The Baltimore Child Abuse Center has joined LifeBridge Health in a partnership that will allow the center to expand as the hospital network taps into more resources for child abuse victims.
The BCAC, which works to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse, trauma, violence and other adverse childhood experiences, became a wholly owned subsidiary of LifeBridge Health on Jan. 1. The organization provides services that include forensic interviews, medical treatment and mental health treatment for victims of child abuse.
The partnership builds on an informal partnership the two organizations established about six years ago, when Sinai Hospital partnered with the BCAC to staff a board-certified child abuse pediatrician. Sinai was seeing a high volume of children who had been abused, said Neil Meltzer, the president and CEO of LifeBridge Health, who at the time served as president and CEO of Sinai.
“We were struggling with having the right kind of medical expertise to treat those patients,” Meltzer said.
Under the new partnership, BCAC plans to grow its mental health, support services and wellness programs.
“We’ve got all the reach and the ability working with LifeBridge to really maximize our mission,” said Adam Rosenberg, executive director of Baltimore Child Abuse Center.
Rosenberg expects the new partnership will give BCAC the leverage to acquire national grants it could not previously access. And Meltzer said he hopes the BCAC will become a national player in child abuse treatment and prevention.
BCAC, which has a staff of about 40, is retaining its status as a nonprofit organization, and its offices will remain in Old Goucher.
Ultimately LifeBridge also hopes to merge BCAC’s services with its violence prevention, domestic and elder abuse programs under a “Center for Hope.” The physical center will be a few years out, Meltzer said.
“We see this as a major advancement for our capacity and as a major opportunity to improve the health of the community we serve,” Meltzer said.