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Beebe Healthcare commits to becoming a trauma-informed healthcare system

Beebe Healthcare

Beebe Healthcare is becoming a trauma-informed healthcare system.

The move to a trauma-informed approach started as an awareness campaign, according to Beebe Healthcare’s director of community outreach Kim Blanch.

“We were working on our opioid awareness effort and it started to become quite clear that there was an opportunity here to talk about peoples’ experiences," Blanch said. "And that context led them to substance use disorder and other behavioral health concerns, as well as physical health impacts.” 

Now, Beebe is training more than 2,700 employees about the importance of patient-centric, community-based care and awareness of how traumatic experiences may impact a patient’s health.

Blanch explains how the training will work.

“So we have a learning management system embedded into our organization, said Blanch. "And through that - every team member is assigned the trauma awareness education; that actually launched Nov 1.  So we’re in the month of it needing to be completed. Everyone has the month of November to complete that training.”

Blanch says the 45-minute training presentation includes pre- and post-evaluation to assess employee understanding of the content and how it fits in their day-to-day work.

Training will continue over time as Beebe works toward earning a full trauma-informed designation.

Dr. Debra Berke is director of psychology programs and the Center for Prevention Service at Wilmington University.

She explains why involving the entire health system workforce makes sense.

“What we found is - it doesn’t matter what role you play in an organization - you work with people and you work for people," Berke said. "And everybody has the capacity to be an important person in somebody else’s life.”

Wilmington University and Trauma Matters Delaware are supporting Beebe’s efforts as it implements and builds this initiative over the next four years.

Gov. John Carney signed an Executive Order in 2018 designating Delaware as a trauma-informed state - urging state employees, healthcare workers, and community partners to identify and implement best practices to deliver trauma-informed care.