Gail Perkins, RN, Forensic Nurse Examiner at Mary Washington Healthcare has been selected as the 2012 National Spirit of Women Healthcare Hero. Gail was chosen from a pool of Regional Healthcare Hero winners from Spirit hospitals all across the country by a national panel of judges.
At the local Spirit of Women Awards hosted by Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) in May, Gail Perkins, was named Regional Spirit of Women Healthcare Hero, along with a Young Person Role Model and Community Hero. As the regional winner, Perkins qualified to be in the running for the national award, along with other regional Healthcare Heroes throughout the country. On Thursday, June 14, Gail Perkins began her reign as the 2012 National Spirit of Women Healthcare Hero.
Gail was nominated locally for her dedication to the health and safety of women in the Fredericksburg region through her efforts in the Mary Washington Healthcare Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program and her advocacy for women and children who have been victims of sexual violence. Gail is inspired by her work as a forensic nurse and wants to see an end to the violence against women and children. She worked with Empowerhouse (formerly Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence) to bring a program to the emergency departments in which healthcare professionals screen for intimate partner violence and then call the local domestic violence hotline to seek in-person domestic violence advocacy services to include risk assessment, support, education, case management, and safety planning.
Gail’s nomination addresses how she has actively pursued the development of the Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center in Spotsylvania, VA—a child-friendly facility where children of abuse can go to be interviewed, receive forensic exams. Safe Harbor also provides community services for counseling and therapy to assist children in their healing process.
In July, Gail will be honored nationally for her service at the Spirit of Women National Executive Meeting Breakfast in Boca Raton, Florida.