Welcome to the Gift List of

Antifragility Iniative — RBC

The AI serves children and teens ages 6 through 17 treated for interpersonal and/or community violence at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Emergency Department at UH Cleveland Medical Center. This includes youths treated for gunshot wounds, stabbings and other forms of physical assault.

The Antifragility Initiative (AI) is a holistic, person-centered pediatric Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) serving youths and families in the greater Cleveland area. The program equips and empowers children, adolescents and families with healing, restoration and growth following an incident of violent injury. The AI is centered on the premise that children and families who have experienced major trauma due to violence benefit greatly from coordinated support as they begin to heal and reorder their lives.

Many children in the U.S., especially black and brown children living in low-income neighborhoods, experience tragically high levels of violence in their communities. Spearheaded by Edward Barksdale, Jr., MD, Surgeon-in-Chief at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, the AI was launched in June 2019 to combat youth violence in the communities of Greater Cleveland.

Like the HVIPs that came before it, the Cleveland-based AI is designed to address community violence from a public health perspective, recognizing that violence can be prevented with positive social support, mentorship and the development of coping skills.

One of the key operating principles of the AI is acting quickly after someone has been shot or assaulted. Often in the immediate aftermath of violent injury, a victim who might not otherwise want or seek help is more open to receiving it. We call this critical time the “golden hour.” While the golden hour is vital for treating physical injuries, it’s also best time to enroll children and teens into programs such as the AI.

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