October 18, 2016

Mercy Medical Center receives $920,000 grant for program to assist victims of sexual assault and domestic violence

Mercy Medical Center is a recipient of the 2017 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant award in the amount of $920,435.76 from the Crime Victims Section of the Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. This amount is in addition to Mercy’s 2016 VOCA grant of $413,392. These funds will allow for Mercy Medical Center’s HAVEN (Healing After Violent Encounters Network) Program to expand from an on-call response to an in-house department to better serve victims of assault visiting Mercy Emergency Department. 

“Mercy is honored to receive the highest grant amount among hospitals in Ohio and the 8th most funded program out of 374 recipients in the state,” said Thomas E. Cecconi, president and CEO at Mercy Medical Center. “We passionately believe in this program, which ensures victims are treated promptly by trained professionals in a safe, compassionate and confidential environment.” 

Stark County’s First Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

In 1999 Mercy Medical Center established Stark County’s first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, which strives to ensure sexual assault victims are treated promptly by trained professionals in a safe, compassionate and confidential environment. In 2011, Mercy Medical Center began partnering with Domestic Violence Project, Inc. to provide comprehensive medical care, evidence collection, safety planning and supportive options to survivors of domestic violence in need of specialized assistance. This collaboration was the first of its kind in Stark County and has increased survivors’ access to medical services while minimizing safety risks. Mercy’s program was renamed HAVEN to represent its expanded scope of services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and any other intentional acts of violence.

Mercy’s HAVEN Program provides immediate specialized nursing care, evidence collection, support and options to victims of assault, age 14 and older. Victims under the age of 14 are referred to The Children’s Network of Stark County Child Advocacy Center or Akron Children’s Hospital. Mercy’s forensic nurse examiners also provide community education on the topics of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Nurses Dedicated to Your Care

Mercy SANE or forensic nurse examiners (FNE) are registered nurses who have completed at least 40 hours of training in providing comprehensive physical and emotional care to the sexual assault patient, sexual assault evidence collection, and testifying effectively in court. Additional training also includes live patient simulation and photograph documentation. 

“If you seek treatment at Mercy Emergency Department, you will receive kindness and respect from a specially trained nurse dedicated only to your care,” says Sarah Schemmel, RN, coordinator of Mercy’s HAVEN Program. 

For more information, visit cantonmercy.org/haven or contact Mercy HAVEN’s program coordinator at 330-489-1000, ext. 2170.

Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Alliance, Carroll County, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, Massillon, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.



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