CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Cooper University Hospital is getting federal funding to continue and expand hospital-based anti-violence programs. Cooper is one of 11 hospitals in the state to split $10 million from the American Rescue Plan for violence intervention.
“It’s part of the mission of Cooper Hospital to really holistically care for our patients, and so it’s a tremendous honor,” said Dr. Tanya Egodage, a Cooper trauma surgeon and director of the hospital’s violence intervention program.
“A lot of this is based on what we call trauma informed care, so really advocating for what people need in that moment.”
Egodage says the program, started in 2020 with a $500,000 federal grant, helps people as much as possible at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
“People, when they are coming in, it’s their worst day or one of the worst traumatic events of their lives sometimes. And so we are able to start off with healing them medically and then going a step further,” she said.
“Getting people back into school, getting people emergency housing, helping them find jobs, helping them get their driver's license — things like that to sort of get people back on their feet.”
Someone who is threatened with violence may not seek help until after they have been hurt. That’s why programs like this are so important, says Egodage.
She says they also help people remove themselves from harmful situations and make better decisions, and she thinks this funding will allow them to keep doing what works.