Moving into the fall and winter, I find myself transitioning into additional roles. I have been appointed as the Chairman of the newly formed Gun Violence Intervention & Prevention Advisory Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly, as well as being appointed the Inaugural Co-Chair of the UConn.
Health Disparities Institute Boys and Men of Color Multi-Sector Alliance. Both councils aim to address the social determinants of health of those most at risk for violence. These appointments, as well as the ongoing work of the CT HVIP and other efforts at HCTC, are meaningful and impactful steps forward to addressing the increasing rates of gun injury in our community. Particularly among our young men of color.
The work we do takes a toll on our providers. There is constant exposure to gun violence which is traumatizing to our team members directly, but also vicariously as we support families through their own experiences. Hartford Communities that Care prioritizes self-care for our staff and leadership. From the Crisis Response Team to the Case Managers and others, we need our staff to take care of themselves before they are able to take care of others. One of the ways we do this is to utilize our community partners like Trinity Health. Providers from Trinity have come to HCTC’s office to provide meditation sessions that incorporated acupuncture. These group therapy sessions have been well received by the staff and more are planned going forward as we continue to focus on the wellness and mental health of our team.
As the seasons change, our work is always transitioning as well. Our Community Health Worker program here at HCTC launched back in November of 2020 amid the pandemic came to an end in August 2021. During this ten-month period, our top priority was to educate the Hartford Community on COVID-19, connect residents to resources such as food and rent assistance, as well as offer options for COVID-19 testing and vaccination. We can proudly say all those goals have been accomplished. At HCTC, we continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as the spread of the Coronavirus is still prevalent.
We are also excited to be a partner in the newly launched Brother Carl Hardrick Institute. The Brother Carl Hardrick Institute for Violence Prevention will focus on evidence-based strategies for the prevention of gun and community violence as well as expand the number of violence intervention specialists and youth development practitioners. The inaugural training class completed their session in December at the Wilson Gray YMCA where the Institute is housed. Members of the Hartford Communities that Care staff were among this first class. Members of the HCTC staff will continue to provide staff and technical assistance to support the Institute.
I look forward to continuing to share updates with you as Hartford Communities that Care moves forward into 2022!