RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 20, 2017) – Mary Jo Zanoni, R.N., an Emergency Department caregiver, will receive the Spirit of Peace Award from Working Against Violence, Inc. (WAVI) at its annual banquet on April 22. Zanoni is a key member of Rapid City Regional Hospital’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), created to meet the needs of survivors of sexual violence.
Dr. Anne Fisher of Emergency Medicine and SART medical adviser for Rapid City Regional Hospital, praised the selection.
“She’s the heart and soul of the sexual assault team and well-respected by all of the other nurses and physicians, as well as the states attorney and law enforcement,” Fisher said.
Zanoni has been a member of SART since its inception. She is a principal educator to Emergency Department caregivers, also performing outreach at Sioux San and other hospitals. She’s on call, 24/7 as a resource for sexual assault questions from throughout the region. “The field has a high potential for burnout due to its very nature,” Fisher said. “She has the dedication to keep doing the right thing.”
Zanoni frequently collects evidence of sexual assault, often a two- or three-hour process which also requires emotional support for vulnerable victims.
WAVI Executive Director Linda Shroll said Zanoni has provided a lifetime of service to sexual assault victims on the local, state and national levels. “The award recognizes her real commitment and passion in assisting victims of sexual assault, helping the victims start their journey toward healing,” Shroll said. “She has a way about her that lets her reach out and help.”
Regional Health is an integrated health care system with the purpose of helping patients and communities live well. The organization, with headquarters in Rapid City, S.D., provides community-based health care in more than 20 communities in two states and 32 specialty areas of medicine. As the largest private employer in western South Dakota, Regional Health is comprised of five hospitals, 24 clinic locations and employs nearly 5,000 physicians and caregivers. Regional Health is committed to the future of medicine, with medical training partnerships, a medical residency program, and more than 130 active research studies. For more information, go to www.regionalhealth.org.
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