“The Women’s Center of Columbia/Montour Inc. Medical Advocacy Program provides services for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, prevention activities, advocacy, and leadership to the health care community, aimed at eradicating violence and sexual abuse.”
Medical Advocacy is the healthcare-based identification of domestic violence victims seeking support, information, education, resources, and follow-up services through medical treatment within the healthcare setting. It also includes developing, and implementing policies and procedures to enhance the health care response to victims of domestic violence.
The Medical Advocacy Program establishes relationships between local health care systems and domestic violence centers. The Women’s Center, Inc. currently works in conjunction with Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital.
Our Medical Advocacy Program at Geisinger Medical Center started in 1994. This program is one of the first of five in the nation to have developed a protocol to recognize and handle the signs and symptoms of domestic violence victims in the emergency department.
Our Medical Advocacy Program at Bloomsburg Hospital, now Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital, began in 1998 and has established a universal screening protocol in its emergency and OB/GYN departments.
Who is served by the Medical Advocacy Program?
- Domestic violence and sexual assault victims (male, female, and LGBTQ+ identified) and their children
- Those who need support to help a loved one through domestic violence or sexual assault
- Health care professionals in need of assistance
Medical Advocacy Program Services
- Crisis intervention during medical visits
- Safety and goal planning
- Information and referrals
- Education for health care professionals and assistance with changing hospital guidelines about domestic violence