MUSC introduces new Mass Violence Center

Updated: Nov. 10, 2017 at 6:33 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new Mass Violence and Victimization Center is setting up here in Charleston, the only facility of it's kind in the state.

The new program at Medical Science University will will be used to help people across the country deal with violent tragedies.

The center is something doctors say needs to be done and now it is happening.

"To help us figure out a better way to respond to these tragic events with increased frequency," Dr. Dean Kilpatrick said.

It's been a little over a month since the project has been approved. In that time there's been the Las Vegas massacre, a shooting in a Tennessee church, a terrorist attack in new York, and just last week another shooting in a Texas church.

"That's a lot of people killed that's a lot of people injured it's a lot of mass violence that's happened only a little more than a month that we've found out we've received this award," Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick and his team will be made up of agencies from all across the country and experts at MUSC to try and help those who feel the impact.

"We have 11 partner agencies that include a lot of national organizations, including the Conference of Mayors, The National Association of Attorney General, and we have crime victim organizations from all over the country," Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick said there will also be 26 subject matter experts, and additional MUSC staff assisting with the program.

"We will be developing some things that are specially designed for first responders, victims, family members, etc. in the terms of some mental health apps," Kilpatrick said.

Those who work with first responder support teams, say a program like this could really benefit the people who are first on scene.

"When our firefighters, EMS and police respond to mass casualty events it can take a real toll on them. It puts not only a tax on the system to support that but also creates some behavioral health issues," Gerald Mishoe. a firefighter support team member said.

"A lot of analysis we're going to be doing some independent research to find out what types of problems people are having, what are the gaps in services, and we'll be coming up with lots of advice recommendations," Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick said that would include training tools, resources, and going to some sites to train medical health professionals on how to treat patients with these types of problems.

"We hope that all stakeholders that are involved know the importance of what victim advocates can do," Kilpatrick said.

"We hope they will be more mindful of the mental health needs and the gaps and services and so we really do hope that it will be better because more people will be more prepared, they will have more access to services," Kilpatrick said.

"That way we can help them, particularly these national organizations who are involved, and members are really involved  and constituents are involved and we'll find out what they're doing in terms of training and how we can help them and provide more resources," the doctor said.

Developing the Mass Violence Center carries so much weight but it has an end goal everyone involved wants.

"These things are happening more frequently, they're affecting a lot people all over the country in all kinds of settings," Kilpatrick said.

For more information about the $18,000,000 grant that will help MUSC create resource center for those affected by mass violence, click here.

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