February 18, 2019

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Medical Students Educated about Abuse Assessment – Safe Avenue

Safe Anenue Medical Student Education

L-R Connie Schmoll, Ex. Dir. Safe Avenues, 3rd year medical students at ACMC: Neil Johnson, Libby Miller and Kelsey Redland

At ACMC, ongoing education is a must for all providers and staff. We also offer weekly ‘classroom’ education sessions onsite for students rotating within our organization. These sessions have included a variety of specialties available locally. The programs are presented on a rotating basis by providers from ACMC, Rice Memorial Hospital and community health care entities. Once a month students also travel to community locations for an onsite experience. These include; Jennie-O Turkey Plant, Kandiyohi Public Health, Kandiyohi County Jail, Migrant Health Clinic, Rice Hospice & Grief Center, Rice Regional Dental Clinic, Safe Avenues and Willmar Regional Cancer Center.



“I really appreciate the broad range of health care information and opportunities available through ACMC,” said Libby Miller, 3rd year medical student at Des Moines University (DMU).

Libby and Neil Johnson, also from DMU, are with us over 12 months from August 2011 – July 2012 obtaining a broad range of specialty rotations, most lasting 4 weeks others 2 weeks. Kelsey Redland, UMN-Duluth, is with us over 9 months, from October 2011-June 2012. Her focus is on primary care, specifically Family Medicine with OB.

These rotations are individually specific with guidelines and objectives which the students must attain according to each university’s medical school curriculum requirements.

“Having students with us over this length of time gives them a strong experience for ‘hands on’ rural medicine and one-on-one patient interaction under the guidance of professionals we all know and trust. It’s our hope these experiences will encourage them to return to a rural Minnesota practice in their future,” states Julayne Mayer, Medical Rotations Coordinator at ACMC.

During a recent classroom education session, Connie Schmoll, Executive Director of Safe Avenues in Willmar, presented information on ‘Abuse Assessment Training’ to these third year medical students at ACMC. Safe Avenues is a non-profit organization “Serving Survivors of Domestic or Sexual Violence & Children at Risk of Abuse.” Read on to learn more information of this service in our region.

Safe Avenue

Sexual violence is the use of words or actions of a sexual nature that are unwanted or harmful to another. It can happen to anyone; women, men, children or the elderly. And it can happen anywhere. Approximately 50% of all sexual assaults take place in the victim’s home or a private residence.

Safe Avenue basic services include:

  • 24 hour crisis intervention
  • Emergency residential shelter for victims and their children
  • Advocacy and support for victims
  • Material assistance to victims including: food, clothing, personal supplies, furniture
  • Referrals and transportation to other services
  • Legal advocacy to support victims needing criminal justice intervention, assistance with filing Restraining Orders and Orders for Protection, support during divorce, custody and visitation issues
  • Support groups for survivors in Willmar, Benson, Montevideo, and Olivia
  • Personal safety planning
  • Supervised visitation and exchange for children
  • Public awareness and education

Who can receive services?

  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Victims of sexual assault
  • Child abuse victims
  • Child witnesses of family violence
  • Children in need of supervised visitation or parental exchange

Safe Avenues is available 24 hours/day with a toll free # (800) 792-4210 and www.willmarshelter.com. Local sites can also be contacted 24 hours/day and include: Kandiyohi County & Hispanic Outreach, (320) 235-0962, Chippewa/Lac Qui Parle County Outreach, (320)269-6520, Renville, Meeker, McLeod County Outreach, (320) 523-1015 and Swift County Outreach, (320) 842-3206.

If you have been sexually assaulted…

  • Get to a safe place immediately
  • Call one of the crisis line numbers listed above
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible
  • DO NOT change clothes, douche, bathe, or shower. Preservation of DNA evidence is important if and when the victim chooses to report the crime. Properly maintained evidence is key to the identification and prosecution of the abuser.
Julayne Mayer

Julayne Mayer, Physician Recruitment, Medical Rotations, Scholarships

How can you help Victims of Abuse?

  • Become a volunteer by calling to speak with the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Churches, civic clubs, businesses can provide a community service or fundraising project. Call to speak with the Executive Director.
  • Learn more about domestic violence through a small or large group presentation, call to speak with the Community Education Coordinator.
  • Make a secure online donation by going to www.willmarshelter.com or send a check to Safe Avenues, PO Box 568, Willmar, MN 56201.
  • Donated clothing and household items for survivors who are starting new, please call (320) 235-0962.

Safe Avenues is a charitable, non-profit organization. All donations, including used household items and clothing, are acknowledged with a receipt suitable as evidence that the donation may qualify as a tax deductible contribution to a charitable organization.