5th annual Commit to Get Fit promotes SAFE program at St. Joseph Hospital

Event at Broadway Park in Bangor will take place, rain or shine
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - This Sunday, St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor will again host its Commit to Get Fit: 5K Walk/Run, 10K Run and Kids Obstacle Course.

Proceeds benefit the SAFE program at the hospital.

“Whenever somebody comes to the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital, if they were assaulted by someone, they get a SAFE nurse to take care of them.”

SAFE stands Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner. There are seven SAFE nurses at St. Joe’s in Bangor. Assistant Nurse Manager Keri Kapaldo is the program coordinator.

“SAFE nurses are specially trained to take care of people who’ve been hurt by other people,” she explains. “For people who’ve been sexually assaulted, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, exploitation and human trafficking. And also anything else in-between”

SAFE nurses are specially trained to recognize red flags, even when patients themselves can not communicate that they are in an unsafe situation.

And, if the time is right, will try and help those individuals with resources.

“It increases the chances that they’ll be successful in getting out of that situation,” says Kapaldo, “and also getting connected to all of the community partners that they may need to help them along the way.”

On Sunday, St. Joseph Healthcare will again sponsor its Commit to Get Fit 5k and 10k races at Broadway Park in Bangor, just minutes from the hospital.

“Our 5K is more in the neighborhoods,” explains Race Director, Brad Ryder. “Our 10K is part of the Sub 5 Race Series. It goes along the Kenduskeag Trail.”

You can register as an individual or as a team. Online registration goes until Midnight on Friday. Day of registration closes at 8:15 a.m.

New this year- a kids obstacle course.

Money raised from the event benefits the SAFE program at St. Joe’s.

“The thing that I think about most when I am taking care of somebody that’s a survivor of violence, is that we’re kind of redefining justice for them,” says Kapaldo. “Whatever that looks like for them. We are rooted in trauma informed care so that looks like giving them the tools and education they need to make really good decisions for themselves.”

For more information including how to register for the event, log onto https://runsignup.com/Race/ME/Bangor/StJoesCommit