News Release

David Bernard
Public Relations Associate, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720

A Safe Place for Trauma Patients

Explore and understand the sanctuary model with co-founder Dr. Sandra Bloom at Wilmington University February 22

Effective trauma treatment in mental health care depends on protecting patients from the additional traumas that institutions might inadvertently subject them to. The Sanctuary Model can provide a safeguard against such complications. 

Dr. Sandra Bloom, the psychiatrist who developed the Sanctuary Model, will present the sanctuary model at Wilmington University on Wednesday, February 22, at 9:00 a.m., in the Doberstein Admissions Center auditorium located at 320 N. DuPont Highway.  Following the presentation will be a panel discussion on the use of the sanctuary model in trauma-informed approaches.

The presentation and discussion panel is free and open to the public. Attendees may attend in person or via live streaming. To register for this event, click here

Dr. Bloom, an associate professor of health management and policy in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert on trauma-informed care.

The Sanctuary Model is a method of organizational development that encourages the creation of supportive, healing environments at every level. The model was inspired by Dr. Bloom's experiences working in a psychiatric unit where patients were often also survivors of childhood abuse, neglect and/or family dysfunction.

According to Dr. Bloom, “Social workers, psychiatrists and nurses don’t share a common way of working with clients. The sanctuary model gets everybody on the same trauma-informed page.”

The ultimate goal is to improve communication and collaboration among human service professionals to ensure safe communities delivering effective and socially responsible treatment. The sanctuary model has been adopted at youth residential treatment programs, domestic violence shelters, group homes and homeless shelters.

"Dr. Bloom's principles not only apply to direct service, but also to organizational functioning. Stressed systems can perpetuate trauma rather than offer healing and solutions," said Dr. Debra Berke, director of psychology programs in Wilmington University's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. "We are incredibly fortunate to have her share her knowledge and experiences with us."

A question and answer session with Dr. Bloom will follow the talk, along with a panel discussion featuring representatives of local organizations that practice the Sanctuary Model. Invited panelists include Dr. Stephen DiJulio of SOAR (Survivors of Abuse in Recovery), Rosemary Martinez of Abriendo Puertas, Marcey Rezac of People's Place and Beth Rosica of Vision Quest.

The event is sponsored by Trauma Matters Delaware with the sponsorship of Wilmington University and the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation of Philadelphia.

For more information about the event, e-mail Dr. Berke at or call (302) 356-6760.

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution committed to providing flexible, career-oriented, traditional and online associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. Ranked as the second fastest growing nonprofit doctoral institution in America 2004 – 2014 by The Almanac of The Chronicle of Higher Education, affordable tuition, academic excellence and individualized attention are hallmarks of the University that enable greater student success in their chosen careers. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at, or visit our website:

Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 - New Castle, DE