Philanthropy drives pivotal FACT program at Inova
When a person has been a victim of physical and sexual assault, they are at their most vulnerable. They may struggle with being able to inform others or share details of their story, much less offer forensic evidence of the crime.
Thankfully, the Inova Ewing Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) program — the only one of its kind in Northern Virginia — provides compassionate, skilled care that addresses victims’ emotional trauma from abuse, and also supports the collection of DNA evidence and documents injuries to assist the criminal justice process.
As crucial as this program is, it would not exist in its current form without a foundation of philanthropy, says FACT Director Mary Hale. In 2002, Betty and the late Charles Ewing and their family established dedicated funding for FACT services at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, and in 2012 they supported the expansion of the department. The commitment of the Ewing family has allowed FACT to become one of the most comprehensive forensic programs in Northern Virginia. Growing from a staff of only on-call nurses, FACT now has six full-time and four part-time forensic nurses as well as a dedicated on-call staff. This ensures no victim has to wait for care.
In another generous gesture, the Ewing family also has expanded services to Inova Loudoun Hospital to improve access to care. Accessibility to services means more victims will reach out for help, Hale says. “To reduce the number and extent of these crimes, we need this program, as well as community education and resources,” she says. “This program makes a huge difference in the community, but we can’t do it alone. Through generous philanthropy and the incredible FACT team, we’re making an important impact every day for the most vulnerable among us.”