Adena Greenfield Medical Center (AGMC) will soon begin offering support advocacy services to patients reporting to its Emergency Department after suffering any form of assault, trauma or violence. Beginning in April, Adena advocates will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide care, support and aid to these patients.
“Advocacy is about motivating change within a community,” said Nicole Bullock, Adena Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate Program coordinator. “Drawing attention to such an important need within our community is at times hard to face, but it is very much needed. By expanding our victim advocate services to Highland County, we can better serve the region by providing all avenues of support and resources.”
Since 2016, Adena’s Sexual Assault Survivor Advocates have provided services to women, children and men who have experienced interpersonal violence as the result of sexual and domestic violence, child and elder abuse, and hate crimes.
Within the last year, the program has served more than 230 victims at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe. This includes 12 human trafficking victims and 160 sexual assault patients, of which more than 100 were children. More than 40 percent of patients seen for advocacy services at Adena in 2017 arrived from a surrounding county.
“Our goal is to provide survivors of interpersonal violence a safe place to seek the medical treatment they need, while being emotionally supported,” said Heather Welshimer, Adena Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate Program coordinator. “We hope to support survivors who come to the hospital and educate them on the local resources that are available to them in Highland County.”
Trauma-informed services provided include: hospital and medical advocacy; resource linkage; and referral to safety services, including safety planning and shelter placement. In addition, the program offers free peer-to-peer support groups, community education and an after-care advocate who is available to help individuals during any point of their healing process.
“We hope that by being available at AGMC, it enables our advocates to serve the community and to allow those who are victimized to feel empowered; along with letting them know that their voice is being heard,” said Bullock.
For more information on Adena’s Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate Program or to learn more about volunteer opportunities call 740-779-8207 or email [email protected]
Submitted by Macey Power, communications specialist, Adena Health System.