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SUNBURY, Pa. – The Geisinger Child Advocacy Center received $10,000 from the Community Giving Foundation to support victims of child abuse and trauma in the Greater Berwick Area.

The grant comes from the foundation’s Berwick Health & Wellness Fund to offset the cost of forensic interviews during child abuse investigations. Forensic interviews gather information to advocate for victims of abuse in the courtroom, and they save children from repeat, often traumatic interviews.

The funding will help pay for more than 40 forensic interviews, which nears the average number conducted each year by the Child Advocacy Center to serve children in Columbia and Luzerne counties. Funding is not readily available for forensic interviews, and they are not reimbursed by insurance companies, so the center relies on assistance from Children and Youth Services, philanthropic giving and grants to cover costs. 

“The Child Advocacy Center provides a safe, neutral environment for child victims and their families where the well-being of children is the top priority,” said Melissa Wagner, program director of child safety and advocacy at the Child Advocacy Center. “The generosity of the Community Giving Foundation will help us make sure every child referred to us is provided the resources they need.”

The Child Advocacy Center was established in 2004 in collaboration with Geisinger’s Department of Pediatrics to provide a comprehensive, child-centered approach to the investigation and treatment of child abuse. The center has grown from serving 74 child abuse victims in 2004 to serving 557 in a seven-county region in 2021.   

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the nonprofit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 126 care sites — including 10 hospital campuses — and Geisinger Health Plan, with more than half a million members in commercial and government plans. Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $15 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country. Learn more at geisinger.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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R. Matthew Mattei
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