Blue Shield of California Foundation to Offer Free Online Training for Doctors Treating Domestic Violence Victims

San Francisco, July 13, 2006 – An innovative online training and education program to help California doctors better fulfill their important role in treating victims of domestic violence now is available for free at

The award-winning Web-based education program fills two vital goals. It provides doctors the tools and information they need to help patients who may be victims of domestic violence while, at the same time, allowing doctors to meet state requirements for continuing education.

The Blue Shield of California Foundation is investing $355,450 to make the training available to all doctors at no charge for two years. California-licensed physicians who use the program can receive up to 16 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits – also at no charge – for completing the course. Because California physicians are required to obtain 25 CME credits annually, online training is increasingly popular.

The BSCF grant has also enabled the program’s authors to add important information on California laws and domestic violence resources.

"This updated program directly responds to California doctors’ concerns about the difficulties they face in treating and caring for abused patients and in complying with California domestic violence reporting laws," said Crystal Hayling, president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. "More and better training for physicians treating domestic violence victims is crucial in providing the best care possible in what is often a time of crisis."

The state-of-the-art online CME program includes text-based simulations, multi-media tutorials, video presentations by domestic violence experts, downloadable practice tools, and links to National Library of Medicine journal abstracts. It was developed under a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to Medical Directions, Inc. (MDI) of Tucson, Ariz. Earlier this year MDI received an Alliance for Continuing Medical Education award for its research in developing the program.

MDI and BSCF hope that at least 10 percent of California's of 130,000 physicians will use the online program over the next two years. The project has already been endorsed by the California Medical Association, the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Permanente Medical Group.

The Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the largest health care grant-making organizations in California, awarding $30 million last year. The foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit corporation with more than 3.2 million members, 4,300 employees and 20 offices throughout California. For more information, visit the Blue Shield of California website at or the Foundation at