FORT BRAGG

Womack fosters partnership to help fight against sexual assault

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Story by Twana Atkinson on 06/17/2019
WOMACK ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, FORT BRAGG, N.C. Dozens of Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners from Womack Army Medical Center and military Judge Advocate Generals from all across Fort Bragg participated in a two-day competency training session June 13-14.
The second annual training session allowed the SAMFE nurses and JAG personnel to train together and develop best practices of handling and presenting Fort Bragg sexual assault cases.
Hospital Commander Col. John Melton, lauded the efforts of the two organizations coming together to ensure the best care and representation for the Fort Bragg community.
"It's my job to ensure we honor our nations' sacred trust to care for our people who wore or wear the uniform and their family members," said Melton. "This is a testament of the passion that the JAG and the medical personnel have to take care of their community."
The two-day event was comprised of familiarization training on court policies for the medical personnel and documentation procedures for the JAGs.
Womack has been selected to lead the transition from Army Medical Command to Defense Health Agency and is the only Department of Defense military treatment center that is equipped in handling pediatric sexual assault cases.
"Our medical professionals are very competent at our job, but once we're in the court room we are like a fish out of water," said Kelly Taylor, the SAMFE program manager. "Stacy and I developed this training a year ago so that we can ensure that we lead by example in providing top-notch health care all around."
Maj. Stacey Cohen, the Fort Bragg and XVIII Airborne Corp prosecutor, was also in attendance of the training and was presented a coin by the Womack hospital commander.
"We've developed this training to help ensure that the Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners have the skill set needed to be able to testify in courts martial regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, and child victim crimes," said Cohen.
Throughout the event, representatives from the local police department, military health care specialists and JAG all came together to build a special circle of trust and commitment to support the Fort Bragg community.
Dr. Sharon Cooper, a developmental and forensic pediatrician at Womack was also a guest speaker at the event.
"This training is top-notch because it uses multi-disciplinary teams to talk about all different aspects that can be presented," said Cooper. "Rather than just talk about the literature, we apply the tenants that are being promoted within the literature. This pragmatic and practical training allows people to be more prepared."

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