This case study is part of the Reimagining Public Safety Impact Updates Resource, which highlights successful programs in cities, towns and villages across the country. View the Reimagining Public Safety Initiative to learn more about NLC’s work in creating safe, equitable communities for all. This is one of four municipalities illustrating Hospital-Based Violence Interventions, which provide trauma-informed care and support services to patients with violent injuries in order to reduce criminal involvement and rehospitalization.

Philadelphia, PA (pop. 1,603,797): Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) Coalition 

A key part of the Philadelphia’s Roadmap to Safer Communities, the Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) Coalition launched in 2021 in partnership with all six of the city’s Level One trauma centers. This collaborative allows peer learning across the various HVIP programs, where newer programs can receive support from those that are more established.  

Victims treated by HVIP services were three times less likely to be arrested for a violent crime, four times less likely to be convicted of that crime and two times less likely to be convicted of any crime. In 2021, 84 percent of nonfatal shooting victims were seen at Philadelphia Level One trauma centers. Additionally, HVIP program clients were six times less likely to be re-hospitalized for a violent crime in the future.

Since 2021, Philadelphia has had between 834 and 1,834 gunshot survivors a year.

HVIPs in Philadelphia:

  • The Einstein Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) provides intensive follow-up care to people who have been treated in the emergency department for injuries related to violence. While a patient is hospitalized or when they’re ready to receive services after discharge, TIP provides them with case management that includes the following: help getting medical care, mental health support, legal assistance, educational help and more.  
  • The Penn Trauma Violence Recovery Program (PTVRP) engages survivors of violent injury to support their recovery in the hospital and in the community. A violence recovery specialist works with patients to help them set personalized goals and follow-up plans. Other services provided include the following: housing and relocation assistance, psychotherapy and mental health support, legal assistance, help with returning to school or work, and many other areas.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Violence Intervention Program (CHOP VIP), founded in 2012, provides hospital-to-community care for violently injured youth and their families. During hospitalization or after discharge, families are assigned violence prevention specialists who provide case management services based on youth and family-identified specific needs. These services include mental health support, legal assistance and help returning to school.
  • Temple’s Trauma Victim Advocacy Program (TVAP) places crisis responders in the emergency department 24/7 to help patients and their family members immediately following a violent injury. These advocates offer comfort to patients in the trauma bay, provide grief support to families of homicide victims, link survivors to crime victim services, and offer emotional support to patients after they have been discharged from the hospital.
  • Drexel’s Healing Hurt People (HHP), founded in 2007, is a hospital and community-based violence intervention program that provides trauma-focused services to victims of violent injury, witnesses of violence or people experiencing traumatic grief resulting from violence. At the hospital bedside or when patients are ready to receive support, HHP provides them with trauma-focused case management, peer support services and evidence-based trauma counseling.  

Some of the services offered include:

  • Mental health services
  • Relocation and housing
  • Childcare support
  • Legal support and immigration services
  • School/education-based support and advocacy
  • Victims’ assistance help
  • Mediation and reconciliation
  • Employment services and workforce development
  • Healthcare navigation (inside and outside of the hospital)
  • Trauma support groups

The HVIPs have received expansion support through a variety of sources, both private and public. The Civic Coalition to Save Lives awarded $335,000 in grants to several HVIPs in 2021. In FY 2021, TVAP received $499,308 from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime to serve 425 gun violence survivors.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has supported many of the HVIPs as well, granting awards for years 2022-2024:  in funding for the continuing expansion of the program and to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Response to Violence (CRV).  to support a program manager, a program medical director, a peer specialist, and other expenses. The HVIP collaborative received funding from PCCD.  to support the newly formed collaborative of hospital-based violence intervention programs in 2022-2024.

Key performance metrics collected include:

  • Percentage of shooting survivors seen at Level One trauma centers
  • Age breakdown of gunshot survivors
  • Eligibility for HVIP services

Acknowledgements for contributions and review from Bernadette Hohl, Injury/Violence Prevention Research/Practitioner, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Pilar Ocampo, MPH; Interim Injury Prevention Program Manager, Department of Public Health, City of Philadelphia; Christina Mancheno, Program Manager, Department of Public Health, City of Philadelphia.

View the Reimagining Public Safety Impact Update

Learn more about what different cities have done to support public safety, including qualitative and quantitative measures highlighting the impact of community responder models, group violence interventions, hospital-based violence interventions and community violence interventions.