Ross County to Host Child Abuse Conference

Oct 18, 2011, 12:40 ET from Adena Health System

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ross County has been chosen from among all counties in Ohio as the location for this year's National District Attorneys Association conference on child abuse.

The national organization is selecting one county in each state to conduct the training session, entitled "Justice In Our Communities: Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse."

"Because Adena Health System serves the Appalachian region, the health system and others from the area played a big role in Ross County being chosen for this year's event," said Julie Oates of the Child Protection Center at Adena.

"The health system provides housing for the only child advocacy center in south-central Ohio, which serves a half-dozen counties in the region. Likewise, Adena's Sexual Assault Response Team has been highly successful in identifying and helping in the prosecution of child abuse cases," said Oates.

She praised the work of Adena physicians Dr. Amy Luckeydoo, Dr. Scott McCallum, Dr. Zoran Naumovski and Dr. Sathish Jetty, in working with young victims of sexual abuse. Dr. Kristine McCallum recently joined the team of doctors.

Since 1995, the health system has assisted regional officials, including those from law enforcement and mental health, in developing a multidisciplinary team to identify and help investigate child sexual abuse.

Today, SART consists of physicians and nurses, who share a 24-hour on-call schedule, working together with Child Protection Center, law enforcement, child protective services, rape crisis volunteers, victim/witness personnel, the District Attorney's staff and the Coroner's office.

Services include identification, investigation, medical/legal examinations, treatment, and follow-up documentation. The examiners provide testimony in court and work closely with the judicial process.

Nationally, one-in-four girls and one-in-six boys are victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Unfortunately, statistics for the Appalachian region of Ohio are lacking, Oates said.

"There's a higher probability that it is underreported," she added, because people in the region prefer to deal with such problems within their families and communities.

A half-dozen speakers, each of them "experts in the field," will make presentations, Oates said. Speakers also will present strategies for child abuse professionals involved in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse.

The conference will be held Nov. 15-17 in the Christopher Conference Center at the Comfort Inn, 20 N. Plaza Blvd., Chillicothe.

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About Adena Health System

Adena Health System is an independent, not-for-profit and locally controlled healthcare organization serving the needs of 13 counties in south-central Ohio and employing more than 2,400 people. Adena provides specialty services typically found in larger medical centers, like open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, cancer care and advanced orthopedic procedures, including reverse shoulder surgery, total joint replacement and minimally invasive spine surgery. The health system is based in Chillicothe, OH.

SOURCE Adena Health System