This month’s superhero, Christina Paparella, is among a group of professionals who deserve every ounce of recognition, our Multidisciplinary Team (MDT).
This team is a model developed by the National Children’s Advocacy Center providing a team approach to the investigation into child abuse claims and the care a child receives to heal from the trauma. It consists of Medical and Mental Health Services, Law Enforcement, District Attorney’s, and Family and Victim Advocate Services.
Christina has served as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the National Children’s Advocacy Center for 20 years alongside Pediatrician Dr. Mark Sapp who came on board in 2018. Christina heard about the NCAC through her work in pediatric care and decided to learn more about the mission. After a tour of the facility, she decided to become a part of the hope and healing, thinking, “if anyone is going to do this, why not me.” Christina admits she was worried she could do the work – especially after becoming a mom. But, she says helping the kids in our community outweighed the concerns, “You have to get over your own discomfort and do everything you can to make it easier on the kids.”
During her time at the NCAC, she has conducted thousands of exams in child physical and sexual abuse cases. She examines each child on the worst day of their life while making them smile and laugh throughout the process. There is no doubt about the impact she has made. When children step away from their interview, hope and healing begin, as Christina assures them, they are safe and physically healthy.
When asked how she tackles the gravity of witnessing such horrific acts, she responded: “the NCAC has been family, they truly take care of their staff, and we just focus on each day and child at a time.” When Christina is not spending time serving children at the NCAC, she is with her family of two daughters, one son, and her husband, Bryan. We cannot express enough how thankful we are to have Christina and Dr. Sapp. They are making a difference in children’s lives every day.
Our February Superhero is presented by Morris King & Hodge.
Do you know a hero in our community? Nominate them today!