Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Program Celebrates 10 Years

Meritus Health's interpersonal violence and abuse program is celebrating ten years with the hospital. The program was created to allow forensic nurse examiners to independently treat victims of sexual abuse or assault. Over the years, the program has evolved with the change in community needs. Initially called the SAFE program, the scope of the services now includes interpersonal violence involving children and vulnerable adults, as well as domestic violence cases. The team, supported by funds from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention and CareFirst, was recently included in a statewide initiative to bring attention to the medical community's response to interpersonal disputes. This even involved providing testimony to the state legislature.

"Meritus Health's forensic nurse examiners are constantly networking with others across the country to bring attention to evolving practice issues in forensic science," explains Program Coordinator Pam Holtzinger, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, SANE-P. "The team keeps up with the most recent research to provide proper testimony and is working diligently to plan the next steps for the most effective system-wide response to domestic violence issues in our community."

From left are forensic nurse examiners Melody Jacques, RN, FNE-A; Kim Ward, RN, FNE-A; Stephanie Bradley, RN, FNE-A/P; Keri Tracey, RN, FNE-A/P; Andrea Blythe, RN, FNE-A/P; Holtzinger; Victoria Wright-Connor, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A; and Kendra Magner, RN, FNE-A/P.