As I settle into my new role as Director of Domestic Violence, Research and Education at CHC, one of my first tasks is to further familiarize myself with the current landscape of the world of intimate partner violence, and more specifically, the relationship between IPV and primary care. I began by familiarizing myself with the current state here at CHC, and then expanded outward, collecting and reviewing the scientific literature to determine the current national landscape. I sifted through the alphabet soup of impressive acronyms and reviewed the recommendations of the American Medical Association (AMA), American Nursing Association (ANA), American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists (ACOG), and I could easily see the Pie in the Sky on the horizon. I then turned my attention to New Horizons, my new role, and how well-situated I am at Community Health Center, Inc. to provide Pie in the Sky care.
New Horizons is a domestic violence program at CHC, a Federally Qualified Health Center and Patient-Centered Medical Home. We are uniquely situated to meet the recommendations of leading healthcare organizations in regards to screening for and intervening in cases of intimate partner violence. As I look at the specific ingredients of the pie, I noticed we have each of them at our fingertips:
- An integrated care setting that provides medical, dental and behavioral services.
- The ability to routinely screen for IPV.
- A local domestic violence organization that can be accessed by primary care providers.
- Well trained DV advocates who can respond immediately when a primary care provider is with a patient who discloses IPV and requests help.
- Domestic violence advocates who have built strong relationships with medical, dental and behavioral health providers.
- The ability to provide ongoing training and support to primary care staff regarding appropriate screening and interventions for IPV.
Now the task at hand becomes getting the proportion of ingredients correct, mixing them properly, and serving the pie in a way that is please to providers, patrons and policymakers alike. And so I forge ahead!
Kimberly Citron, Director of Domestic Violence, Research and Education