Press Release: Debi A. Wolford

Wolford Honored by the Maryland State Board of Victim Services and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention
February 28, 2014 – Cumberland – Leaders from the Western Maryland Health System (WMHS) and Jane’s Place Child Advocacy Center (CAC) for Allegany County are delighted to announce that Ms. Debi A. Wolford will receive an Outstanding Victim Services Professional Award for her work with child and adolescent victims of physical and sexual abuse, assault and neglect at the April 3rd Governor’s Victim Assistance Awards Luncheon in Baltimore, MD. A Domestic Violence and Forensic Nurse Examiner, Ms. Wolford will honored for her work as the Forensic Program Coordinator for WMHS and her service to Jane’s Place.
Ms. Wolford serves as part of Jane’s Place CAC’s team of medical providers, and her service is provided through the generosity of the WMHS. In situations where time is of the essence, Ms. Wolford performs medical examinations on child and adolescent victims of abuse at the hospital’s Emergency Department. When medical exams can be scheduled in advance, Ms. Wolford assists Dr. Allan Haworth with examinations at Jane’s Place.

g258000000000000000c“In her 25 years as an ED nurse, Debi has worked with countless child and adult victims of sexual and physical abuse. She’s made it her life’s work to help others. Whether she’s testifying before Congress on Domestic Violence and Strangulation or performing an exam, she brings compassion, expertise and absolute dedication to everything she does,” said Barry Ronan, president/CEO for Western Maryland Health System.
“We’re fortunate to have Debi’s involvement with Jane’s Place. Not only is she a dedicated part of our CAC’s medical team, she’s a committed Board Member and volunteer,” noted Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab, Jane’s Place’s board chair. “We’re truly grateful for all that she does for our community.”

Since 1999, Ms. Wolford has served as the Domestic Violence/Forensic Nurse and Forensic Program Coordinator for WMHS, where she coordinates the care of all victims of violence and crime. Currently, she is working to expand the Forensic Program’s offerings at WMHS. “With the addition of another forensic nurse examiner, we now have two FNEs on call 24/7 for any adult or child that needs our help, regardless of which state or county they’re from,” explained Ms. Wolford. “I’m blessed to work with many dedicated professionals to help when there’s a need.”

Ms. Wolford was, for a period of several years, assigned to three different Child Advocacy Centers—Jane’s Place CAC, SARAH’s House CAC, and the Garrett County CAC—in two states. Ms. Wolford and her coworker now provide (and assist with) services for SARAH’s House (CAC for Mineral and Hampshire Counties) and Jane’s Place CAC.

As a nurse-advocate and educator, Debi has testified repeatedly on Domestic Violence and Strangulation before Congress (House and Senate hearings), qualified as an Expert in Forensic Examinations and Identification of Injuries Causation Related to Sexual Assault & Abuse in two Maryland counties, and testified on countless occasions before the District and Circuit courts in Allegany County and Circuit Court in Garrett County. Ms. Wolford Serves on the Allegany County Family Violence Council, the Child Abuse Task Force, the Standard & Practices Maryland Board of Nursing, the Allegany County Sexual Assault Response Team, the Allegany County Fatality Review Board, Jane’s Place Child Advocacy Center’s Board of Directors, and COMAR Expert Advisory Panel for DHMH. Her teaching experience ranges from hospital trainings to elementary school forensic nursing programs, to college-level nursing courses. In addition, Ms. Wolford has continually attended trainings and pursued opportunities to improve her own knowledge of working with victims of abuse and assault.

Founded in 2010, Jane’s Place, Inc. Child Advocacy Center’s mission is to reduce trauma, promote healing, and impart hope to child and adolescent victims of abuse, assault and neglect. As the designated Child Advocacy Center (CAC) for Allegany County and a private nonprofit, we provide a safe, child-friendly, ADA-accessible facility where victims of maltreatment may be interviewed, undergo medical examinations, and receive counseling services. Collaboration is key to all that we do. We support and coordinate with officials from child protective services, law enforcement, medical and mental health providers, social services, and prosecution as well as Allegany County’s Multidisciplinary Team to help youth victims of abuse and their families move forward in the process of healing. To learn more about our services or make donation, please call 301-722-0016 or visit our website at To anonymously report suspect child abuse, assault or neglect, please call 301-784-7122 (during normal business hours) or 911. Your call may save the life of a child in our community.
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