Resilience, the Chicago metro area’s largest rape crisis organization, and AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center Chicago are collaborating to expand support to survivors of sexual violence. AMITA Health is a Chicago-based joint operating company formed by Ascension and AdventHealth.

When survivors receive care in the emergency department at AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center, Resilience, originally called Rape Victim Advocates, sends one of 257 trained volunteers to serve as that patient’s advocate to offer emotional and practical help during and after the survivor’s ED visit.

“We’re thankful to work with Resilience to best meet the needs of sexual assault survivors in our community,” said Valerie Sentowski, ED nursing director at AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center. “Partnering to care for the full needs of these patients is a privilege and an honor and fits well with our mission to treat the most vulnerable.”

AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center is the 16th Chicago-area hospital to rely on Resilience to augment support for sexual assault survivors. Services for survivors, available in English or Spanish, are always offered free of charge. During 2018, more than 2,300 survivors benefitted from crisis intervention, advocacy and trauma therapy services provided by Resilience.

“Sadly, sexual violence happens in every demographic group,” said Sarah Layden, Resilience’s director of programs and public policy. “Even the most comfortable and tightly knit neighborhoods are not immune. Our volunteers offer services that complement the extraordinary care of emergency room professionals. Working with AMITA Resurrection’s ED staff members, our volunteers make a powerful difference in the lives of survivors during and after their hospital stay.”

Resilience advocates serve as liaisons with healthcare professionals. They are trained to offer emotional support, share information about medical concerns, and assist survivors by facilitating communication with hospital staff and police.