Leonardtown, Maryland (Oct. 3, 2018) – The statistics are alarming. Between July 2016 and June 2017, there were 46 domestic violence related deaths in Maryland, according to the Maryland Network against Domestic Violence. One in four women and one in seven men report having been a victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of partner abuse also abused the children in the household, according to the CDC.

“There is no community that goes untouched by domestic violence,” said Stephen Michaels, MD, chief operating officer and chief medical officer of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. “During Domestic Violence Awareness month this October, we would like to remind our community that domestic violence can leave permanent physical and emotional scars for its victims, and the issue continues to be a priority for our hospital.”

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital began a domestic violence program in October 2013. The program was designed to educate and train hospital associates to identify victims and refer them to collaborating agencies. MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is one of only 10 hospitals in Maryland that has a domestic violence assessment program.

“In order to evolve our program,” said Dr. Michaels, “we will be creating a domestic violence workgroup as part of our Patient & Family Advisory Council for Quality & Safety.”

The  Patient & Family Advisory Council for Quality & Safety (PFACQS) is composed of patients, family members and/or friends of patients, and community leaders, as well as healthcare professionals who work together to improve patient care and the patient experience. Community partners who are directly involved in efforts to reduce domestic violence are invited to participate in the workgroup. Please call 301-475-6008 for more information.

“We look forward to working with our community partners to strengthen our efforts to support victims while reducing the incidence of domestic violence in our community,” said Dr. Michaels. “Our goal is always to ensure the health and safety of our patients, and do whatever we can to ensure our community is free of violence.”

Visit MedStarStMarys.org/Abuse for more information on domestic violence.