Health & Wellness
As part of the Health and Wellness Committee’s projects for the year, Linda Molchan proposed a Comfort Bag project for sexual assault patients to be given to two emergency departments in 2023. Linda was a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for 25 years. She explained that medical care is the first priority after an assault. Reassuring patients that they are medically OK while providing emotional support is critical.
All patients are given the opportunity to have an evidence collection kit and to have police notified if they wish to report the assault. This is always the woman’s choice and evidence can be held for 6 months if they do not at this time want to report.
During evidence collection they have many invasive swabs collected and lab work performed, and clothing worn during the assault is collected and placed in evidence bags. Patients will have to leave the Emergency Department in scrubs.
The need is for the Bags to include: 4 x-small sizes, 4 small, 4 medium, 4 large and 4 x-large bags with clothing, a pair of socks, underwear, a comfortable top and stretchy bottoms. Also, toilet articles such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap and a comb are needed. The members had many great ideas on how to obtain these items and it was reported that many toilet articles have been donated by Kathy Scalia, one of our members, and her staff at Enterprise Bank.
Any member who wants to participate in this project will hear more about this at the November meeting. This participation is totally voluntary.
The goal for this year is to have 20 Comfort bags made by March. Bolts of fabric have been donated by Sharon Drelick and several of our members have volunteered to sew these bags. This project’s goal is to provide 10 bags to each Emergency Departments at Parkland Medical Center in Derry and Holy Family in Methuen