Lynne Stevens Memorial Program
Lynne Stevens was the Director of the Responding to Violence Against Women Program, and an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. Lynne was a clinical social worker who was a tireless advocate as well as clinician and researcher in the field of improving health care’s response to women experiencing violence. She specialized in evaluation of the quality of care offered in medical settings to women impacted by partner and sexual violence and died in 2009 at the age of 63. Working with such groups as the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), she developed and implemented programs in many countries, including Nepal, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Armenia. Educational materials that she developed for program developers and staff have been widely distributed by UNFPA, the CDC, and state anti-violence programs, and been translated into a variety of languages.
On moving to Boston University in 2005, she championed the integration into medical settings of programs responsive to victims of violence. She led initiatives evaluating and strengthening services for victims of violence in a variety of settings, including the Family Medicine Department’s Ambulatory Care Clinic and other Department practices, Manet Community Health Center, and Boston University’s student health services, and dental clinics. Lynne maintained active and substantial community commitments, supporting programs offering free yoga for women with issues of poverty, homeless, domestic violence or substance abuse histories. She also served as a member of the boards of directors of several domestic violence organizations in New York State and in Boston where she became Vice-President of the Board of Casa Myrna Vasquez.
To keep Lynne’s voice and work alive for us, the Family Medicine Dept started a dedicated annual Grand Rounds, inviting a speaker to remind, instruct and inspire us to improve the care we provide to the women who were her life work.. Thanks to a generous donation in Lynne’s memory, our ambitions expanded to include providing the kind of lovely lunch that she always offered her friends and inviting some of the wider community of service providers and coalitions that Lynne participated in across the campus and city.
An additional exciting development was the establishment of a grant program for a research or practice improvement project. Funded in 2011 for to provide annual $5000 grants for 5 years or the life of the fund, the focus is on evaluating, studying and improving care for women who experience partner and sexual violence receiving care in any of the hospitals, student health services and community health centers affiliated with Boston Medical Center or Boston University. This is a University-wide program, so that all faculty, staff, trainees and students of the University and affiliated services are eligible to apply if they receive endorsement by clinicians regarding clinical relevance. Like Lynne, we want to make sure that what we do makes a difference.