CCFMTC Training Announcement

Palomar Health is the hospital-based training center designated as the California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center (CCFMTC). Established by Penal Code Section 13823.93, the Palomar Health CCFMTC ensures that medical evidentiary examinations are conducted in a standard and consistent manner throughout California. This is accomplished through the development of standardized forms, protocols and trainings made available to qualified healthcare professionals, law enforcement, prosecutors, forensic scientists, advocates, and the courts throughout the state.

Palomar Heath’s CCFMTC is proud to announce the current trainings scheduled for 2023 led by CCFMTC Medical Director, Dr. Angela Vickers. Dr. Vickers has been a Pediatric Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) for 30 years and Adult SAFE for 20 years. Palomar Health’s CCFMTC is proud to be working in collaboration with SAFE teams and hospitals to bring live trainings to various locations in California throughout 2023. The goal is to create equal access to live trainings throughout the state and work in partnership with SAFE teams in rural areas.

The Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Training Program covers fundamental forensic medical examination procedures and techniques for adult and adolescent survivors of sexual assault. The course focuses on the use of the Cal OES 2-923 Sexual Assault Forensic Medical Report form and instructions. This course is designed to teach basic knowledge and skills for either inexperienced or experienced examiners. Completion of on-line prerequisites is required prior to attending the live trainings.

The Pediatric Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Training Program focuses on the fundamental medical examination procedures and techniques for performing both acute and non-acute examinations for children under 12 and young adolescents. Emphasis will be on the documentation of injuries, the collection of evidence and the interpretation of findings. The course focuses on pediatric and adolescent techniques and issues that will assist the examiner to accomplish the task in a gentle, non-traumatic manner. The training will also focus on two statutorily mandated forms in California for this age group: Cal OES 2-930 and Cal OES 2-925. Completion of on-line prerequisites is required prior to attending the live trainings.

Registration fees for Adult/Adolescent and Pediatric SAFE Training Programs are $300 (in-state) and $400 (out-of-state); however, training and lodging scholarships are available to those who qualify. Upon completion of each course, attendees can receive 40 contact hours of California Board of Nursing (BRN) credits or 40 contact hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.

Please refer to the CCFMTC 2023 Training Flyer for the dates and locations of each training. We will keep you updated as we continue to add additional dates and locations. For questions and registration instructions, contact Destine.TevesBorrego@PalomarHealth.org.

Registered participants of the 3-Day Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Training for healthcare professionals on Feb. 6-8, 2023 will need to complete the required prerequisite training curriculum to be able to receive the full 40 contact hours.

Palomar Health is an approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #195 for 40 Contact Hours.

Refund Policy: Refunds for training registration fees will be granted if the CCFMTC is notified by email at least one week before the first day of the associated training. Please email CCFMTC@palomarhealth.org for refund related inquiries. Training registration fees waived with scholarship and no refunds are applicable.

This publication was supported by funding awarded by the Services*Training*Officers*Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program and the Medical Training Program (MCTO) State General Fund for EM22 01 1053 through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

CCFMTC Leadership Announcement

As previously announced, as of October 1, 2022, Palomar Health has become the designated hospital-based training center for forensic medical exams in the state of California. Established by California Penal Code 13823.93, the California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center (CCFMTC) was established by state law in 1995. It increases access for victims of interpersonal violence and abuse to specially trained healthcare professionals who can not only address medical and emotional needs, but also the forensic needs of the criminal justice system. We are excited to introduce Dr. Angela Vickers and Destine Teves Borrego to the Palomar Health team. Dr. Vickers will serve as the Medical Director for the CCFMTC and Destine will serve as the CCFMTC Program Manager.

Angela Vickers, MD is a board-certified Child Abuse Pediatrician, currently acting as the Supervising Physician at the Sutter BEAR Clinic in Sacramento. She has been a Pediatric Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) for 30 years and an Adult SAFE for 20 years. As the former the Education Director for CCFMTC, Dr. Vickers has provided CCFMTC trainings for SAFE and child abuse victims for 20 years. Dr. Vickers has also served as a consultant for curriculum, policy and program development using the MDT model for SAFE and child abuse in California for 25 years. She has published in the field of child abuse and neglect, performed over 3,000 evidentiary exams, and testified in over 500 trials throughout California. Dr. Vickers is committed to helping all survivors of violence access high quality and timely evidentiary exams in our diverse state of California by increasing the number of trained forensic examiners and through outreach to local teams that facilitate quality improvement and program sustainability.

