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Child Protection Medicine

Need Help?

Call 888-402-LVHN (5846) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Make an Appointment Chat Online

Walk-In Care

If you have a minor illness, you can walk into an ExpressCare or schedule a video visit. For allergies, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, rash and sprains.

Find an ExpressCARE Schedule a video visit

Schedule Online

Book the next available "new patient" appointment with the click of a button.

Schedule Now

Child Protection Medicine at LVH-17th Street
Address
  • 17th & Chew, PO Box 7017
  • Children's Clinic - Child Advocacy
  • Allentown Pennsylvania, 18105-7017
    (get directions)
Phone 484-633-0935
Fax 610-969-2610

In the United States, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. One out of every four girls and one of every six boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18. More than 90 percent of abused children know the person who abused them. Child Protection Medicine is a practice that provides medical exams to children of our community where there is a suspicion of abuse, failure to thrive or other health concerns related to maltreatment.

At the John Van Brakle Child Advocacy Center, a program of Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital, our vision for our work is "rallying our community for safe and healthy children" and our mission: "serving Lehigh County's most vulnerable children and their families through a committed multidisciplinary and community partnership by providing evaluations and treatment, and a coordinated response to promote justice."

We serve Lehigh County in a unique space that allows the child and family to access all their needs in one child-friendly place. We are members of the National Children’s Advocacy Center and employ the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) model of responding to any allegation of abuse. We strive to reduce any trauma experienced by the child by being able to have all partners working in a common space so the child does not need to repeat his or her story and have to travel from agency to agency for services.

Our services

When we see your child we will:

  • Listen to you about what happened to your child or why you brought your child to the hospital
  • Take a complete medical history
  • Do a complete physical examination
  • Carefully document all of the information we are given

We may also:

  • Take pictures of injuries
  • Order laboratory tests and X-rays
  • Consult with other specialists

Please call Child Protection Medicine (484-633-0935) with any questions about our practice. If someone suspects abuse, they should call the PA Childline: 1-800-932-0313.

Who we are

Child Protection Medicine is a section of the Department of Pediatrics. The two components of Child Protection Medicine include the Child Protection Team, which provides hospital consultations, and the John Van Brakle Child Advocacy Center, a multidisciplinary, child-focused, community-based program that brings together many different disciplines with our community partners – Lehigh County Children and Youth, Allentown Police Department, Lehigh County District Attorney’s office, and Lehigh County Child Abuse Prevention Network, a victim’s advocacy organization – to work together, conducting forensic interviews and making team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases.

Debra Ersenio-Jenssen, MD, a board-certified child abuse pediatrician, is Chief of the section of Child Protection Medicine and Medical Director of the Child Advocacy Center. Her team includes two certified registered nurse practitioners, Katelyn Brown and Krystal Trinkle, with expertise in child maltreatment, and a licensed clinical social worker, Tylynn Cofer. Mary Ellen O’Connell serves as director and Gabrielle Alvira serves as coordinator of the Child Advocacy Center.

We are driven to put a child’s health and safety first. One of the causes of a child’s injury or illness could be maltreatment. We are required by law to report a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect to Children and Youth Services. We will tell you if we plan to make such a report. Ask any question you believe can be of help to your child. You may want to write your questions down ahead of time. You can request a medical social worker to assist you, if needed. We are here for you and your child, and we will do all we can to help.

A secure way for you to review your medical record.

LEARN MORE

Need Help?

Call 888-402-LVHN (5846) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Make an Appointment Chat Online

Walk-In Care

If you have a minor illness, you can walk into an ExpressCare or schedule a video visit. For allergies, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, rash and sprains.

Find an ExpressCARE Schedule a video visit

Schedule Online

Book the next available "new patient" appointment with the click of a button.

Schedule Now