Child Advocacy Center benefits from donation

January 13, 2011

Katherine C. Anthony has made a $50,000 donation to the Mercy Health Foundation at St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center for the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center in Hot Springs.

The donation will allow St. Joseph’s Mercy to expand services offered through the facility, which is located at 216 McAuley Court in Hot Springs.

“It’s an ongoing, wonderful legacy that the Katherine C. Anthony has blessed us with, allowing us to sustain this important service to the community,” said St. Joseph’s Mercy President Tim Johnsen. “Through Katherine’s generosity and vision, victims of child maltreatment in Hot Springs and many surrounding communities can receive exceptional care during such difficult circumstances. We could not continue to operate this much-needed service without financial support such as hers.”

The Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center is Arkansas’ first hospital-based facility for child abuse and neglect. It was founded by St. Joseph’s Mercy in 2003 after it was learned Garland County was part of one of Arkansas’ top three judicial districts in the filing of child maltreatment reports.

In 2005, Anthony donated $250,000 to the Mercy Health Foundation for the Child Advocacy Center. The name was changed to the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center to honor Katherine C. Cooper’s mother, Eugenia Cooper, who throughout her life offered care and schooling to generations of Hot Springs children with her “Kindercoop” facility, and the Anthony family.

The Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center has experienced tremendous growth, providing 1,362 Forensic Interviews and 351 medical exams in the past three years.

“In keeping up with this demand, some aspects of our services need to be expanded and new ones need to be developed,” said Janice McCutcheon, the director of the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center. “Our Child Advocate component has been challenged by the number of children and families we serve. This position has direct contact throughout the investigative process with the children and their care-givers while making the necessary referrals for counseling, housing, food stamps and other needs.”

The Child Advocate also coordinates the Christmas program. This year, with the help of the Mercy Sharing Committee, 63 children received toys, clothing and food.

McCutcheon said the Center has seen a great need for specialized counseling and support groups for children and their care-givers.

“We want to continue to aid in their healing process by providing a mental health component, furthering their hope for the future,” she said.

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