Aurora Medical Center - Oshkosh, 2021 Community Benefit

Forensic Nurses Help Survivors Heal

According to Aurora Medical Center-Oshkosh's most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, the rate of sexual assault and rape for Winnebago County was 12.3 reports per 100,000 people in 2016. However, sexual assault and rape are underreported, and the definition of sexual assault varies across different agencies. Therefore, the numbers may vary depending on the data source.

At Aurora Medical Center-Oshkosh (AMCO), abuse survivors receive care for immediate medical needs in the emergency room. Specially trained forensic nursing experts help guide survivors to healing as soon as their medical care is complete. 
The first steps in the healing journey include making important decisions. Forensic nurse examiners (FNEs) explain options and help survivors choose the services that are right for them. The FNEs respect survivor wishes and only provide what is requested with the understanding that survivors can return for additional support later.
Forensic nursing services include forensic evaluation, emotional support, legal advice, assistance in reporting the crime to the police, testimony in court, referrals to other services and preventive care. Together, these lower the risk that a survivor’s trauma leads to further health complications.
During 2020, AMCO’s forensic nurse examiners provided 149 survivors with trauma-informed care in response to sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking. Of those served, 98 people were referred to community partners for continued services and support.
Beyond providing care, AMCO's nurses also conducted four community education, prevention, and outreach training sessions for 115 community members.