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BKD Foundation grant supports effort to reduce violence-related injuries

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Indianapolis, June 13, 2012 — The Eskenazi Health Foundation announced that the BKD Foundation has awarded a multiyear grant to support Prescription for Hope, a program within the Level I trauma center at Wishard Hospital. The BKD Foundation is the charitable arm of nationally recognized CPA and advisory firm BKD, LLP.

Prescription for Hope, aimed at reducing violence-related injuries through education and support, is one of only a small number of similar programs nationwide. The pioneering program was formed in 2009 by the Wishard Level I Trauma Center as a partnership with Shepherd Community Center designed to address violence-related injuries associated with crime in Indianapolis.

“For all diseases including traumatic injuries the best medicine has always been prevention – if you prevent the disease you don’t have to treat the disease. This is what makes Prescription for Hope so important and vital for what we do,” said Dr. Gerardo Gomez, chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgical Services at Wishard and director of the IU/Wishard Level I Trauma Center. “This grant from the BKD Foundation will go a long way in allowing us to continue our commitment and efforts to reduce these violent injuries and admissions to the trauma center.”

Data from the program through January 2012 shows that 249 patients and family members have participated in the program. Less than 5 percent of the program’s participants have been re-admitted to the Trauma Center with a violent injury, as compared to a 31 percent trauma patient re-admittance rate prior to the start of the program.

“The Eskenazi Health Foundation would like to thank the BKD Foundation for their generous support of the Prescription for Hope program,” said Ernest Vargo II, CFRE, president and CEO, Eskenazi Health Foundation. “This support will contribute greatly to our mission to care for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The Wishard Level I Trauma Center treats more than 2,500 injured patients each year and became the first verified Level I trauma center in the state in 1992. A Level I trauma center is a comprehensive regional resource that is central to the trauma system. Trauma centers verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma as Level I are capable of providing optimal care for every aspect of injury, from prevention to rehabilitation. Key elements of a Level I trauma center include 24-hour in-house coverage by trauma surgeons and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine and critical care.

Level I trauma centers are committed to injury prevention, public education and continuing training of the trauma team members as well as continued improvement through a comprehensive quality assessment program and an organized research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care.

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