Chaired by Dr. Kavita Singh and Ron Chadha, Gala 2017 Moonlight Oasis will benefit the Violence Prevention Program. Since its inception, the program has identified and responded to more than 600 survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Proceeds from the gala will help train train clinicians and provide resources to patients.
Crisis intervention workers at Swedish Covenant Hospital noted that one of the most challenging aspects of ensuring safety for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking was the lack of safe transportation to take a survivor to a shelter or court. Recognizing this, the hospital has partnered with gala sponsor Medical Express Ambulance Service (MedEx) to provide transportation for survivors through the Safe Passage service.
“Survivors that use the service are very appreciative of the program,” said Kate Lawler director of the violence prevention program at Swedish Covenant Hospital. “They often arrive at the hospital without a feasible solution to leave their current situation, and the Safe Passage Program is the final piece to help them to safety.”
The service has made a difference for many patients, including a family who recently came to Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Emergency Department.
According to Kate, a cab driver noticed a woman walking down the street in the middle of the night with her three children and bags of possessions. The driver stopped to ask the woman if she was OK. She responded that her husband was going to kill her and her children, so they left home on foot, but had nowhere to go. The cab driver offered to take them to the nearest hospital, which was Swedish Covenant Hospital. At the hospital, a crisis intervention worker was able to find a space for the family at one of Swedish Covenant Hospital’s domestic violence partner agencies, Apna Ghar. A driver from MedEx was then able to make sure the family had a safe ride, complete with car seats for the kids, to the shelter and that someone was there to receive them.
Each month, MedEx provides one to two rides in an unmarked vehicle for survivors of interpersonal violence. Because some shelters are on the outskirts of the Chicagoland area, the average cost of each ride is $100. Many of the drivers have gone through training on domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking at Swedish Covenant Hospital to become more familiar with the topics and to better care for survivors.
The Safe Passage Program is part of Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Violence Prevention Program.
The annual benefit gala will be held on Saturday, October 21 at Palmer House Hilton and will feature dining, entertainment, and dancing, as well as a large silent auction. For more information on the gala, click here.