Blanchfield Army Community Hospital conducts training exercise to support victims of sexual assault


FORT CAMPBELL, KY – Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence experience unique trauma that can be both physical and psychological. The Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Forensic Healthcare Exam staff hosted a specialized interpersonal violence exam training exercise, demonstrating how to administer care to patients affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. This follows through on one of BACH’s main priorities: providing safe, quality, and effective healthcare.

BACH Forensic Healthcare Program Manager Evangeline Barefoot created the exercise and teamed up with BACH Soldiers who role-played as simulated patients to provide realistic training.

Barefoot purposefully designed this training to include all the personnel involved in the process of treating this type of patient with an overall objective of enhancing the medical readiness of the fighting force and the BACH Health System.

“The goal is not just to have examiners practice doing exams on simulated victims, but to also have domestic violence advocates from Family Advocacy, Army Community Service, Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention, and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator included in the exercise. This way, everyone can truly understand what a victim goes through when they choose to come to the hospital and seek medical care,” Barefoot said.

“This training provided the opportunity to elaborate on some best practices, identify areas for improvement, and highlight how the collaboration with all agencies can significantly impact victim care,” said BACH Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Tonika Rizer.

The intense training highlighted the stresses the forensic health examination team and patients experience. It is difficult to quantify the emotional impact on patients or staff involved with this type of situation. Realistic training helps refine the professional response the forensic health exam staff needs to provide compassionate and proper patient care.

“I was nervous before the training, but I felt more comfortable with my skills and knowledge of my duties afterward. I especially liked including the Family Advocacy Program and other service representatives we closely work with to better understand what they can provide for patients,” said 1st Lt. Ashley Reynolds, BACH Emergency Room nurse.

According to Col. Dawn Orta, who traveled from Fort Knox, Kentucky to participate in this training, “The training provided an excellent variation in patient history and circumstances, ensuring a reminder to meet various patients’ needs and FHE (Forensic Health Examiner) requirements, updated Department of Defense and local area requirements, and available resources. The training provided a critical reminder of the team approach.”

According to the Department of Defense annual report on sexual assault in the military for fiscal year 2023, there has been a 5% decrease in the total number of cases reported across all military branches since 2022. The results are published in an annual report at https://www.sapr.mil.

BACH’s current campaign plan is for the hospital staff to focus on patient-centered care and create a culture of healthcare excellence that delivers exceptional outcomes. The medical team supports all types of emotional circumstances patients experience. It takes a team of professionals focused on caring for people to properly support sensitive situations, to include interpersonal violence cases.



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