Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Violence Intervention Program

Many urban cities across the country are plagued with violent crime and high homicides rates and all too often, blacks are not only the victims, but the perpetrators. Baltimore is one of those cities.

If you watched CNN's Black in America series last summer, you probably saw Dr. Carnell Cooper, a Baltimore area based trauma surgeon who for 16 years, has dedicated his career to saving young men, primarily African American, who come into his emergency room suffering from gunshot wounds, beatings and stabbings. He founded the Violence Intervention Program at the Shock Trauma Unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center, that provides substance abuse counseling, job skills training, and other supportive services for trauma victims - often beginning at their hospital bedside.

A CNN article shares how Dr. Cooper began the program: "...when one of his patients was readmitted with a fatal gunshot wound to the head in 1996, it changed Cooper's life. "The night that we pronounced that young man dead and my colleagues said there's really nothing we can do in these situations. ... I just didn't believe that," said Cooper, 54. "From that day forward, I said, 'Let's see what we can do.' "

Read CNN article on Dr. Cooper and the program here.

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