NLT production benefits victims

Published 12:02 am Sunday, January 19, 2014

There are numerous crime and detective shows on television that capture our attention and have us on the edge of our seats waiting for the day in court when the bad guy will be put away for his or her heinous actions.

However, there is nothing more disheartening, whether in a television drama or real life, when the bad guy gets to walk out of the courtroom due to lack of evidence, contaminated evidence or insufficient evidence.

When a sexual assault occurs, Natchez Regional Medical Center, along with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, are teaming up to ensure that evidence is collected properly and the victim receives the compassion and professionalism they deserve from a trained clinical professional.

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A little over a year ago, Natchez Regional began looking into setting up a designated room in the emergency department for sexual assault victims. The equipment needs include a secure, private room with a GYN table, a digital camera called a colposcope and a forensic flashlight.

Other equipment needs include a fax machine; computer and monitor; photo quality printer; and a light staining microscope.

It is our goal to provide our nurses with the required 40 hours of training necessary to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). This 40-hour course fulfills the guidelines set forth by the International Association of Forensic Nurses and meets the educational requirement for a nurse applying to sit for the national certification exam. The University of Mississippi School of Nursing provides academic oversight for the course. The SANE practices as part of a multi disciplinary team that also includes advocates, law enforcement, forensic scientists and prosecutors.

It has been proven that cases where evidence has been collected with a SANE, combined with their expert testimony, help produce higher conviction rates.

We need approximately $15,000 to equip the room, and through the generous donations from the Rotary Club of Natchez, Callon Petroleum and The Healthcare Foundation of Natchez Regional, we are nearly half way at our goal of $15,000.

This Wednesday, you have the opportunity to be part of seeing this much needed service in our community become a reality. Natchez Regional Medical Center and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office have teamed with the Natchez Little Theatre to offer a special showing of Clybourne Park at a special price of $10.

All proceeds of your ticket purchase for the Wednesday performance will benefit the SANE program. The play begins at 7 p.m. at the Natchez Little Theatre on Linton Avenue.

This wickedly funny and fiercely provocative play about race, real estate and the volatile values of each won nearly every honor the theatre has to give, including the Tony Award® for Best Play, Olivier Award, the Evening Standard Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Clybourne Park explodes in two outrageous acts set 50 years apart. Act One takes place in 1959 as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification.

There will be refreshments at intermission, and as always, the acting and directing will not disappoint at the Natchez Little Theatre.

Tickets may be reserved by calling Natchez Little Theatre at 601-442-2233.


Barbara Willis is the chief nursing officer for Natchez Regional Medical Center.