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Forensic Acute Care Team (FACT)

WHAT IS THE FORENSIC ACUTE CARE TEAM (FACT)?

FACT is a team of experienced, highly qualified and compassionate physicians and nurses available 24 x 7 to offer various aspects of medical and/or forensic care to patients presenting with concerns for recent (within 96 hours) sexual abuse or assault. FACT is one of five programs in New York State certified as a Center of Excellence for children, adolescents and adults presenting with concerns for abuse and/or assault.

Please CLICK HERE for Medical Provider FACT Sheet (pdf).

MEDICAL PROVIDER INFORMATION:

If you are presented with a patient whereby concern for sexual abuse or assault has been expressed, FACT is available 24 x 7 to provide the medical and forensic needs in accordance with Department of Justice and New York State Department of Health protocols. All licensed medical providers in New York State are responsible for understanding and complying with these regulations.

Triage and Referral:

*Triage patients for medical stability and thereafter inform patients of the Westchester Medical Center (WMC) FACT Center of Excellence Program services

*If patient is already in an emergency department - offer patients transfer by calling 1-866- GO-TO-WMC (1-866-468-6962)

*If patient is outpatient – advise patient of choice to call 911, or arrange their own transportation. If taking a taxi to Westchester Medical Center, patient should save the receipt for reimbursement. Providers are encouraged to call ahead to the WMC Emergency Department charge nurse (914-493-8671)

Key Points for Medical Providers:

*Free forensic and medical (ADD) services are available to patients of all ages presenting with acute concerns for sexual abuse or assault. Acute means that the abuse/assault is reported to have occurred within the past 96 hours, or if the patient reports active symptoms (pain, bleeding or skin injury).

*Patient choice is respected and explained by a certified, compassionate and highly skilled member of the FACT team as follows:

  -Patients are offered options and can choose if they want evidence collection, a physical examination, laboratory testing, and/or medication to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted disease (including HIV) and pregnancy.

  -Patients do not have to notify the police in order to obtain FACT program services.

   +Patients can also have evidence collected and stored at WMC as they decide whether or not they want to involve law enforcement.

   +For that reason, patients should be advised not to change clothes or shower before coming to the hospital.

   +If patients already in the emergency department urinate, the urine should be sealed with patient label and label signed by provider.

  -On-site mental health and social work services are available 24 x 7 as well victim advocacy service liaisons to community agencies. 

*If case involving a minor patient warrants a report to the State Central Registry hotline for abuse/neglect you must call 1-800-635-1522. You are encouraged to discuss any questions about mandated reporting with the hotline and/or your own legal counsel

PATIENT INFORMATION:

*You are entitled to state-of-the-art, compassionate and patient-centered care at the only certified Center of Excellence for the evaluation of children, adolescents and adults presenting with concerns for sexual abuse/assault in the Hudson Valley Region.

*All medical and forensic (ADD) services are free of charge once you arrive at Westchester Medical Center.

*You will receive prompt, state-of-the-art forensic medical care by highly skilled and compassionate medical providers. It is your choice if you want:

  -To involve police

  -Evidence collected from your body/clothes

  -Medication to prevent infection and/or pregnancy

  -Mental health, social work and/or victim advocacy liaisons

LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION:

If presented with a potential victim of sexual abuse or assault that may have occurred within the past 96 hours, come directly to Westchester Medical Center (100 Woods Road in Valhalla NY). If possible, call ahead to the WMC Emergency Department charge nurse (914-493-8671) to advise of your plan.

PROGRAM TRAININGS:

Hospitals and/or police departments interested in on-site training about the WMC FACT program should contact (914) 493-5668.

PROGRAM LEADERSHIP:

Jennifer Canter MD, MPH, FAAP – Program Director
Karen Carroll RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, NY-SAFE – Program Coordinator
Lorraine Ronca DO, FAAP – Assistant Director and Community Educator

PROGRAM SUPPORT:

The WMC FACT program is grateful for the program development and financial support of Hedge Funds Care/Help for Children, the New York State Office for Victim Services, and Westchester County affording the opportunity to provide these services.

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