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FOR RELEASE: March 30, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Intimate Partner Violence Conferences Set April 28 and 29

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will begin training health care professionals on recognizing and documenting intimate partner violence (IPV) during two training conferences scheduled this April. According to state health officials, Standardized Medical Documentation for Domestic Violence Injuries, will be offered in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area on April 28 and 29.

The first conference is scheduled at Norman Regional Hospital on April 28. Training sessions will be held from 8 a.m.- 12 noon and repeated in the afternoon from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. A second conference is also scheduled at Mercy Health Center on Saturday, April 29, at 8 a.m. - 12 noon and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The conferences are designed for health care professionals who see patients in emergency departments or in the hospital inpatient setting, and emergency medical responders. They will provide health care professionals with additional skills to identify patients who have domestic violence injuries and document the injuries.

"The American Medical Association has reported that battering is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15 - 44 in the U.S., exceeding rapes, muggings, and motor vehicle crashes combined," said J.R. Nida, M.D., commissioner of health. "In Oklahoma in 1998, there were 21,435 incidents of domestic violence reported to the police. Of these, 55 were for murder, 317 for sex crimes, 5,609 for assault, and 15,454 were for assault and battery," Nida said.

Registration for the conferences is free. Featured speakers include Ellen Taliaferro, MD, FACEP, and Zita Surprenant, MD, MPH. Dr. Taliaferro is the Director of Violence and Injury Prevention at Parkland Memorial Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Emergency Medicine and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, Texas. Dr. Surprenant is Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Kansas University Medical Center. Curricula include training materials from the Physicians for a Violence-Free Society. The training sessions will be videotaped and made available to hospitals as a training resource.

Following the conference sessions, the OSDH will begin on-site training at all Oklahoma City metropolitan area hospitals. The on-site hospital training will include screening for IPV in emergency departments, assessing the patient's safety and referral needs, and documenting and reporting IPV injuries.

Nationally, an estimated two million to four million American women are battered by their husbands or intimate partners each year; about 25 percent of women visiting hospital emergency rooms are there due to injuries sustained as a result of domestic violence.

Oklahoma's Commissioner of Health has declared IPV injuries as conditions "reportable" to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Beginning July 2000, the OSDH will collect data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, hospital medical records departments and emergency departments on persons who died or were treated in Oklahoma City metropolitan area hospitals as a result of IPV injuries. The number, types, and severity of injuries, circumstances, and demographic factors will be documented and monitored.

An IPV advisory subcommittee of the Child Abuse Training and Coordination Advisory Council was formed to work with OSDH in developing the surveillance system and the training program. IPV advisory subcommittee members include representatives from the areas of medicine, nursing, mental health, law enforcement, criminal justice, YWCA shelter services, and other agencies.

For information about the conference, contact the OSDH Injury Prevention Service, 405/271-3430.

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