New location more than quadruples space, expands programming
The new facility was made possible by gifts by Penn and Stan Seiple of Mid State Realty, the Seiple Family Foundation and the Charles B. Degenstein Foundation, all of Sunbury, as well as the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Gloria Gerrity, vice president of operations, pediatrics, Geisinger Health System; Melissa Wagner, program manager, CAC; and Pat Bruno, M.D., pediatrician and medical director of the CAC, spoke at the event and led the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“As the public is increasingly aware of child abuse cases in the media, our numbers rise,” Gerrity said. “In order to continue to provide top-notch services to our patients and to expand our offerings, we knew we needed additional space.”
The CAC was opened in Northumberland in 2004 to embrace victims of child abuse and provides young victims with interviews by trained forensic interviewers, as well as medical examinations, crisis intervention counseling and ongoing case tracking. The Northumberland location was 1,665 square feet and leased from Boone-Kessler Associates.
“In our first year, we served about 75 children from Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties,” Gerrity said. “Since our beginning, we’ve continued to grow and now serve children from across eight counties. The number of children we serve annually has grown to nearly 500 children each year.”
On Dec. 4, the CAC moved to its new Sunbury location. The building now has space for two interview rooms, an exam room, two therapy rooms, a conference/training room, and provides more privacy to families coming to the center.
“We will utilize the conference room for cross-discipline trainings for police, child protective services and mental health providers, as well as have support groups for non-offending family members,” Wagner said. “This space allows us to provide additional services to child victims and their families while still maintaining the utmost privacy and comfort to them.”
The center currently employs three full-time and three part-time employees. Wagner says they hope to hire a nurse practitioner and there is a goal to also hire an additional forensic interviewer.
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.