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Texas Health Resources Receives Grant From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Support Prevention of Family Violence
Date:10/1/2008

Program offers employers free toolkit to enhance awareness, educate managers and assist employees

ARLINGTON, Texas, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family violence is a silent epidemic in the United States that costs our nation approximately $5.8 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year hundreds of thousands of women are physically or sexually assaulted, resulting in more than $727 million in lost productivity and approximately $4.1 billion in medical expenses each year.

Since 1999, Texas Health Resources (THR), the largest health care system in North Texas, has been working to reduce the impact of domestic violence on North Texas communities. Following a request from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, THR applied for and was awarded a grant to help employers nationwide address the problems their employees may face due to family violence. The grant will be used to support the production and marketing of an online training tool which will supplement the toolkit THR currently offers free to businesses and other employers such as municipalities that are interested in implementing a domestic violence awareness and training program for managers.

The grant of $86,550 was awarded to Harris Methodist Health Foundation, a part of the Texas Health Resources system that encourages philanthropic support to improve the health of the community.

"Domestic violence is a complex public health issue that impacts people at home, in the community and in the workplace," said Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources. "Since 1999, Texas Health has made a sustainable commitment to address family violence and its effect on the health of the community. The goal of our Family Violence Prevention program is to raise awareness of family violence, and provide education and resources to help reduce its impact. We want to foster an environment in the workplace and in the community that allows for the open and candid discussion of the issue."

The toolkit that Texas Health is offering to employers provides educational and collateral resources that educate managers about the problem and teach them skills to assist employees who may be victims or perpetrators of family violence.

"The impact of domestic violence on the workplace is demonstrated both directly and indirectly through medical costs, loss of productivity and factors that may lead to an unhealthy work environment," said Bonnie Bell, executive vice president of People & Culture for Texas Health. "This program grew out of our company's belief that our employees are the heart and soul of our organization. Not only do we believe employers have an obligation to provide a safe and supportive work environment, as one of the largest employers in North Texas we believe it is in our financial best interest to address this issue because it can have a significant impact on employee productivity. Whatever impacts employees -- no matter where or when it occurs -- can affect the organization."

The toolkit includes an innovative cost-calculator that enables employers to calculate the potential cost to the business imposed by domestic violence. By considering the composition of the organization's work force and other factors, the cost calculator provides employers with a customized estimate of the business impact of family violence.

"This grant recognizes the work that Texas Health has done over several years to develop tools and resources that can help organizations of all types and sizes address the problem of family violence," said Doug White, president of Harris Methodist Health Foundation. "We're proud to have the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of our many community partners in addressing this critical issue within the business community. We very much appreciate their support."

The grant will enable Texas Health to enhance the Family Violence Prevention program and introduce it to a wider range of organizations. Texas Health has presented the toolkit to organizations through a variety of avenues including conferences and trade shows as well as direct visits to major employers and other organizations interested in the program. For more information and a partial list of organizations that are implementing the program, visit http://www.texashealth.org and go to the Community Commitment section.

About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The Texas Health system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit http://www.texashealth.org.

About Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit http://www.rwjf.org.


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SOURCE Texas Health Resources
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