As I was waiting for my flight Monday I happened to catch this story about the fact that (not a surprise) childhood trauma and its health effects were more prevalent among minorities. And I received the research alert in my email from JAMA, upon which this NPR story was based (FULL-TEXT). And also this excellent blog post on the topic from PreventConnect. So suffice it to say, I present all three here for you, because it’s important, and these are our patients, now, and in the future. And because yes, we’ve pretty much suspected all of this, but here is the data.
A healthcare response to violence has to be more than just a medical-forensic response on our end. It has to be partnering with, and participating in prevention programs early on, and following up after the fact, and integrating into other community services that speak to the wide range of needs and experiences of the people for whom we care. But it also has to be the integration of our services into the greater healthcare communities in which we are situated, so it is not a handful of clinicians who understand the connection between the work we do and the health and well being of our patients over a lifetime. There should be a flow of patients between our programs and the clinics and departments of the healthcare agencies with which we are affiliated. And as much as people bristle at the idea, we should be talking about how we can bill for the healthcare services we provide–where plausible and where patient safety isn’t compromised by doing so. It’s the only way we can realistically expand and integrate our services fully, like the consultative healthcare service that we are. Without a steady funding source for the totality of the care we provide, our future is not a sustainable one.
Have you checked out the FHO store lately? You can find our newest research brief, Aging Bruises Based On Color, plus our original guide, Injury Following Consensual Sex. Both available now for electronic download.