UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has opened their first satellite child abuse center here in Erie.
The Erie CARE (Child Abuse Referral & Evaluation) Clinic opened its doors Wednesday looking to help the lives of abused youth within the area, Any child under the age of 18 who has been physically abused, neglected or suffered from sexual abuse can receive treatment from the care clinic. “One of the things that’s wonderful about a clinic like this is that children can one stay in their community, and they can be in a place that feels safe,” said Rachel Berger, M.D., Chief of Child Advocacy Center and medical director of CARE Clinic of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Groups that can refer children to this clinic include child protective services, law enforcement, the child advocacy center or a health care provider. “Our community is rallying around these children, and we are there from them and people are behind them and people are behind the scenes working for these children to give them the best treatment possible and also to help the families lighten the burden during this difficult time,” said Elizabeth Hirz, the First Assistant District Attorney of Erie County.
The care clinic helps improve the future for these patients because if they needed to go to a care clinic in the past they would have had to make a trip to Pittsburgh. “People will have much easier access for this care these very vital services, you know if people can’t get to some place without a lot of problems they don’t go and that means the children wouldn’t get the care, so this is very important,” said Michael Gaines, Executive Director of Bradley H. Foulk Advocacy Center.
As the clinic is in its beginning stage it will be open for two half days a week. If you know or suspect someone is being abused you can make a referral to the clinic by calling (814) 877-8743.