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Health systems teams up with YouTurn to stop violence

Posted at 10:08 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 11:18:48-04

Two hospitals and an intervention group are coming together in an effort to reduce crime in Omaha.

When violent crime victims rush into the ER, doctors and nurses treat their injuries and now members of a local group will be there to support their families. 

While crime numbers have gone down in recent years, officials say it's still a public health crisis in Omaha. 

"Anytime that we have a community where we have youth that are carrying guns that are shooting each other, that you have young adults that are being hurt at age 20-26, it's a problem,” says Dr. Charity Evans, Nebraska Medicine Trauma surgeon.

To try and solve that problem, the group YouTurn, teamed up with CHI Health and Nebraska Medicine.One goal in this initiative is to support and calm down families while their loved ones are in the emergency room following a violent crime.. 

"Information cards have been developed to help us while we work with those families while they're waiting for their loved ones to be treated, on what are the hospital protocols, what's happening while my loved one is being treated,” says Cecelia Creighton,  executive director of YouTurn.

YouTurn doesn't stop there. They also have outreach workers going door to door, working in the community to prevent violent crime. 

“Our team are those critical messengers. Our team, once they are in the neighborhood have demonstrated a lifestyle change. So they are able to go and instill some trust if you will while they're working with individuals," says Creighton.

"When you take that approach, when you do interventions, you have a better chance of preventing crime. I think the key word here is prevention," Dr. David Cornell, trauma surgeon at CHI Health.

And if violence does happen, YouTurn staff will help try to keep it at one incident.  

"If we do have a group of individuals who have an understanding of what occurred in the first incident and to be able to watch for that possibility of retaliation, then this is where this collaboration works," says Evans.