Leading the Charge to Reduce Violence in Our Community
At Stormont Vail Health, we believe in the power of unity, compassion, and dedication to fostering positive change in our community. Violence has long been a concern, and our unwavering commitment is to make Topeka a safer and healthier place to live.
On Aug. 23, 2023, we hosted the Community Violence Prevention Summit, a milestone event aimed at understanding and addressing the critical issue of violence in our community. We were honored to welcome esteemed panelists and community leaders who shared their insights and strategies to combat violent crime.
The Role of Stormont Vail's Trauma and Emergency Department
Stormont Vail's Trauma and Emergency Department played a pivotal role in making this summit possible. They are dedicated to lowering the number of patients we see due to violence, and their involvement underscores the urgency of our mission. Additionally, they offer a range of Stop the Bleed classes, which are crucial in equipping individuals with life-saving skills. You can find more information and the class calendar here.
Action, Not Just Talk
One resounding message that echoed throughout the summit was the need to ACT, not just TALK. It's not enough to discuss violence reduction; we must take tangible steps toward achieving this goal. The summit was a testament to our community's determination to turn words into action.
Key Summit Highlights
Social Services Prevention and Response:
In the session on Social Services Prevention and Response, panelists, including Brad Chapin from Stormont Vail Health and representatives from organizations such as the YWCA, Topeka Police Department, and United Way of Kaw Valley, engaged in thought-provoking discussions about current initiatives and how we can work together to reduce violence in our community further.
Critical Incident Response:
During the session on Critical Incident Response, experts like Brian Aeschliman from Stormont Vail Health and members of the First Responder Chaplain Association shared their valuable insights into handling critical situations effectively, ensuring a swift and coordinated response when needed.
We also explored the critical role that faith-based organizations play in supporting our community. Faith-Based Support panelists, including leaders from churches like New Hope and Love Church and Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, discussed their initiatives and commitment to creating a safer environment for all Topekans.
Youth Violence was another pressing issue addressed during the summit. Panelists from various organizations, including HEARTS and the Shawnee County District Attorney's Office, spoke passionately about their efforts to engage with our youth, provide mentorship, and steer them away from violence.
Community Strategies took center stage as we discussed innovative ways to reduce violence in our community. Leaders from the Greater Topeka Partnership, First Congregational Church, and City of Topeka, among others, shared their insights on building safer neighborhoods and fostering unity among Topekans.
The Community Violence Prevention Summit demonstrated Stormont Vail Health's commitment to partnering with community leaders, law enforcement, social service providers, and faith-based organizations throughout the day. Our aim is to create a comprehensive and sustainable approach to violence reduction where each stakeholder's expertise and dedication contribute to a safer Topeka.
Thank you to every person who attended, especially those who took part in the panels.
As we wrapped up the summit, it was evident that our community had the resilience, strength, and dedication needed to combat violence. Stormont Vail Health is proud to be at the forefront of this initiative, humbled by the collective commitment of everyone involved. We plan to host more summits with an even broader range of community groups in the future, recognizing that inclusivity and collaboration are key to making a lasting impact on reducing violence in our beloved community.