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Advocate opens recovery center for trauma victims

Advocate opens recovery center for trauma victims

Advocate Health Care has opened a recovery center intending to provide emotional and psychological care and related services to trauma victims.

It is the only one of its kind in the Chicago area and one of two in Illinois, according to Advocate officials.

The facility will provide group and individual therapy sessions and psychiatric services to victims of all types of trauma including domestic violence, sexual assault and hate crimes.

“We’ve identified there is a lot of need out there – especially for individuals who come through the Advocate system – for therapy and social services,” Dr. Kim Miller, director of the Advocate Trauma Recovery Center, said at a press conference Monday. “We are trying to individualize our patient care so we will be doing extensive intakes and then looking at the whole individual so there might be case management needs such as food, housing or education.”

To use the facility, patients need to be Cook County residents who are at least 13 years old and suffering from a trauma from the past three years.

The center opened in September and has already treated 36 patients. Miller anticipates 700 to 800 people will use the center on an annual basis.

Advocate financed the center with help from a $1.1 million grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

“Unfortunately those most likely to experience violence often face the greatest barriers to receiving recovery support. We believe trauma recovery centers are one promising approach to address this issue,” said Dr. Megan Alderden, the authority’s director of research.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is spearheading an initiative with Advocate and several other area health systems aimed at cracking down on violence and improving overall health in Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods, echoed Alderden’s sentiment.

“The question is whether we can turn it around. I think we can and the experts do too,” he said. “If we do the right thing at the right time, I think we can make a profound difference.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle spoke of the need to provide proper care for trauma victims.

“We have to treat the physical ailments,” she said. “But also the damage to the spirit.”

– Daniel I. Dorfman for Health News Illinois

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