FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — A Frederick County forensic nurse is being recognized nationally for her work aiding children.
“I’ve known Pam [Holtzinger] for five years and she never stops moving. She is constantly thinking of ways to improve services for the children and families in our community,” explained Jennifer Veith, child and family counselor at Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County.
It’s that sense of dedication that inspired Veith to nominate forensic nurse, Pam Holtzinger, for the 2019 Outstanding Professional Award presented by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.
Veith explains that the award isn’t strictly for nurses, but all professionals who work with children who have been abused. She, and two other colleagues worked on a letter outlining the work Holtzinger has done in her career as a forensic nurse.
“I really feel honored but I got to be honest with you, this is a multidisciplinary team. This work is not possible without all of us as a group,” Holtzinger explained.
As a forensic nurse at the Child Advocacy Center (CAC), Holtzinger examines kids and teens who may have encountered maltreatment.
The center works with social services, law enforcement and additional agencies to investigate and prevent trauma.
Becoming an emergency nurse was always the plan for Holtzinger. But in 1994, she was approached with the idea of becoming a forensic nurse and, initially, it gave her some pause.
“When we start to talk about child abuse, it’s a really ugly topic and it’s hard to feel good about it. But the reality is, there are very few of us, very few that do the work of evaluating children and that critical need is so important,” said Holtzinger.
Now, she’s been in the profession for more than 20 years.
Butterflies decorate the exam room and splash the walls of the CAC and each are a reminder of a child Holtzinger and the team have saved.
“As a nurse, as a forensic nurse, I know that I can give some really positive reinforcement to these children that come forward,” Holtzinger said.