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St. Mary Medical Center Receives Grant to Help Victims of Domestic Violence
The Verizon Foundation awarded $24,500 to screen for domestic abuse.

LANGHORNE, Pa., March 11, 2008 – St. Mary Medical Center today announced that it has received a generous $24,500 grant from the Verizon Foundation to enhance its capabilities to screen for victims of domestic abuse and violence. The grant will be used to make updates to existing software to automate the domestic-abuse screening process. A manual system currently is used and while it is effective in offering this screening to about 80 percent of those eligible, the goal is to automate the process to ensure screening of 100 percent of all adults over age 18 as well as teenagers who date. These software enhancements will allow domestic abuse and violence to be more easily detected, while offering more support to consenting victims. The program also enhances the capabilities for healthcare workers to more readily provide information on county resources, including legal services, hotline numbers, shelter locations, and counseling options for victims.

Donna Byrne, (left to right) Executive Director of A Woman’s Place;
Greg Wozniak, St. Mary President and CEO; Dan Reavy, Director External
Affairs, Verizon Pennsylvania; Sharon Beales, St. Mary Foundation; and
Marian Moran, St. Mary CIO, inspect the portable computer-on-wheels system
that will be utilized in the automated screening process for potential victims
of domestic abuse and violence.

According to the American Institute of Domestic Violence, 5.3 million women are abused and more than 1,200 women are killed by an intimate partner each year. Further, research has shown that many victims of domestic abuse and violence will not disclose abuse unless they are directly asked or screened for domestic violence by a physician or nurse. These statistics reveal the urgent need for the diligent screening of patients.

Domestic violence screening is a priority at St. Mary Medical Center and the hospital has partnered with A Woman’s Place, the only domestic violence agency in Bucks County to address the needs of victims. The new automated system made possible through this Verizon grant will help St. Mary ensure that no potential victim is overlooked. The program, including hardware and software updates, and staff training, is anticipated to be fully operational within one year.

To speak with a domestic violence counselor at St. Mary, please call 215.710.6082.