St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center Advocate Certification and Awards Ceremony

Thursday, 31 March 2011
New York, NY

The Joyful Heart Foundation was honored to receive an award from the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC) for Outstanding Service at its 16th Annual Advocate Certification and Award Ceremony.

Joyful Heart was recognized for our direct service retreat programs dedicated to healing and wellness for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Christine Vargo, Manager of New York Programs, accepted the award on behalf of Joyful Heart.

“The work that the Crime Victims Treatment Center does to empower survivors of violence through treatment, collaboration, education and research aligns well with our vision and together we can accomplish a tremendous amount towards a world that exists without violence,” Christine said in acceptance remarks. “This type of collaboration is one that we would like to model with agencies across the country.”

The Distinguished Leadership Award was presented to Victoria Sharpe, MD of the Center of Comprehensive Care, which offers holistic care to people living with HIV and AIDS. Dr. Sharpe was pivotal to ensuring the Center’s continued work with patients when its base, the St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, closed last year due to budget cuts.

The Above and Beyond Award went to volunteer rape crisis and domestic violence advocate Maegan Corcoran for the dedication, commitment and comfort she brings to survivors in the emergency department and her leadership and mentorship to other advocates.

The Belt of Honor was presented to Shihan Andre Valdez for teaching Kenpō–a style of martial arts–to survivors with the goal of empowerment and building confidence.

Twenty-one volunteer advocates with the CVTC were awarded their certifications to provide emotional support and crisis counseling for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in hospital emergency departments. The new advocates were required to complete an intensive 40-hour training and a year of providing advocacy before being eligible for certification.

Susan Xenarios, Director of the CVTC, the staff and one survivor who shared her story of moving from crisis to healing, gave thoughtful and heartfelt remarks about the work the CVTC does for survivors throughout the intimate ceremony. The staff of Joyful Heart was immensely grateful to be a part of the evening and to honor the advocates who were certified to provide much needed support and comfort to those in crisis.

“On behalf of all of us at Joyful Heart, we are humbled by your work, grateful for your commitment and inspired by your passion,” Christine said. “We are so proud to work among you and to be your partner–in healing, in hope and in joy.”

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