FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 14, 2021

Contact: Kristy Aurand

Tel: 717.917.1722

Email: kaurand@caplanc.org 

 HEALTHCARE HERO TO BE HONORED 

LINDA GORT TO RECEIVE “CATALYST FOR CHANGE” AWARD FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES (DVS) 

Lancaster, Pa. Domestic Violence Services, a program of Community Action Partnership of Lancaster, is proud to name Linda Gort, MS, CRNP, as the 2021 DVS Catalyst for Change Award winner. Gort is being recognized with this honor for her steadfast commitment to women’s reproductive health in underserved communities and her work ensuring that victims of domestic violence receive access to the resources they need. 

Since 1996, Gort has served Union Community Care (formerly SouthEast Lancaster Health Services and Lancaster Health Center) in multiple roles, including Family Nurse Practitioner, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, and Site Medical Director. 

Her commitment to survivors began in the 1970s, when she was working at Planned Parenthood. There, she met a patient who was bruised and injured. She asked what happened, and the patient told her she had fallen down the stairs. Based on her injuries, Gort knew that could not be true. But at that time, there were no shelters or resources for victims. So Linda thought, “we have to fix this.” 

Years later, Gort’s master’s thesis centered around the response to domestic violence and education for nurses. Mentored by pioneers in the field, she attended conferences and seminars on the topic and developed a curriculum, which she presented throughout Lancaster County to health care providers. Effective screening, documentation, and response, she knew, were key to helping victims leave abusive situations. 

“I knew when I met Linda in 2018 that she was a leader and champion for one of the most effective ways to identify and support survivors – medical advocacy and the role of the healthcare system,” DVS Director Christine Gilfillan said. 

In the words of her lifelong friend, Nancy, who made the nomination: “Linda Gort is being nominated for the Catalyst for Change Award because she has devoted her whole life to helping others in need. Whether they are pregnant women learning to care for their unborn child, a new mother learning to breastfeed, or giving direction to those in abusive situations and encouraging them to reach out for help.” Nany further states that Linda “accepts and respects people where they are in life and strives to make that life better.” 

Today, Gort is involved in DVS’ work as a healthcare provider, community member, and a DVS Advisory Committee and Special Events Committee member. She recently participated with DVS staff members in 18 hours of trauma-informed training. 

“We are so fortunate to have Linda as part of our DVS team,” Gilfillan said. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor.” 

DVS created the Catalyst for Change Award to recognize community members and organizations that support the DVS mission. The award will be presented virtually at the annual DVS Spring Celebration, which will be broadcast live on Thursday, June 24 from 7-8 p.m. The event will also feature a keynote address from former Pittsburgh Steeler William Gay. Tickets are currently available at www.caplanc.org/dvscelebration and range in price from $25 to $500. 

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About Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster County 

The mission of DVS is to be a catalyst to eliminate domestic violence through direct service, advocacy, and social change. Annually, DVS serves more than 1,500 Lancaster County survivors and their children with emergency shelter, transitional housing, gratis legal services, counseling, a children’s program and a 24/7 hotline and textline. 

About the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County 

The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment. For more information, visit www.caplanc.org.