That’s the message Tammie Jones-Hall shares with people affected by community violence in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Hall, a violence intervention specialist with Novant Health, is launching a new violence intervention program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Her job: working to stop the cycle of community violence by helping victims and their surrounding community find the tools and resources they need to move on in life. And Hall has seen firsthand the toll community violence can take. As an employee of Lutheran Social Services and Pathways Inc. for Brothers United Program, she aided in serving the gang and incarceration reentry populations in Detroit and Ohio.
Novant Health treats the whole patient. It starts with your provider.
“It led me to navigate within the community,” she said. “Once I found an avenue where I was able to use this skill, I was glad to do it. I wanted these men to know they matter, and there is help for them.”
Hall began her career with community-based groups when she joined AmeriCorps in the 2000s. That led her to Catholic Charities of New York where she worked with community outreach programs. Several moves later, Hall came to Wilmington, where she was hired as a community health worker. Community health workers typically work closely with families to help address underlying problems that contribute to health challenges.
“I’ve been able to connect with a lot of people in my community – people share their knowledge of the community with me and I with them,” said Hall.
Community violence and gang related violence is an issue in Wilmington. Five people died in three gang-related incidents in 2021, according to the Wilmington Police Department’s annual report of homicides.
The violence intervention program, which just started this October, is headed by Sarah Arthur, director of community engagement at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The hospital’s foundation is paying for the program for two years with a $200,000 grant. Hall said their focus right now is building positive community outreach.
Novant Health foundations
Community and team member donors helped make this program possible through Novant Health foundations. Click here to connect with your local foundation team to learn more, or make a gift to help save and improve more lives today.
Hall’s role is to provide support and advocacy for victims of community violence, as well as families. Hall will receive the emergency department log every morning during the week to check for victims and point them in the right direction of services they may need. Hall may address weekend and nighttime incidents if she is available.
“I want to let them know I am here to provide whatever they need to provide stability in their lives,” she said. “I’m not making any promises, but asking their needs, whether it’s a referral, counseling, mediation or more.”
Hall will also try to help with problems that snowball and drag families into a bad situation. That could include trouble making rent, mental health challenges and more. She will also try to help people who may need a medical specialist and related financial assistance. It’s all part of Novant Health’s philosophy of treating the whole patient.
Megan Bolden, social work coordinator with community engagement at New Hanover, is Hall’s supervisor and said Hall brings a lot of skills and experience to the job.
“She’s a self-starter and takes tremendous pride in meeting her patients where they are. Tammie has fantastic communication skills and builds unimaginable rapport with the patients she serves,” Bolden said. “Tammie has incredible drive, a big heart and thick skin. Most importantly, she is a trusted peer and community member in New Hanover County.”