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11th Street Staff Participate in Sanctuary Training

November 1, 2012 — From October 22-26, seven 11th Street Family Health Services staff members attended Sanctuary training at the ANDRUS Center in Yonkers, New York. The Sanctuary Institute is a division of ANDRUS and the Sanctuary model was founded in the 1980s by Dr. Sandra Bloom, a graduate of the Drexel School of Public Health. The Sanctuary model is one that promotes recovery and safety through the creation of a trauma-informed community. It focuses not only on those who seek treatment and care, but also on the providers of that care, like the 11th Street staff members who received the training.

The 7 Sanctuary Commandments, which encompass the themes of nonviolence, emotional intelligence, social learning, democracy, open communication, social responsibility, and growth and change, are intended to guide both individuals and whole organizations away from behaviors that are trauma-reactive. When both care providers and care receivers begin to act based on these commandments, a positive ripple effect occurs in the community. The Sanctuary model reinforces these core values, and offers a toolkit and problem-solving framework that help organizations adopt methods to more holistically create a safe and emotionally-intelligent community.

Each day of the training began with a community meeting, followed by research-driven presentations and activities. Center Director from the Family Practice and Counseling Network Ariel Adams, Behavioral Health Consultant Emily Duffy, Executive Director Dr. Patty Gerrity, Primary Care Coordinator Maria Irrera-Newcomb, Dance/Movement Therapist and Director of Creative Arts Therapies Department Lindsay Meeks, Associate Professor Dr. Roberta Waite and Community Health Education and Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Warshaw studied the latest research and theory about trauma and psychobiology. They also learned about the Sanctuary toolkit that offers methods for operationalizing organizational shared language, shared values, and ways to practice behaviors that promote these values. They spent time discussing 11th Street's needs and preparing to initiate implementation over the next several years. The goal is that the implementation culminates in the health center receiving its certification as a Sanctuary organization. 11th Street would be the first nurse-managed health center in the country to be Sanctuary-certified.

“The Sanctuary training was extremely validating and inspiring. It provided a shared language and a pathway to continue addressing the community trauma that is reflected within our shared workspace either systematically or interpersonally. I am excited to be on the cutting edge of implementing this vital model for positive organizational change that will not only improve the care we deliver to our patients but how we care for ourselves and each other,” said Emily Duffy, LCSW, Behavioral Health Consultant at 11th Street Family Health Services.

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