Changing Lives by Guiding Victims Through Recovery with a Trauma Informed Approach

VIAP Brochure

Family Support Brochure

Boston Medical Center's VIAP Program helps guide victims of community violence through recovery from physical and emotional trauma. Using a trauma informed model of care, VIAP empowers clients and families, facilitates recovery by providing services and opportunities. VIAP presents options for families that bring hope and healing to their lives. In turn, this guidance helps strengthen others who are affected by violence and contributes to building safer and healthier communities.

The road to healing can be challenging for the victim and their family members no matter how the injury occurred. VIAP is here to help with information and resources to navigate systems to assist families as they are healing.

VIAP Updates

The VIAP Program is a founding member of the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP). The NNHVIP works to strengthen existing hospital-based violence intervention programs in communities across the country.

NNHVIP had its annual conference at the end of August 2012 with a focus on addressing trauma, its impact on recovering victims, and their progress.

VIAP assigns victims of community violence and their family member(s) a Violence Intervention Advocate and a Family Support Coordinator to assist in providing comprehensive, trauma-informed, 360-degree care.

Violence Intervention Advocates (VIAs)

A (VIA) is an advocate who can be with you during your journey to recovery. Your advocate can:

  • Be a liaison between you/your family and BMC staff to ensure your medical needs are met.
  • Visit you daily and be someone to talk with who understands your experience.
  • Help you make changes in desired areas of your life.
  • Create a safety plan as you return to your community so you can recover.
  • Help secure transportation and/or go with you to appointments.

Crisis Intervention, Support, and Advocacy

  • Safety Planning
  • Mental Health services
  • Substance Abuse services
  • Access to Family Support services

Case Management and Community Resources

Ongoing case management and connections to community resources will continue for up to one year including:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • Financial Assistance (food stamps, victim's compensation, and SSDI)
  • Housing Application Assistance
  • Legal Support
  • Education and Job Training Programs
  • Life Skills Training (financial literacy and effective communication)
  • Recreational and Wellness Programs

Family Support Services

  • Support at school meetings (Individual Education Plan (IEP) and tutoring)
  • Support with legal issues
  • Systems support and navigation (hospital, legal, housing)
  • Mental Health support

Thea James, MD
Director/VP of hospital mission

Elizabeth Dugan, LICSW
Clinical Director

Ariana Perry
Data Coordinator

Franchesca Fontin, MPH
Research Coordinator

Kendall Bruce
Community Outreach and Training Supervisor

Dave Wiley
Hospital Outreach Coordinator

Curtis Santos
Violence Intervention Advocate and Housing Specialist

Chris Rosales
Family Support Advocate

Kali McNeal
Family Support Advocate

Alina Gardner
Workforce Development Coordinator

Rusti Pendleton
Hospital Trauma Response Team

Donald Osgood
Hospital Trauma Response Team

The VIAP Program services are free and confidential. Our staff is dedicated to helping you through your journey to recovery. To reach the VIAP Program, please call 617.414.4926.

  • Anger, Depression, and/or Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Change in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Wanting to hurt the person who hurt you
  • Physical signs of stress: headache/stomachache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being shocked or afraid
  • Feeling guilty because you could not prevent the violent act
  • Feeling embarrassed to tell your friends or family
  • Loss of control or powerlessness
  • Isolating yourself from friends or shutting down
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Mood swings

Things That Can Help

  • Talk about your experience with someone non-judgmental and who is positive and understanding.
  • Share your feelings – It is very natural to want to talk to someone when you're feeling down or a crisis has occurred. There are professionals who are trained to help you deal with stress and life changes. These professionals are experienced in working with people who have survived trauma and can assist you in recovering and healing.
  • Build Resources – this includes staying connected to positive family members, friends, teachers, coaches, siblings, faith-based resources, and other supportive community members.

Family Members

  • Take care of yourselves by eating, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting some rest.
  • Remain calm in front of your loved one; remember s/he may be affected by your reactions.
  • Listen to your loved one vent and do not try to have answers for everything.
  • Validate the event and your loved one's feelings about it.

We thank you for your interest in contributing to the Boston Medical Center VIAP Program. Donations help the VIAP Program maintain its dedication to recovery for victims and further the reach and impact of this important program by providing crisis intervention, case management, and family support. Your philanthropic support is critical to the success of the VIAP Program.

How to Donate to the VIAP Program

If you wish to donate to the VIAP Program, please click the following link to search for the VIAP Program Fund on the "Giving Search" page, on our Development website that hosts our Donation page. Search for "VIAP" in the fund search field to identify and select the VIAP Program fund.

All contributions assist Boston Medical Center in providing our community with the very best in medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.

You can also mail donations to:

Boston Medical Center
Office of Development
801 Massachusetts Avenue, First Floor
Boston, MA 02118-2393

Please make your check payable to: Boston Medical Center and write 'VIAP Program' in the memo area.

If you have any questions about giving, please call Our Development Office at 617.638.8990 or email us at

Boston Medical Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Call: 617.414.4926

Boston Medical Center
Department of Emergency Medicine
Menino Pavilion
Dowling Building Ground Floor
850 Harrison Ave (Follow signs for Dowling)
Boston, MA 02118

Office locations
G306 – VIAP Family Support Services
G402 – VIAP 
G403 – Employment and Job Training
G404 - Workforce Development
G410 – Data Coordinator and Research Coordinator
G411 – VIAP Advocate/Community Outreach and Training Supervisor
G412 – VIAP Advocate/Hospital Outreach Coordinator/Hospital Trauma Response Team