Health Cares about Domestic Violence

Health Federation of Philadelphia staff member Marcy Witherspoon facilitated Health Cares about Domestic Violence Day (HCADV) at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s eight ambulatory health centers on October 11. Each of Philadelphia’s four domestic violence advocacy organizations have jointly participated in HCADV Day for the past seventeen years.

On​ ​this​ ​day,​ ​local​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​advocates​ ​staff​ ​awareness tables​ ​at​ ​​community​ ​health​ ​centers​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​information​ ​on​ ​domestic​ ​violence/intimate​ ​partner​ ​violence, share​ ​available​ ​local​ ​resources​ ​and​ ​provide​ ​confidential​ ​crisis​ ​counseling​ ​to​ ​patients​ ​and/or​ ​staff​ ​affected​ ​by this​ ​issue.  

​“Health​ ​care​ ​providers​ ​are​ ​in​ ​a​ ​unique position​ ​to​ ​screen​ ​for​ ​and​ ​to​ ​intervene​ ​with​ ​patients​ ​regarding​ ​this​ ​serious​ ​public​ ​health​ ​issue,” said  ​Marcy​ ​Witherspoon,​ ​a​ ​senior training specialist​ ​at​ ​HFP. “An​ ​appointment with​ ​a​ ​healthcare​ ​provider​ ​may​ ​be​ ​the​ ​only​ ​place​ ​that​ ​a​ ​survivor​ ​can​ ​safely​ ​disclose and receive​ ​support​ ​and​ ​resources​ ​pertaining​ ​to​ ​this​ ​issue.” 

HCADV Day is held across the country on the second Wednesday of October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. HFP organizes the event as one of the activities of the Family Violence Clinical Network Program with the Ambulatory Health Services of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. HCADV Day is sponsored by Futures without Violence to raise awareness about this issue and its health impacts.

“The event serves two critical purposes,” said Carolyn Smith-Brown, HFP’s administrative manager for special initiatives. “It reinforces the value and importance of this issue to the staff who work at community health centers. It also brings resources and awareness to patients and the community.”

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