We are honored that the Department of Justice has recognized the crucial work that Audrey and the DOVE Program staff are providing to make a difference – many times a lifesaving one – for victims of domestic violence,” says Brian White, Northwest Hospital president. “We are one of the few hospitals in the state to have a program like this, and the DOVE Program team trains our medical staff to recognize signs of domestic violence so Northwest Hospital can offer victims proper medical treatment and social support.”

The program’s support services include crisis counseling and safety planning; forensic record of injuries; referrals to community resources; and temporary emergency assistance to meet basic needs like food, transportation and medical care. Working closely with Baltimore County and Baltimore City law enforcement, the DOVE Program also provides ongoing case management, counseling and court accompaniment.  Patients referred to the program do not pay for its services.

The DOVE Program has been innovative in developing the Strangulation Response Project, a standard medical and forensic response for victims of strangulation. Not only has this project helped raise awareness about the potential deadliness of strangulation and allowed medical professionals to ensure victims receive the best immediate care, but it has helped bring some violent attackers to justice. The program has been replicated by law enforcement in Calvert County and is currently being established in Anne Arundel County.

This year, the DOVE Program was one of only 13 programs or individuals to earn a National Crime Victims' Service Award and the only one in Maryland.

Northwest Hospital is a part of LifeBridge Health, one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in northwest Baltimore. LifeBridge Health also includes Sinai Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Courtland Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and related subsidiaries and affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.

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Holly Hosler
410.601.8678