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Holy Name Medical Center Partners with The Blue Card to Develop New Healthcare Training Program Aimed at Improving the Care of Holocaust and Trauma Survivors

May 28, 2021

TheRussell Berrie Institute for Simulation Learning (ISL) at Holy Name Medical Center is now offering an interactive web-based training course for healthcare professionals with the aim of improving medical treatment of Holocaust survivors and other victims of trauma using a “Person-Center Trauma-Informed” (PCTI) approach to care.

The new program was made possible through a grant awarded to a national nonprofit called The Blue Card by way of federal funds received from The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. Both organizations are dedicated to helping Holocaust survivors in need.

According to local groups helping Holocaust survivors, it is estimated there are 80,000 Holocaust survivors* living in the U.S., many of whom continue to suffer the impact of physical and emotional trauma. Recent studies show Holocaust survivors are at higher risk for developing heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and overall difficulty in performing day-to-day tasks.

Holy Name’s Institute for Simulation Learning and The Blue Card partnered to develop a training course that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of trauma through simulated scenarios that help healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses and dentists) identify triggers that Holocaust survivors, refugees, and veterans may encounter during the course of their care as a result of their experiences. By using this PCTI model, healthcare providers learn to promote well-being and avoid re-traumatizing their patients.

Participating in this training module offers medical and dental professionals the opportunity to receive continuing education credits from the American Medical Association (AMA) or Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) at completion.

“Cultural competency and sensitivity are a cornerstone of care at Holy Name,” explained Cedar Wang, APN, CHSE, Vice President of Nursing Operations at Holy Name. “As compassionate medical providers, it is essential that we are aware and educated to avoid unintentional reinjury by instilling a sense of well-being and promoting healing in our patients.”

"The Blue Card was proud to be selected to receive a grant from the JFNA's Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care," said Masha Pearl, Executive Director of The Blue Card. "For many Holocaust survivors, the prospect of being institutionalized or facing an extended hospital stay means that even a routine visit to a dentist or doctor can cause the trauma they experienced in childhood to be relived. We hope this effort helps to educate healthcare providers to recognize the specialized needs of survivors, so they can help this dwindling population live their remaining years in dignity."

For more information about the training module: HelpingSurvivorsOfTrauma.org

For all accredited CE-related inquiries: Contact CME@holyname.org for continuing medical education for physicians. Contact radacampaign@gmail.com for continuing dental education for dentists.

For media inquiries or general information about this project: asandoval@holyname.org or Milana@bluecardfund.org.

*This estimate is based on information recorded in Claims Conference databases and data from the German government. As of 2016, the Claims Conference estimated approximately 100,000 survivors living in the United State. Using a 5 percent mortality rate, we estimate that the number of remaining survivors is around 80,000.