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16th Annual Forensic Science Seminar aims to Prevent and Mitigate Effects of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

Jan 7, 2019

Forensic Conference Presented by Valley Baptist Health System

Valley Baptist Health System is committed to helping leaders in our area prevent and investigate child abuse. Everyone from nurses and doctors to law enforcement and judges are invited to attend the 16th Annual Rio Grande Valley Seminar in Forensic Sciences, held Wednesday, November 7, through Friday, November 9, 2018, at the Isla Grand Beach Resort, located at 500 Padre Blvd. on South Padre Island.

The seminar, presented by Valley Baptist Health System, will provide current information to those involved in child abuse investigations, including law enforcement officers, Child Protective Services workers, social workers, attorneys, nurses, pediatricians, medical examiners, forensic pathologists, coroners, psychologists, EMS personnel, school and daycare personnel, clergy, and other professionals.  The special three-day conference will address ways to prevent child abuse, techniques used in child death investigations, and other current issues involving child abuse and domestic violence.

The conference will be chaired by Dr. Stanley Fisch, Medical Director of the Child to Adult Abuse Response Team at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen. Other speakers include Commander Eddie Hurtado, of the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force; Kristen Millon, Executive Director of Valley Haven Emergency Children’s Shelter; and Sgt. Greg Reyero of the Texas Crimes Against Children Training Unit and Sonja Eddleman, BSN, RN, Child Abuse Resource & Evaluation Team Clinical Coordinator for Driscoll Children’s Hospital and CAART Team Clinical Director for Valley Baptist Health System.

The three-day seminar will cover a range of topics to include “The work of the RGV Child Exploitation Intervention Taskforce”, “Mental Health-Informed Approach to Community Policing” and “Taking on the Foster Care Crisis in Our Region”.

“The forensics seminar is an important learning opportunity for those professionals who work with the realities of domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect,” said Dr. Fisch.  “We aim to unite a multidisciplinary audience to a greater understanding of the origins and ramifications of child abuse and domestic violence in our community.”

The annual conference is sponsored by Valley Baptist Health System, Blue Sunday, and the Child Abuse Education Program.

“The seminar will provide up to date information, standards of practice, and evidence-based research,” Eddleman said. “This is imperative for all professionals that touch the lives of children and have the opportunity to speak, act, and take a stand to protect them. These children are waiting on us to help them.”

The final conclusion of the seminar will be the Faith Summit taking place on Friday at 1pm and will include a booth tour and topics on “Solutions for Vulnerable Children”, “Child Abuse in the Faith Community” and “Connecting Faith with Child Welfare”.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit or call Stephanie Hamby at (956) 389-1721. The seminar is presented by Valley Baptist Health System, Blue Sunday, and the Child Abuse Education Program of South Texas.

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