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Detroit Medical Center: Detroit Life is Valuable Everyday

The cycle of violence has taken a huge toll on the city of Detroit: Homicide is the leading cause of death for residents aged 15-34 and when someone is injured in an act of violence, they are more likely to end up injured again, incarcerated or dead. That’s why Michigan’s first hospital-based violence intervention program, Detroit Life Is Valuable Everyday (DLIVE), was created – to stop this cycle. Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospital emergency physician Tolulope Sonuyi, MD, started the program in 2015 after seeing the same victims of violence return to the hospital.

The goal? To change the paradigm about how violently injured patients are treated.

How it works

When young adult victims of violence arrive at the hospital, the circumstances of their injury and lifestyle are evaluated. If they seem susceptible to future injuries and are willing, they are enrolled in DLIVE.

Highly trained violence intervention specialists provide personalized mentorship. For six to 12 months the specialists work with patients, with the most interaction happening in the first three months – their most vulnerable period.

The program provides a wide range of support to victims: help with medical insurance, substance abuse counseling and help obtaining a G.E.D. Community partnerships play an important role for DLIVE participants, especially with long-term healing. Once a participant is connected to a community resource, their intervention specialist continues to be actively engaged. Serving as the access point for participants, community organizations allow participants to take a more active role in their recovery and make a difference.

All for one and one for all

To ensure the program is beneficial, DLIVE has weekly meetings assessing patient progress. After enrolling 30 participants, to date not one person had a repeat injury or incarceration.

DLIVE is providing a safe hub for victims of violence to heal, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. DMC Sinai-Grace has seen this healing spread to families of victims and the community at large, reducing the stress of recovery and providing support at a critical time.

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