CHI Franciscan Health: Violence Prevention Initiative
The CHI Franciscan Health Violence Prevention Initiative began in 2012 to reduce youth violence in south King County, including Federal Way, Key Peninsula and Des Moines. By working with community partners, the initiative created more enriching afterschool activities, built social and emotional skills in students, and created new programs that reduce violence in schools and the community. The program directly engages with those who are working to reduce violence or are directly impacted by violence, including young people, school leaders, community organizations and elected officials. The initiative treats violence as a public health issue.
In Federal Way, schools identified truancy, social and emotional learning, and community engagement as issues contributing to youth violence. In response, the initiative purchased a second step program for the district, using evidence-base tactics to build social and emotional skills that reduce youth violence. They also provided staff support to implement the program. The initiative established restorative practices in Federal Way Schools as well, reducing juvenile arrests by 15 percent; more than twice the original goal.
The initiative also helped establish the Federal Way Youth Action Team (FWYAT), which works with young people who are already involved with or at risk of getting involved with gangs. FWYAT created new programs, such as a basketball program, instituted wraparound services and established a youth leadership program. As a result, the homicide rate decreased. FWYAT recently became a standalone nonprofit, though the initiative continues to play a key role in its work.
In Key Peninsula, community leaders identified transportation, trauma and positive activities for youth as key barriers to violence prevention. The initiative created the Peninsula Violence Prevention Coalition, which opened a youth center, provided community trainings that address trauma and mental health, and created afterschool programs at Key Peninsula Middle School. The LGBTQ community is particularly vulnerable in Key Peninsula, and the initiative staff and other coalition members approached the Oasis Youth Center in Tacoma, helping establish the first Oasis satellite program for LGBTQ youth in February 2018.
In Des Moines, the initiative facilitated the Reach Out Des Moines community coalition, creating additional afterschool programs. It also funded gardens at a local elementary school and low-income neighborhood, offering a gathering space for students and neighbors to get to know each other. With a community partner, it also helped build Farm Bot — a robot that can be coded to automatically tend to a garden. This has offered STEM training to the entire neighborhood.
The program is also active in addressing other issues facing the region, such as human trafficking, training hospital staff to recognize the signs of trafficking. (Tim Pfarr)
Providence Mount Carmel Hospital: Evaluation and Treatment Center Collaborative
Providence Mount Carmel Hospital hosts a free-standing a 16-bed adult evaluation and treatment facility on its Colville campus, providing inpatient services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to patients suffering from acute symptoms of a mental disorder. The center serves both voluntary and involuntarily committed patients, and care focuses on utilizing the strength of certified peer counselors and peer support.
The hospital partners with Northeast Washington Alliance Counseling Services and Providence Northeast Washington Medical Group to operate the center. The hospital also worked with the Spokane County Behavioral Health Organization and Stevens County to get the center up and running. The evaluation and treatment center also has a court room with telehealth equipment that connects to Stevens County Superior Court and the Stevens County Prosecutor’s Office for commitment hearings.
The center was established following community health needs assessments that consistently found that behavioral health services represented one the community’s top needs. The emergency department had also been housing patients in need of evaluation and treatment when no beds where available. The center treats patients from across northeast Washington who would otherwise have to make the long drive to either Spokane or the Tri-Cities, where it would be impractical for families to travel to lend their support. (Tim Pfarr)