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The Foundation at Mission Regional Medical Center Receives $25,000 Donation for SAFE Program

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people holding large checkMayor Norberto Salinas, The City of Mission, and the Mission Police Department presented a check today for $25,000 to The Foundation at Mission Regional Medical Center, to benefit the hospital’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Program.

Funds appropriated today will go specifically to the SAFE Program, toward the purchase of a Secure Digital Forensic Imaging (SDFI) Camera. This specialized piece of equipment is used to document the injuries inflicted on victims of abuse, assault and neglect, as part of the evidence collection performed by a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). Acquisition of the SDFI camera by Mission Regional will make it the first and only acute care medical center in Hidalgo County to possess this specialized piece of equipment.

“County-wide, the number of children and adults requiring physical and forensic examinations related to injuries reportedly from assault, abuse and neglect continues to climb,” stated Mr. Javier Iruegas, CEO. “For this reason, Mission Regional decided to create the SAFE Program, coordinated by a certified sexual assault nurse, to provide 24/7 coverage to the community through our Emergency Department. Thanks to the generous support of Mayor Salinas, the City of Mission and the Mission Police Department, we will have the SDFI camera to collect critical evidence for use by law enforcement to prosecute the alleged perpetrators of these acts.”

“Today, I am proud to say the City of Mission is leading the way in protecting its citizens, young and old, from abuse and neglect,” proclaimed Mayor Norberto Salinas. “We are taking a stand against those who harm our children, especially. If you seek to injure or violate someone in this community, you should know the capabilities of the SDFI camera are nothing short of amazing! Be sure, we will see what you have done and use it to prosecute you.

“I am pleased to help make the SAFE Program at Mission Regional Medical Center a reality,” continued Mayor Salinas, “Because it is invaluable to the integrity of our growing community—a community that values health and safety.”

The donation to The Foundation for the purchase of the SDFI camera comes from the Special Crimes Narcotics Fund, according to Mission Police Chief Leo Longoria.

“The Mayor, City Council, and the Mission Police Department felt it was imperative to get behind this project,” explained Chief Longoria. “First, monies seized from criminal activities are put to good use when we are able to secure instruments that facilitate the proper investigation of crimes. Second, having an SDFI camera at Mission Regional for processing acute cases means victims will receive assistance faster, rather than suffer needless delays, deterioration of evidence, and possible re-victimization. Appropriation of funds for this purpose is the direct result of Mayor Salinas’ vision for our community and his compassion. He led this team effort that will enhance our quality of life and bring criminals to justice.”

The SAFE Program at Mission Regional Medical Center is open to everyone. Victims of violence, abuse and neglect may be referred to Mission Regional Medical Center’s SAFE Program by agencies throughout Hidalgo County, or come in on their own. All victims of abuse, assault and neglect are encouraged to seek medical evaluation as soon as possible for proper treatment.