St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center recently held a dedication ceremony for Chloe’s Garden at the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center.
The garden, which is meant to serve as a healing refuge for children who are seen at the state’s first and only hospital-based child advocacy center, was named after 11-year-old Murfreesboro resident and former patient Chloe Sharp. Sharp was on hand for the ceremony, along with her father, Chris, mother, Teresa, and sister, Kara.
“Ten days ago marked the second anniversary of the single most devastating day in the lives of my family,” said Chris Sharp during his remarks at the dedication ceremony. “On behalf of my family, I would like to thank the administrators of this facility and St. Joseph’s for allowing us to be a part of this event and for naming this beautiful garden after Chloe. It is our prayer God will use this place to bring joy and peace that will far exceed the pain children who come here experience.”
St. Joseph’s founded the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center after it was learned the 18th Judicial District (Garland County) was among the state’s top three when it comes to filings of child maltreatment reports. Surrounding counties also have significant instances of child maltreatment and the Center provides a comprehensive, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team response to allegations of child abuse. In a dedicated, child-friendly setting, the team response to allegations of child abuse includes forensic interviews, medical evaluations, therapeutic intervention, victim support/advocacy, case reviewing and case tracking.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your generosity,” said St. Joseph’s President/CEO Randy Fale during the dedication ceremony’s welcome message. “A special thank you goes out to Katherine Anthony and the Sisters of Mercy for the gifts to purchase the building, and to Dorothy Morris for the initial donation on this beautiful garden. I also want to thank the many others of you who have contributed your treasure and talents to make this place of refuge a success.”
The Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center serves a primary service area of Garland and Hot Spring counties, with a secondary service area of Montgomery, Pike, Howard, Clark and Saline counties. Due to a shortage of services in other counties, the Center staff has also seen children from Calhoun, Columbia, Faulkner, Jefferson, Logan, Nevada, Miller, Sebastian, Polk, Scott, Sevier, Union, Yell, Drew, Pulaski, Madison and Independence counties. In the fiscal year of 2006 alone, 181 children were seen at the Center for forensic interviews and specialized exams.
“The generosity of so many has them participating in an effort that I believe is going to take hold across the state,” Fale concluded. “I know there is some talk amongst legislative officials that this Center ought to be used as a model in going forth throughout the state. I find that to be absolutely exciting.”
For information about services provided by the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center, please call (501) 622-2531. Meanwhile, for information on how to invest in the future of the region’s health care through the St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Foundation, please call (501) 622-1123.