Wed. Dec 6th, 2023
This past weekend brings to a conclusion Forensics Nurses Week with a special recognition to the six Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team nurses who work for the Lake Regional Health System.
Stephanie Dominique, director of the FACT team for Lake Regional, says the observation gives credit to those who work on an everyday basis dealing with cases of assault, abuse and neglect here in the lake area.
The six FACT nurses for Lake Regional include: Dominique herself along with Whitney Carney, Allison Foster, Martin Krulatz, Cali Rogers and Kelly Claspill.
FACT nurses also work closely with other organizations which include Kids Harbor, Citizens Against Domestic Violence, the state department of social services and local law enforcement.
Lake Regional Health System honors a special team during Forensic Nurses Week, Nov. 5-11.
“Our forensic nurses care for individuals experiencing the shock and devastation of assault, abuse and neglect,” said Stephanie Dominique, R.N., director of the Lake Regional Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT). “Forensic nurses help these patients begin the healing process.”
Survivors of assault, abuse and neglect often need an evidentiary exam, or an exam aimed at collecting and documenting evidence of the crime committed against them. Lake Regional FACT nurses complete these exams at Lake Regional Health System, as well as at Kids Harbor in Osage Beach and in St. Robert.
Lake Regional FACT partners with several other local organizations also involved in serving victims of abuse and neglect, including Kids’ Harbor, Citizens Against Domestic Violence/Victim Outreach Center, the Missouri Department of Social Services and law enforcement agencies.
“Many areas in Missouri do not benefit from having a response team,” Dominque said. “We are very blessed to have the support of our community and Lake Regional leaders to provide exceptional care for our unique patient population. The team effort that goes into taking care of these patients is truly amazing.”
Lake Regional has six FACT nurses, with two more beginning training this month. Five shared what their work with FACT means to them.
Whitney Carney, R.N., SANE
Joined FACT: 2022
“The biggest thing is being able to help those that need it most. My favorite thing about my FACT teammates is everyone is always willing to answer questions. Something I want others to know is that the number of resources our community provides is amazing and continues to grow.”
Stephanie Dominique, R.N., SANE
Joined FACT: 2012
“FACT presents a whole different set of challenges within the nursing role. It comes with a heavy emotional burden to bear, but the thing I enjoy the most about it is that I get to spend more time face-to-face with my patients. If they need extra time to tell their trauma story and to be ready for their medical legal exam, I can take that time to create a good rapport with them.”
Allison Foster, R.N., SANE
Joined FACT: 2020
“FACT is important because the program helps victims reclaim their voice.”
Martin Krulatz, R.N., SANE
Joined FACT: 2020
“I primarily work night shift, and I saw an opportunity to be present to victims who have an immediate need at any given hour of the night. I fear a patient might miss treatment if I am not present at his or her moment of need. That is why I do FACT.”
Cali Rogers, R.N., SANE
Joined FACT: 2023
“Before joining Lake Regional, I had never worked for a health system that provided FACT services for patients. The required training for FACT nursing opened my eyes to a side of our community that is usually kept quiet. I quickly developed a heart for these patients. It is a privilege to treat patients in such vulnerable circumstances. FACT nurses assist in treating immediate health concerns. They also assist patients with finding resources and advocacy that provide safety and enable them to make positive life changes.”
Lake Regional Health System is a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive health care services to residents and visitors throughout the mid-Missouri region. The hospital is a Level II Stroke Center, Level II STEMI (heart attack) Center and Level III Trauma Center. Lake Regional also provides a wide range of specialties, including cancer care, heart care, orthopedics and women’s health. Plus, Lake Regional operates primary care clinics, Express Care walk-in clinics, rehab therapy clinics, programs for home health and hospice, and retail pharmacies. To learn more, visit lakeregional.com.
CAPTION: Pictured from the Lake Regional Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team are, left to right, forensic nurses Allison Foster, R.N., SANE; Whitney Carney, R.N., SANE; Kelly Claspill, R.N., SANE; and Stephanie Dominique, R.N., SANE. Not pictured are Martin Krulatz, R.N., SANE, and Cali Rogers, R.N., SANE.