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New Partnership Launches First in the Nation Training for Comprehensive Forensic Documentation

Academy Registration Opened to Qualified Health Care Providers March 15

March 19, 2019 (ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Health have partnered to offer the Alaska Comprehensive Forensic Training Academy (ACFTA), designed to provide nurses and health care providers with important skills and tools to assist victims of trauma with an eye towards justice. No other state has implemented this type of training; ACFTA is a pilot program.

The Academy is a combined on-line and in-person training.  Upon completing both the online and in-person training modules, trained personnel will be able to respond to any victim reporting trauma or violence in an Alaska community, and provide them with support and resources in a trauma-informed manner that will also preserve potential evidence and information for future prosecutions.

ACFTA consists of 20-25 hours of online modules, followed by 20-25 hours of face-to-face learning. Courses will cover topics such as strangulation, DNA issues, evidence collection and responding to cases of intimate partner violence.

“Many areas of Alaska lack providers trained to document and collect medical evidence in a trauma-informed manner that also preserves that evidence for use in a criminal or other case,” CDVSA Director L. Diane Casto said. “Through this partnership, health care providers across the state will be able to provide skilled care for victims in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event while ensuring that justice can be served.”  “CDVSA is excited to support this training academy to grow and enhance our victim-centered workforce.”

Registration for the first academy class began March 15, with the first in-person class being held in Anchorage May 14-16.  Applications for full or partial travel scholarships to the in-person training are available.  The first academy class will be limited to 40 registrants.

“Interpersonal violence issues affect all Alaskans,” said UAA College of Health and Program Developer Dr. Angelia Trujillo.  “By ensuring the proper collection of the forensic evidence related to crimes, Alaska nurses and healthcare providers that complete the ACFTA empower victims by preserving critical data that will aid crime victims in their pursuit of justice.”

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