Aurora Medical Center-Burlington and Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn, 2022 Community Benefits

Forensic Nurse Examiners Follow the Survivor’s Lead

According to our most recent Community Health Needs Assessments, the rate of rape for Racine and Walworth counties were 12.3 and 26.40 (respectively) reports per 100,000 persons. However, sexual assault, rape and domestic violence are underreported.

Aurora Lakeland Medical Center and Aurora Medical Center-Burlington share a forensic nurse examiner (FNE) team. These specially trained nurses respond to the most sensitive needs of patients and provide trauma-informed care and can often provide guidance on how to navigate complicated situations.

One example includes a mother who presented in the Emergency Department (ED) at Aurora Medical Center – Burlington with her non-verbal child. The mother informed the ED staff that she believed her child was being abused by the child’s other parent while visiting but was unable to gain help through other agencies she reached out to. 

The ED staff reached out to the FNE, who immediately connected with the mother. The mother explained that she has noticed for multiple years that her child would come home from the other parent’s house with bruising and behavioral changes. She tried working with local authorities but kept running into issues as the potential abuse was occurring in a different jurisdiction. 

The FNE was able to take immediate action and contact representatives within local agencies that would be able to help coordinate help for the mother and her child. Within hours of her arrival to the ED, a case was opened on the mother’s behalf and the situation is being investigated. Meanwhile, the child can remain safely at home with the mother.

During 2021, the Forensic Nurse Examiners also:
  • Provided 51 people with trauma-informed care in response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
  • Referred 40 people to community partners for continued services and support.
  • Conducted 124 community education, prevention, and outreach training sessions for 2,037 community members.