Getting the Word Out: Medical Professionals

by Ondrea Johnson, Director of Community Relations

In November, HCA (Hospital Corporations of America) held a meeting for the Directors of their Emergency Departments throughout the Southeast Region. The opportunity to present the red flags of victim identification, along with follow-up procedures for victim interaction, was one the Education department was eager to accept. In the process of preparing for this presentation, we discovered that 87% of victims see a medical profession at some point during their captivity. However, only 5-10% of emergency department professionals say they have been formally trained on victim interaction or feel confident that they can identify a victim. This represents a significant gap in service for victims. The directors, mostly physicians and hospital administrators, were receptive. Many shared stories of encounters they could recall in their emergency rooms. We left them with screening questions and a list of resources available for helping victims in their care.

Jill Rutter, one of our most seasoned volunteer presenters, spoke this month in conjunction with the DA’s office. A local law office in Nashville hosted a Mental Health Law seminar; the event coordinator asked us to speak to their audience. Around 50 legal professionals were educated that day.