Crime Victim Resource Center hoping for more visibility in move to main Mayo campus

Published 7:01 am Saturday, December 9, 2023

Mayo Clinic Health-Systems in Austin and Albert Lea have made a number of service-related moves to both campuses that will consolidate in one location as well as sell off structures in both communities.

It was announced last week that the Austin Crime Victims Resource Center, Fountain Centers Chemical Dependency program and Hospice Department have been moved out of the AMC West Building to the main Austin campus.

Meanwhile, in Albert Lea, Dialysis, Hospice and Therapy services from the HealthReach facility will move to the Albert Lea campus later in 2024.

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Both buildings are for sale.

According to information released by Mayo, the moves are meant to improve experiences and connections for patients and staff.

“There are a few Crime Victims Services organizations affiliated with medical centers,” said Tori Miller, director of the Austin Crime Victims Resources Center (CVRC). “The nice thing about that is because of our affiliation (with Mayo), doctors and nurses can connect us with victims right away.”

Not having to go across town will cut down on wait time between CVRC staff and the victims who need help from incidents including domestic and sexual assaults among other incidents and that include attacks against  women, men and children.

“We provide advocate support, education. We have groups and really our work is based on the self-defined needs of our clients,” Miller said. “We don’t have a one size fits all approach. We really listen to their situation and talk to them and tailor our services around that.”

It becomes important, Miller said, to expedite the process whenever possible, something this move will help facilitate.

“We try to get people in as quickly as we can,” she said. “We talk to them, find out the details of their situation and determine if it’s urgent or if we can wait.”

However, wait times have never taken days, something that can be eye-opening to the person looking in on the CVRC’s three-person operation.

Miller said that this year alone the CVRC has provided 5,325 services for 506 victims in January through September alone. The numbers for these final three months haven’t been added to the equation yet, but Miller suspects those numbers will breach the next metrics.

“On average we provide 6,000 services to 600 plus victims every year,” Miller said.

The CVRC made the move to the main campus on Nov. 27 and even during that first full week, Miller and her staff had already received notice about an incident from a nurse that further highlighted the needs of the CVRC and its services.

For 46 years, CVRC has been providing these types of services. Created on Oct. 3, 1977, the CVRC has been a part of the medical center under its various names since 1985.

While affiliated with the hospital, the three members of the CVRC are Mayo employees. Otherwise the CVRC is largely run through grant money aside from Mayo housing the facility and providing other supports.

“We are a grant-funded program,” Miller said. “All programming and salaries are paid by grants. Our primary funder is the Department of Public Safety Justice Programs. The Hormel Foundation is very generous to us and there is also the United Way of Mower County.”

Despite the high workload, Miller said she hopes that the move will provide more visibility in the future for the program and the services it provides.

It’s hoped that the move will be a reminder that they are there and ready to help.

“I’m hoping being in the medical center will give us more exposure in that medical setting,” Miller said. “Having us located in this building now … I’m hoping that we will have more connections with those providers and maybe meet with clients more frequently.”

“Be that conduit that can connect us and allow us to provide,” she added.

The CVRC is now housed on Floor 1A, Desk C of the main campus. For those in need of help, people are encouraged to call 1-507-437-6680, a 24/7 line. They can also go online for more information by visiting: https://crimevictimsresourcecenter.org/