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The Healing Program in Prestonsburg receives gift from med students

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT
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PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials with Mountain Comprehensive Care’s (MCC) Healing Program accepted a $1,000 gift from Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) students.

City of Prestonsburg officials attended to hear how Healing Program Director, Heather Greene, believes the donation will be used to serve survivors of interpersonal violence.

Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton said it takes a partnership to best care for the victims of sexual assault, and that MCC’s Healing Program is leading the way.

”[They help] us as police officers, or as administrators, be able to work with [victims] to get them through the entire process whether it be court, whether it be just getting them help,” said Mayor Stapleton. “And it’s been big for them to do this and it’s been needed for quite some time.”

Greene said she is proud of the program they have built.

”We are one of the thirteen rape crisis centers in Kentucky,” she said. “And we are known as region eleven, but we are the only one with a sexual assault crisis center.”

Greene explained that following a sexual assault victims undergo a lengthy exam. She said the crisis center provides privacy and lets victims avoid lengthy emergency room waits

”You don’t want to be sitting out in a busy waiting room,” said Greene. “It’s more victim centered.”

Thanks, in part, to money raised by the students from KYCOM The Healing Program mission continues.

”When you get in school you get super stressed but [when] you take a step back and do something like this and it makes everything worth it,” added Makayla Mack, a fellow second year med student at KYCOM and organizer of the donation.

“It’s amazing that you see a whole community involved in preventing and taking care of people who a lot of times don’t have anywhere else to go,” said second year medical student, Ella Ella Andronovich.

City of Prestonsburg Police Captain Ross Shurtleff said his officers trained specially to support sexual assault victims and play an important role in the mission of The Healing Program.

”Not just actually the act of keeping [the location] safe, but ensuring that [the survivors] feel safe,” said Captain Shurtleff. “That we’re present, that we’re active and that we’re involved.”

Greene said this whole of city approach is important and putting the victims first is the focus.

”I think we have definitely put our best foot forward and done that,” she said.

Mack and Andronovich said they plan to hold fundraisers in the future and hope to raise even more money.

Services provided by The Healing Program are available within the Big Sandy region in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike counties.

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