Commit to Get Fit Makes Strides in Supporting the SAFE Program

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On September 25, 2022, we will join together as a community for the 4th Annual Commit to Get Fit. At St. Joseph, serving our community is part of our mission. This event provides an opportunity for everyone in the community to join in together for a day of running, walking, volunteering, giving, or cheering. This is also an important fundraiser for the SAFE program at St. Joseph.

The Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner (SAFE) program at St. Joseph is invaluable to the residents of Maine. Thanks to the compassionate staff, donors and participants of Commit to Get Fit and community support from our partners, the SAFE program has expanded services and is reaching and supporting more vulnerable people than ever before. The SAFE program provides professional nursing care for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, human trafficking and self-inflicted strangulation. As the scope of the work has grown, so has the number of Mainers we serve each year – rising from 64 individuals in 2017 to 186 in 2021. We currently serve over half of
Maine’s counties.

The continuing support from the 4th Annual Commit to Get Fit event has helped the SAFE program grow. Keri Kapaldo, RN, was appointed to the new position of SAFE clinical leader in April 2021. She oversees three SAFE nurses and two additional nurses who are receiving SAFE training thanks to Commit to Get Fit support. A certified Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner for adults who also holds that credential in the state of Maine, Keri has been a key member of the St. Joseph SAFE team since 2014. In her new role, Keri is answering the community’s call for more education and outreach programming. She regularly trains emergency responders, university students, hospital personnel, shelter staff and others on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, care for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, and how to refer survivors the St. Joseph SAFE program.

The impact that the Commit to Get Fit event has had on strengthening this important and necessary program cannot be overstated. Our goal in 2022 is to hire more SAFE nurses and ensure the program will be available to our community 24/7. You can help make it happen.

Registration is now open for Commit to Get Fit on September 25, 2022. The registration rate is going up on August 1 for both the 10K and 5K run’s. Sign up now and join in the fun.

This story was featured in the 2021 Foundation Annual Report; read more.

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