Maryland IPV Task Force

Project Connect ​Maryland

Training Ob-Gyn Physicians
A Maryland IPV Task Force was convened in 2012 to examine the use of tools for IPV assessment in the health care setting. The Task Force, comprised of health care providers representing the fields of emergency medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, internal medicine, family practice, psychiatry, social work, nursing, nurse practitioner practice, nurse midwifery, physician assistance practice, public health and pediatrics, recommended routine IPV screening for all women ages 15-50. This recommendation is in agreement with the U.S. Public Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) recent report of evidence-based research to support routine screening of all reproductive aged women for IPV, along with interventions for those who screen positive.
To facilitate IPV assessment, the Maryland IPV Task Force put together an algorithm for IPV assessment using a simple 3-question IPV screening tool adapted from evidence-based screens. ( #link) If a provider prefers a different evidence-based screen for IPV, it can easily be substituted in the algorithm. There is also a screening algorithm for pediatricians who may have the opportunity to assess mothers when they bring their children in for health visits.(#link) The assessment tools went through public comment from December 2012 to January 2013. Comments from local and national providers as well IPV experts were extremely supportive and suggestions were incorporated into the tools.
MDH is currently conducting trainings to educate clinicians about IPV assessment and improve screening. The public health clinics at MDH (family planning, home visiting, and sexually transmitted infections programs) will be using the Task Force IPV tool.


Maryland IPV Task Force, June 2013
1. Carole Alexander
University of Maryland School of Social Work
National Association of Social Workers, Maryland Chapter
2. Anika Alvanzo, MD, MS
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Society of General Internal Medicine, Mid-Atlantic region
3. Megan Bair-Merritt, MD, MSCE
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Academic Pediatric Association, Region 4
4. Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, MSN
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Maryland Nurses Association
5. Diana Cheng, MD
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Public Health
6. Emilie Cobert, MD
Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center
American College of Emergency Physicians, Maryland Chapter
7. Abigail Dennis, MD
Mercy Medical Center
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Maryland Chapter
8. Amanda Guzman, MD
Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center
Maryland Academy of Family Physicians
9. Catherine Harrison-Restelli, MD
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Maryland Psychiatric Society
10. Shannon Idzik, DNP, CRNP
University of Medicine School of Nursing
Nurse Practitioners Association of Maryland
11. Gwendy McCoy, PA-C
Mercy Medical Center
Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants
12. Elias Shaya, MD
Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital
Maryland Psychiatric Society
13. Nicole Warren, PhD, MPH, CNM
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
American College of Nurse Midwives, Maryland Affiliate


Maryland was one of six states selected by Futures Without Violence for a competitive grant to fund Project Connect, which focuses on helping health care providers play a role in helping to protect women from domestic violence.

Project Connect Maryland, which began January 2013, will receive $375,000 over three years from the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  Project Connect Maryland will focus on the important role health care providers can play in keeping women safe and preventing the physical and emotional effects of violence against women.

The Office of Quality Initiatives, Bureau of Maternal and Child Health at MDH will integrate intimate partner violence assessment into all health care visits at selected reproductive health (family planning) sites in the Baltimore metro area, Prince George’s County and Lower Eastern Shore. Nationally acclaimed comprehensive curricula and educational materials developed by Futures Without Violence will be used to train providers in how to assess and help women who have been abused or who are in unhealthy relationships. Additionally, preventive women’s health services will be integrated into pilot domestic violence program sites, such as the House of Ruth Maryland. It is anticipated that these pilot programs will serve as models for expansion into other sites statewide. A Leadership Team comprised of Maryland experts from the fields of public health, women’s health, and domestic violence/sexual assault will guide the project.

Project Connect: A Coordinated Public Health Initiative to Prevent Violence Against Women is supported by OWH, and funded through the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2005. Futures Without Violence, in collaboration with OWH, will provide technical assistance and monitor the grantees selected for Project Connect.  For more information, please contact Michael Spencer a


The American College of Obstetricians (ACOG) will be coordinating a new one-year initiative beginning September 2013 to train ob-gyn physicians and ancillary staff in intimate partner violence (IPV) assessment.  The project will be piloted at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and will potentially expand to other areas in the state and U.S. 
Educational sessions and training will be provided for medical students, ob-gyn residents, ob-gyn faculty, office staff of ob-gyn practices, and nurse midwives.  The curriculum will largely be based on the evidence-based tools adapted by the Maryland IPV Task Force, Maryland Department of Health  (MDH).  An evaluation of the project will also be conducted. 
Partnering with ACOG on this project are the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), Baltimore area domestic violence service programs (House of Ruth Maryland, TurnAround, Inc.,  Baltimore County Family Crisis Center) and Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. 
This project was made possible through funding from: 1) Merck Pharmaceuticals to ACOG and
2) Futures Without Violence to MDH. 

For additional information, please contact Michael Spencer at

Click below to return to our home page.