Monday, October 3, 2022

Emergency center opens doors to abuse victims

The Medical Center of Lewisville’s Flower Mound Emergency Center has expanded its services to include a sexual assault nurse examiners program that serves adults and children who have suffered from a sexual assault. 

The specialized nurses, who work throughout Denton County, began seeing clients at the Flower Mound Emergency Center in October.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are registered nurses who have received specialized training from the Office of the Attorney General to conduct forensic medical exams upon the request of law enforcement.  Currently, there are six trained nurses in Denton County who are part of a team that law enforcement calls when a child or adult sexual assault victim needs the medical examination.

The service is paid by law enforcement and reimbursed through the state’s crime victim’s fund.  The nurses are able to collect evidence needed by law enforcement while providing a high level of health care and sensitivity to victims of sexual assault.  The nurses refer their patents to Friends of the Family and the Children’s Advocacy Center for counseling and other services.

“Medical Center of Lewisville is proud to be partnering with these community agencies in order to extend this service into the western sector of Denton County.  Flower Mound Emergency Center provides state of the art equipment, specially trained personnel and a smaller, more comforting environment where victims can receive the best possible care and feel safe,” said Doug Welch, CEO, Medical Center of Lewisville.

Prior to the opening of the Flower Mound Emergency Center, adult victims of sexual assault could only be seen at Denton Regional Medical Center or at Baylor Carrollton.  Child victims could be seen at the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County in non-emergency situations.  The Flower Mound Emergency Center provides a facility on the western side of the county for easier accessibility for police departments and victims of sexual assault.

“Friends of the Family is grateful for the foresight and willingness of Medical Center of Lewisville in establishing such a warm and welcome area in Flower Mound for sexual assault victims during such a horrific experience,” said Toni Johnson-Simpson, Executive Director of Denton County Friends of the Family.

The Denton County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners begin providing services in July 2002.  The program was developed through a partnership between Denton County Friends of the Family, the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County, the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, and the participating hospitals.  Since its inception, the program has served over 1500 people who have been sexually assaulted or abused.        

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