NEW YORK (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul signed important legislation permitting Medicaid reimbursement for violence prevention programs serving survivors of community violence. 

Legislation S.580A/A.2893A makes community violence prevention services available, as permitted by federal law, to any Medicaid beneficiary who has received medical treatment for an injury sustained from community violence and has been referred by a health care or social services provider to receive community violence prevention services from a violence prevention professional.

“This legislation recognizes that New York’s community-based programs are best positioned to support survivors of violence and that training more violence prevention specialists is key when it comes to keeping our neighborhoods safe.” 

Governor Kathy Hochul

Kris Brown, President of Brady, said that to end gun violence, the cycles that are holding communities prisoner needed to be broken. He went on to say that affected communities and individuals should be given specialized care to treat physical and mental scars and wounds inflicted by this crisis. According to Brown, income inequality has inhibited these types of services from reaching vulnerable communities.

Deb Antoniades a Volunteer with the New York Chapter of Moms Demand Action, mentioned how gun violence continues to devastate communities nationwide and how this legislation is an important step towards breaking the cycle of gun violence and securing sustainable funding for life-saving programs. 

Executive Director and Founder of Not Another Child, Oresa Napper-Williams, brought up how the organization consistently witnesses the reality of limited access to services that aid survivors on their path to healing. Napper-Williams looks forward to continuing working with leaders to protect families and survivors from gun violence.

Violence Specialists will be required to complete a minimum of six months of training in providing prevention services or youth development services; complete a training and certification program through the New York State Department of Health in violence prevention; and complete four hours of continuing education annually.