Program aims to ‘pivot’ West Louisville to peace

KentuckyOne Health is working with several area organizations to help decrease violence in West Louisville through a new program called Pivot to Peace.

The program is sponsored by KentuckyOne Health, the Peace Education Program, the Louisville Metro Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the Commonwealth Institute at the University of Louisville.

Its goal, a news release from KentuckyOne said, is to “help participants to ‘pivot,’ ” by connecting them with resources designed to promote a “healthy, nonviolent life.” It’s meant to “build stronger safer neighborhoods by linking adult survivors of violent gun and knife injuries to community resources,” the release said.

More than 600 people were treated at the University of Louisville Hospital (which is owned by KentuckyOne) for gunshot injuries in the last two years, the release noted.

According to the release, patients came from all parts of the Louisville area, but a large number of victims came from the Algonquin, California, Chickasaw, Park DuValle, Park Hill, Parkland, Portland, Russell and Shawnee neighborhoods — all located in the West End.

Potential participants in Pivot to Peace will be identified by staff of the University Hospital Emergency Department and Trauma Team. Participants will be paired with a case worker from the Peace Education Program, a non-profit that teaches about conflict resolution. The case worker will “support them in coping with their injury and assisting with follow-up care,” the release said.

The initial focus, the release said, is to build a trusting relationship with participants “to prevent retaliation, promote strategies to defuse conflict, identify short-term needs and develop a stay-safe plan.”

In the long-term, the case workers will follow participants for up to one year. They will also connect participants to services, such as education, employment opportunities and housing, the release said.

“At KentuckyOne Health we have made violence prevention central to our efforts to build healthier communities,” said Ruth Brinkley, chief executive officer of KentuckyOne Health.

“Violence is a preventable, public health issue, requiring that we move upstream — not just responding to the consequences of violence but to work toward its eradication.”

Pivot to Peace anticipates enrolling its first participants by March 1.

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