Hospitals Against Violence

Every day, the women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems respond with care and compassion to the trauma caused by all types of violence. Recent events have reinforced the incredible dedication of these caregivers and the special role that hospitals play as a source of hope and healing in their communities.

The causes of violence are complex, and hospitals play a significant role both in treating victims and helping to prevent further harm. That is why the American Hospital Association has taken action to combat violence as well as to highlight the work of hospitals and health systems across the nation to prevent violence in their communities.

Last year, the AHA launched Hospitals Against Violence, a board-initiated program that speaks to the mission-driven imperative of its members and the association: to address violence in our workplaces and communities so that a society of healthy communities, where all individuals reach their highest potential for health, is achievable. HAV offers resources for national, state and local efforts to help end violence in our communities; information to help health care employees cope with the impact of violence; tools to identify and treat victims of human trafficking; best practices on how to keep employees safe; and more.

As part of this effort, the AHA will host the second annual #HAVhope Day of Awareness on June 8. The inaugural Day of Awareness focused national attention on ending all forms of violence with a digital media campaign that garnered 2.6 million impressions and 1,100 individual engagements, making #HAVhope a trending hashtag. The AHA hopes to build on this engagement with an even further-reaching campaign in 2018.

Communities lean on their hospitals in times of tragedy — and the women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems are always there, ready to care. I urge you to explore the AHA’s resources and start a conversation in your organization about what you can do to help reduce the threat of violence and heal your community. Please consider joining the AHA on June 8 by attending a hospital or health system event related to violence prevention, joining the conversation via Twitter, volunteering or standing together with colleagues to show support for the project. And remember to share a photo and tag it with #HAVhope!

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the AHA’s Laura Castellanos at or (312) 422-3203.

David Hyman, D.D.S. (, is chair of the American Hospital Association Committee on Governance and a director of Hartford HealthCare in Hartford, Conn.

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