July 18, 2012

St. Gabriel’s awarded Rural Health Team award at Minnesota Rural Health Conference

The Violence Prevention Council of Morrison County, a collaborative effort of St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, Hands of Hope Resource Center and a broad spectrum of individuals throughout central Minnesota, was awarded the Rural Health Team award at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference for outstanding contributions to rural health.

The council received the award for both its collaboration and innovation. It uses a “spectrum of violence” approach to reducing partner violence in Morrison County by using a variety of public education and media strategies to change how partner violence is perceived. It also works to bolster community resources dedicated to violence prevention and to improve how domestic violence is handled.

Recent projects include working with Little Falls Community High School students to create “Photo Voices” – video clips about partner violence that air within the school and will soon run on a local cable access channel – and collecting data at the site of domestic violence incidents to provide a stronger base for prosecution and sentencing. Following the council’s first full year of implementation, the number of domestic assaults in the county dropped from 62 to 48 and orders for protection decreased from 56 to 31.

Congratulations to St. Gabriel’s Hospital and the Violence Prevention Council for their extraordinary efforts to improve lives in their rural community.