Peoria, Illinois ,
13:17 PM

OSF HealthCare Adds Trauma Recovery Center as Resource for Peoria Public Schools

OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria has been selected to receive a $1,100,000 grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to fund a Trauma Recovery Center in partnership with Peoria Public Schools. 

The TRC will specifically focus on residents in the 61605 zip code, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of Peoria. According to the Economic Distress Group Index, 61605 ranks 1,114 out of 1,115 Illinois zip codes. This means that in the state of Illinois, there is only one zip code that is more economically distressed. 

Survivors of violent crime have significant physical, psychological and emotional needs that are often unmet in underserved communities. The damage caused by violence can drive victims to isolation and make them reluctant to seek treatment. With the services of the TRC, victims will be able to find safety, stabilization and support for their post-traumatic growth. Dr. Mike Cruz, M.D., Regional CEO OSF HealthCare, said the TRC is an invaluable addition to the Peoria community.

“The psychological effects of violence can leave just as many wounds as physical acts,” he said during Thursday's press conference. “This center will allow us to reach those in need, provide them with treatment, and help them return to a sense of normalcy after such a trauma.”

Partnering with Peoria Public Schools District 150 will allow the TRC to make a meaningful difference in the lives of students who have been affected by violent crime. Many students in this district suffer at school as a result of their stress and trauma. Manual Academy, located in the targeted 61605 area code, will hold on-campus TRC office hours to identify students in need and provide them with crucial recovery resources. 

Superintendent of Peoria Public Schools, Sharon Desmoulin-Kheraet Ed.D., said she looks forward to seeing the positive impact of the TRC on PPS students.

“We simply cannot expect students to thrive when dealing with these types of issues at home,” she said. “Holding office hours right here at Manual will allow students to access these crucial resources in a familiar environment. I’m confident we can truly change the lives of our students through a program like this.”

The TRC will be overseen by a voluntary Coordination Group, comprised of representatives from OSF HealthCare, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria Public Schools, City of Peoria Police Department, and a number of other local community agencies. 

"So many individuals and organizations have made this possible and each bring their own expertise to the table," Dr. Cruz said. "This project is a remarkable collaboration."