Putting an end to Child Abuse, Neglect and Maltreatment

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE (WEAU)- Putting an end to child abuse, neglect and maltreatment. Two mid-western companies are joining forces to create a first- of-it’s-kind program in the country.

Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, and the National Child Protection Training Center out of Winona, Minnesota have partnered to become a leader in training healthcare professionals about child protection.

The partnership is the first in the nation, giving medical professionals intensive training on child abuse.

“We come across kids more frequently than we would like that have been maltreated so what can we do to train to identify and report child maltreatment,” said Gundersen Lutheran Vice President of Operations, Kelly Barton.

The National Child Protection Training Center has trained more than 70 thousand childcare professionals using mock facilities. With Gundersen Lutheran NCPTC Director Victor Vieth says they want to create a mock emergency room abuse scene.

“We want to be doing some very intensive training for doctors who can come from all over the country to la crosse to access it,” said Vieth.
Vieth says that there are thousands of unconfirmed abuse cases each year, and believes this training will be the key to bringing those numbers down.

“1/5 women and 1/7 men say they were sexually abused as children,” said Vieth.

The medical professionals are going to train for more than just awareness and prevention, but pursuit of justice as well. The training center in Winona has a mock courtroom where nurses and other medical professionals can train to how to testify in child protection cases.

“The collaboration will touch the healthcare world and continue the mission of reducing child maltreatment, but ultimately we want to eliminate it,” said Barton.

The affiliation is expected to be complete in 2013.

“Keep in mind that this is not going to just impact locally but what we intend with what we are doing at Gundersen to share throughout the country and even the world,” said Veith.

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