Destine Teves Borrego, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P has a strong commitment to work in service of underserved communities. Previously, the HIV PEP Coordinator for Forensic Nurse Specialists, she serves as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Destine has provided numerous trainings on HIV PEP access for victims in California and has previously served as the Legislative Director for the California Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Association. Prior to becoming a nurse, Destine worked as a health educator and Program Manager of the Health Education Department at Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties, where she monitored several programs funded by the California Department Healthcare Services, Office of Family Planning. Destine obtained her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Arizona in Clinical Systems Leadership and is a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Adult/Adolescent (SANE-A) and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Pediatric (SANE-P). We look forward to both of their expertise and the statewide training support these experts bring to our Palomar Health team under the guidance and direction of Michelle Shores and her forensics and trauma recovery team!

For more information contact Destine.TevesBorrego@PalomarHealth.org.

Virginia Barragan, FACHE, DPT, MOMT
Vice President Continuum Care and Oncology Service Line

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For many, home is a safe place – filled with warmth, love, comfort, and peace from the outside world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year. Moreover, recent studies indicate that domestic violence incidences have risen during the COVID pandemic.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This designation evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In 1989, Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since.

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION SIGNED INTO LAW

On September 29, Governor Newsom signed several bills to enhance protections for survivors of crime and abuse, including measures that establish an amnesty clause protecting survivors and witnesses of sexual assault, and support victims in fertility fraud crimes and certain sexual assault cases in seeking justice.

“This legislation will help empower survivors of crime and abuse to speak out against their abusers and provide them more time to seek justice,” said Governor Newsom. “California is committed to protecting survivors and supporting them and the organizations that provide them with essential services, especially during this challenging time.”

AB 1927 by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas) encourages survivors and witnesses of sexual assault to testify in court by providing them immunity for testimony related to illegal alcohol or drug use at the time of the assault. Amnesty clauses like that established by AB 1927 are already utilized by the University of California and other academic institutions to encourage sexual assault reporting by students.

AB 2014 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) changes the statute of limitations in fertility fraud crimes from three years from the time that the crime occurred, to one year after the victim has discovered it. These crimes involve the unlawful use or implantation of sperm, ova, or embryos in assisted reproduction technology, which victims may not become aware of until many years after the offense has occurred. In response to reports of sexual assault by a former University of California, Los Angeles physician, AB 3092 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) revives time-barred legal claims involving sexual assaults at the University’s medical clinics, allowing them to proceed without facing statute of limitations challenges.

In addition, the Governor signed several bills to enhance domestic violence-related protections. AB 2517 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) authorizes courts to make a finding in a domestic violence restraining order that specific debts were incurred as a result of domestic violence, such as through identity theft or coercion. SB 1141 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) permits coercive control – which can include isolating someone from friends, relatives or other sources of support– to be considered as evidence of domestic violence when determining child custody in family court.

Building on his executive order signed in May to ease financial burdens on domestic violence centers, Governor Newsom also signed SB 1276 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), which eliminates the 10 percent cash or in-kind matching requirement for state grants awarded to these organizations. California has advanced a series of initiatives to support survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, including directing $5.3 million in state funding to be distributed to local service providers, a partnership with the Women’s Foundation of California to raise private funds that support domestic violence organizations, and new private sector partnerships to provide free accommodation and transportation to survivors fleeing violence. The state has also launched “text-to-911” capability throughout the state.

Governor Newsom also took action on bills to protect children and older Californians from abuse. AB 1929 by Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) permanently extends the internet-based child abuse and neglect reporting systems established by counties under a 2015 law. The internet-based systems, overseen by the California Department of Social Services, provide an expeditious tool for mandated reporters to make non-emergency reports of suspected child abuse and neglect to child welfare agencies. SB 1123 by Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) clarifies the definition for elder and dependent adult abuse in the Penal Code and requires law enforcement to update their policy manuals to reflect it, promoting consistency in the reporting and investigating of elder abuse claims.

SART SUMMIT

We had to go virtual with this year’s SART Summit, and although it looked different than in previous years, we had 230 participants—advocates, criminalists, law enforcement, prosecutors, nurses, other medical professionals—plus 18 instructors who presented on 10 different topics presented over 6 days. We received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the evaluations and an email from one attendee who said: 

Thank you very, very much for the 9th SART Summit. This was the first time for me to attend and I found it very informative. The speakers were all great.  Many issues in the other states, especially California, are similar to ours in Hawaii. Some of the ideas and solutions presented have already been incorporated on Oahu, which is reassuring to know we are on the right direction, with some tweaking. Thank you for presenting ways to help all levels of involvement (social workers, law enforcement, medical, laboratory scientists, etc.) perform their jobs better in order to assist/support victims better and to prevent victimization.