Nebraska Medicine Specialists Discuss Consequences of Violence, Trauma

There’s a team at Nebraska Medicine that’s tasked with helping patients heal, but not in the way you might think. the violent intervention supervisor of Encompass and a former emergency room nurse. “These injuries affect more than just physical.” Encompass treats victims of violence while they are in the hospital, but violence intervention specialists like Alberto Gonzalez stay with survivors as they rejoin the community. “I recognize a lot of what these kids are saying. I’ve been through a lot and experienced what they’ve been through,” Gonzalez said. Encompass studies the symptoms, such as a family history of violence or gang membership, and the cure, such as helping people find housing, paying medical bills, and putting food on the table while they heal. “Who wants their kids to follow in those footsteps?” asked Gonzalez. “I don’t. And I made sure to break that vicious circle.” But this month, that cycle of violence is ubiquitous in Omaha, with six murders. The same morning that KETV NewsWatch met 7 Encompass, there were three nonfatal shootings. “This week has been difficult for our team,” said Farrens. “We had relationships with some of those individuals who passed away this week.” Encompass involves survivors, hoping they don’t end up back in a hospital bed. An 18-year-old shot and killed this week was injured in another shooting earlier this summer. “What are their dreams? How can we move them to a safer environment?”

There’s a team at Nebraska Medicine that’s tasked with helping patients heal, but not in the way you might think.

“We have an obligation to treat them outside the hospital, just as we treat them inside the hospital,” said Ashley Farrens, the violence intervention supervisor for Encompass, and a former emergency room nurse. “These injuries, they affect more than just physical.”

Encompass treats victims of violence while in the hospital, but violence intervention specialists like Alberto Gonzalez stay with survivors as they rejoin the community.

“I recognize a lot of what these kids are saying. I’ve been through a lot and experienced what they’ve been through,” Gonzalez said.

Encompass studies the symptoms, such as a family history of violence or gang membership, and the cure, such as helping people find housing, paying medical bills, and putting food on the table while they heal.

“Who wants their kids to follow in those footsteps?” asked Gonzalez. “I don’t. And I made sure to break that vicious circle.”

But this month, that cycle of violence is ubiquitous in Omaha, with six murders. The same morning that KETV NewsWatch met 7 Encompass, there were three nonfatal shootings.

“This week has been difficult for our team,” said Farrens. “We had relationships with some of those individuals who passed away this week.”

Encompass involves survivors in hopes they don’t end up back in a hospital bed.

An 18-year-old shot and killed this week was injured in another shooting earlier this summer.

“It’s very difficult as health care providers to see individuals come in over and over,” Farrens said. “What are their dreams? How can we move them to a safer environment?”

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