New clinic addresses health needs of maltreated children
A new clinic in Harrisburg will serve as the medical home for children in out-of-home care, providing primary care as well as evidence-based mental and behavioral health services. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this morning to celebrate the opening of the James M. and Margaret V. Stine Foundation TLC Clinic, a service of the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children. “TLC” stands for “Transforming the Lives of Children.”
The Stine Foundation TLC Clinic, which is located on the second floor of the Rose Garden Building at 2626 North Third Street, will provide comprehensive primary care services including medical evaluations and ongoing care coordination, as well as mental health services for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
“We know from extensive evidence that early childhood trauma is associated with adverse mental health, developmental and physical outcomes,” said Dr. Lori Frasier, division chief of child abuse pediatrics at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. “Children who suffer abuse have special health care needs, due in part to the stress and trauma they have experienced.”
There is a gaping need for specialized care for victims of child abuse in south central Pennsylvania, which the Stine Foundation TLC Clinic will seek to meet. Services will include treatment for children with post-traumatic stress, depression or anxiety resulting from sexual abuse, physical abuse and/or neglect as well as comprehensive primary care for abused and at-risk children in out-of-home care.
“For years, experts at Penn State Hershey have been working to provide specialized care and advocacy for children who have been victims of abuse. Today we take that commitment to a new level with the opening of the Stine Foundation TLC Clinic,” said Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs, and dean, Penn State College of Medicine. “Here, children who have suffered trauma will be able to get the coordinated care they need to heal and to restore hope for the future.”
The Stine Foundation TLC Clinic will operate Monday through Friday, by appointment. Outpatient assessment for children thought to have been abused will continue to be provided across the street at the Children's Resource Center. The center, at 2645 North Third Street, has a close relationship with the TLC Clinic and its providers.
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