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PROTECT helps combat gun violence, a public health epidemic in Shreveport


SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Gun violence is a public health epidemic that’s taking a devastating toll on our children, and discussing it should be a part of routine care.

That’s the premise of a hospital-based violence intervention effort at Ochsner LSU Health for gunshot victims who are age 17 or younger.

On Tuesday, representatives of Protect Resources and Outreach Tools for Every Child and Teen spoke with Broadmoor Neighborhood Association members about the program.

PROTECT connects victims undergoing hospital treatment and their families with community resources to help them recover and avoid future misfortune.

It “… shares a mission to use the teachable moment of a non-accidental violent injury to promote positive behavior changes. Our vision is to heal youth affected by violence, educate families and community partners to advance equitable trauma informed care with violence intervention programs,” according to the program’s website.

QUICK FACTS

  • The number of violent firearms injury patients age 17 or younger at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport nearly doubled in the past two years (March 2019-20 March 2020-21)
  • 74% of pediatric firearm-related trauma seen at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport were related to violence or illegal activity.
  • 17% of all firearm deaths in Louisiana between the ages 0 and 14 were in the Shreveport-Bossier City region (Region 7).

“PROTECT is a new way of thinking about the relationships between juvenile patients, their families, healthcare providers and the community,” the program’s website states. “It is founded on the understanding that family intervention and unified community resources play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of our youth.”

The program aims to coordinate resources, heal youths affected by violence and “… foster families and community partners to advance equitable trauma informed care with violence intervention programs.”

PROTECT offers child care, crisis intervention, art therapy, housing services, shelter assistance, LGBTQA support, mentoring and educational and mental health services.

Call (318) 626-3737 to learn more about the program.



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