Innovative Program Lets Youth Start Anew
Dominican Hospital's Tattoo Removal Program was started in 1997 to help those with criminal affiliations erase their pasts, and give a healing hand to others whose tattoos make it hard to get a job. It is coordinated through Dominican Hospital's Health Outreach Services Program.
In memory of Judge Tom Black, the program was initiated by the Youth Resource Bank of Santa Cruz County and the TagAway Program, in collaboration with Dominican Hospital. The Youth Resource Bank raised $70,000 to purchase the initial equipment, and worked with Dominican Hospital to obtain future funding and equipment. The program serves Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and other counties.
Since October 1997, thousands of treatments have been given by the Tattoo Removal Program. The majority of clients are between 14 and 50 years old. More than 75% of those in the program had been tattooed for gang identification--and wanted out.
Youth who want to take advantage of the Tattoo Removal Program have to complete a counseling program land keep in school or have a job. In a private office, tattoo removal could be over $400 per session. Through Dominican's program, treatments are $20 each, which also covers the cost of take-home medication.
It's All Done with Lasers
Tattoo removal at Dominican is accomplished with lasers.
With the latest attachments and a hand piece specially designed for dermatological use, the most stubborn multi-colored tattoo can usually be wiped out.
While individual treatment sessions are relatively brief, the number of sessions required depends on the intensity of the tattoo and the area covered.