Virginia Hospitals Highlight Efforts to Curb Community Violence During National Gun Violence Awareness Month

June 3, 2020

Initiatives Include new Community Partner Engagement with Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program, June 3 Installment of ‘Violence is a Health Care Issue’ Webinar Series, and Other Efforts Amid Public Health and Economic Disruption of COVID-19

RICHMOND, VA – This year, Gun Violence Awareness Month arrives as Virginia and the nation faces a challenging set of circumstances including the public health threats and economic disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of Gun Violence Awareness Month, and Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 5, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and VHHA Foundation (the non-profit affiliate of VHHA) are planning activities and offering resources focused on curbing community violence, including:

  • A June 3 webinar that continues the “Violence is a Health Care Issue” series scheduled from noon-1 p.m. The webinar is facilitated by the VCU Health Injury and Violence Prevention Program. Visit this link to register for the June 3 webinar. A related informational document about COVID-19 and gun violence can be viewed online here and previous webinars in this series can be accessed here and here.
  • Members of the health care community and the public are encouraged to wear orange on June 5 and take photos of themselves to share on social media using the hashtag #ViolenceIsAHealthCareIssue. VHHA has produced customizable “I Wear Orange” signs that can be printed and downloaded here and here.
  • Another available tool is a Facebook profile picture frame recognizing Gun Violence Awareness Month that can be accessed here.

Recognizing National Gun Violence Awareness Month aligns with the goals of the Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) Collaborative. This federally funded grant program facilitated by VHHA Foundation is a first-of-its-kind statewide approach to the implementation of these evidence-based programs, which provide support to survivors of serious violence and their families during and after hospitalization. In addition to federal funding, the Collaborative also receives critical support from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and the United Way of South Hampton Roads to provide local program participants with emergency resources to assist survivors of violence in crisis.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, VHHA has worked with HVIP-participating providers as part of a broader mission to protect and enhance community health. The HVIP model has proven successful in reducing community violence and related hospitalizations elsewhere in the nation. Prior to the pandemic, five participating Virginia programs had hired program coordinators, and those teams are prepared to help potential patients experiencing violence by directing them to community resources. Moving forward, VHHA will also help pilot test a screening tool for social determinants of health (SDOH) at HVIP participating facilities, and through other population health grant-funded collaboratives.

In May 2019, Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam announced an award of $2.4 million in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding to support implementation of the HVIP model at select Virginia hospitals. Since then, second year funding has been approved for the program, bringing the total award to $4.85 million. This grant support is part of a funding package approved by the Criminal Justice Services Board of DCJS. The HVIP project is supported by Award No. 20-A4739VP18 awarded by the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Victim Services Grant Program, Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice or its grant-making component.

About VHHA Foundation: The VHHA Foundation, formerly the Virginia Hospital Research & Education Foundation, is the charitable non-profit affiliate of VHHA. Its focus is on improving the health of Virginians through collaboration, research, and education for Virginia’s hospitals and health systems. The foundation provides continuing education programs for Virginia’s health care professionals through conferences, seminars, and webinars. VHHA Foundation also supports research and patient safety and quality programs. Learn more at

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 27 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to achieve excellence in both health care and health. Its vision is through the power of collaboration to be recognized as a driving force behind making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Julian Walker
Vice President of Communications
(804) 297-3193 office
(804) 304-7402 mobile