For survivors of domestic violence, recovering from abuse can involve both emotional and physical reconstruction. A unique partnership between Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary expands access to much-needed treatment by providing free or low-cost care to women, men, children and transgender patients who have suffered from domestic violence.

The program began at Mass. Eye and Ear, when Missy Allen, manager of the Facial Nerve Center and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center, approached her employer about financially supporting some of the domestic violence patients that the hospital was already treating, reported The Boston Globe. Allen now coordinates care for Mass. Eye and Ear’s domestic violence patients in the program.

MGH began working with Mass. Eye and Ear to treat these patients in 2009. Through the partnership, MGH treats neurological problems, limb injuries, breast reconstruction, scar revision, dental injuries and oral surgery, while Mass. Eye and Ear attends to eye, ear, nose, head and neck injuries. The hospitals take on the cost of care not covered by patients’ insurance.

“If the patients have insurance, that’s fine,” MGH’s senior vice president of finance James Heffernan told the Globe, “but sometimes they don’t have coverage for the kinds of things that need to be done, and there are sometimes services people can’t get access to.”

Partnerships like this one help fulfill our mission to expand access to affordable care to those who need it most. At Partners HealthCare, we believe domestic violence is an issue best addressed by working together with community organizations and local government. We’ve been inspired by the remarks of local leaders at events such as our Trauma-Informed Care Conference, and we’re committed to continuing to work with the community to address the pressing social issue of domestic violence.

Topics: Affordability, Behavioral Health, Partners Corporate

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