AHA recognizes Sexual Assault Clinic
The American Hospital Association (AHA) featured the Providence Sexual Assault Clinic and Child Maltreatment Center in its Community Connections: Ideas & Innovations for Hospital Leaders publication. A case study describing the Clinic was included under the category “Social and Basic Needs.” As the AHA states, “non-medical needs are often intricately tied to personal health and well-being.” The AHA recognizes hospitals working to address social, basic and personal needs as a way to improve their communities’ health.
Founded in 1991, the clinic has been an innovative leader in providing caring and quality services to victims of sexual assault and child maltreatment, and their families. The clinic, which is supported by donations to Providence St. Peter Foundation, is the only facility of its kind in the region and serves a five-county area. It receives patient referrals from law enforcement, Child Protective Services and area medical providers.
The clinic provides specialized medical care, support and resources to meet the needs of families in crisis. Located in Lacey, it is staffed by medical social workers, nurse practitioners and a board-certified pediatrician.
New leader takes the helm
Earlier this year, the clinic named Joyce Gilbert, MD, as the new medical director. “I feel like I’ve been training for this job for 29 years,” Dr. Gilbert says. “Our clinic not only provides proper medical attention to our most vulnerable, but also hope and healing to victims and families during these difficult times. We address their immediate physical needs as well as the potential, long-term psychological needs.”
Dr. Gilbert adds that “every interaction between patients and parents and staff supports the healing process by affirming that children need to be seen, heard and believed.”
In addition to serving in this leadership role, Dr. Gilbert provides medical services to children who are sexually or physically abused. She also serves as a pediatric hospitalist at St. Peter Hospital, works with the hospital’s therapy program for drug-affected newborns, sees patients on the pediatric unit, and consults on pediatric cases in the Emergency Center.