AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — In 2022, a total of 278 patients were admitted to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Trauma Services for violent injuries. This is up 82% from 2020 according to a release Tuesday from UCHealth.

A program to help these patients and reduce violence in the Aurora community will expand with federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration.

The program, known as “AIM at UCH,” started as a two-year pilot funded by UCHealth and the City of Aurora. The goal of the program is to identify people at risk for repeat violent injuries and link them with resources aimed at addressing the risk factors for violence.

“This work is hard and patients aren’t always as receptive as we would like them to be,” said Lawrence Goshon, one of the program’s outreach workers. “But in that first contact in the emergency department, we want to make sure they understand we’re here to offer care and support, and we’re going to help them and their families in any way possible.”

The program includes hospital-based services, such as mentorship and family support services, as well as community-based services, including job training programs, financial assistance and legal support.

According to UCHealth, the new federal funding will allow the program to double in size and grow from two to four outreach workers.