LifeBridge Health held a socially distanced groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 12 for the Center for Hope, the nation’s first comprehensive violence intervention and prevention center affiliated with a large regional health care system.

The center will be headquartered on Sinai Hospital’s expanded campus next to Pimlico Race Course and is expected to open in early 2022.

The $12 million, 32,000-square-foot, two-story facility will be home to trauma-focused programs with a team prepared to respond to abuse cases 24/7.

The facility will include private waiting spaces for children, caregivers and survivors of violence; mental health suites where clinicians can meet safely with children and families; specially designed rooms for forensic services; dedicated space for law enforcement agents, detectives and other investigators; and large training and collaboration spaces for survivors, caregivers and community members to learn how to prevent abuse, build resilience and protect vulnerable children and adults.

Blood Pressure Kiosk
Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health (File photo)

“This comprehensive violence intervention center brings together LifeBridge Health services around child abuse, domestic abuse and elder abuse along with community violence prevention programs, including a new Safe Streets site,” said Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health. “We are bringing these services together to provide a safe haven for individuals of all ages who have been traumatized and are in need of help and resources as they begin their journey of healing.”

The center will merge LifeBridge Health’s community violence programs into one location. It will include the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, a nationally accredited child advocacy center; the domestic violence hospital response program at Sinai and the DOVE program at Northwest Hospital, one of the first hospital-based domestic violence programs in Maryland ; the Kujichagulia Center, which includes the Street Violence Intervention Program and a Working Life Skills Readiness program; a new Safe Streets site in the Belvedere/ Park Heights neighborhood; and an elder justice program.

“We believe it is particularly appropriate that the Center for Hope will be the first facility we build on our expanded Sinai Hospital campus,” said Meltzer. “In addition to the center’s important mission of providing healing and hope for those in need, we also hope it will benefit the Park Heights community as a catalyst for economic development and investment in the area.”

LifeBridge appointed Adam Rosenberg, former executive director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center and now LifeBridge Health’s vice president of violence intervention and prevention, to lead the center.

“We are fortunate to have Adam Rosenberg lead the way for our new Center for Hope,” said Meltzer. “His work at Baltimore Child Abuse Center has become a national model of excellence that other advocacy centers have followed, and we are excited to have him employ a comprehensive strategy built on innovation and collaboration.”

Said Rosenberg: “When Baltimore Child Abuse Center joined the LifeBridge Health family last year, we were more than ready to become part of a far-reaching, renowned health system that offers care, compassion and support to all they treat throughout the community. I am privileged to have a seasoned team of professionals who are hitting the ground running to turn this new concept into a reality. I am confident the Center for Hope will make a strong, positive impact in the greater Baltimore area and beyond.”

Among those who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony were Del. Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg (D-41st), as well as recorded remarks by Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Sen Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersburger (D-2nd).

A capital campaign is underway to raise $6 million for the Center for Hope project, of which $1.6 million has been raised through grants from Gov. Hogan and private philanthropy. LifeBridge Health is committed to fund the balance of the cost of the building.

For information, go to lifebridgehealth.org/centerforhope