Children's Mercy Hospital Honored for Combating Crimes Against Children
Former Prosecutor Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
More photos from the event are available in a Photo Gallery
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, presented the Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award today to the SCAN (Safety Care And Nurturing) Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Dickinson also presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to former Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham.
Today’s award ceremony was part of an annual event hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and VictimNet, a coalition of victim service providers and others committed to meeting the needs of crime victims in Jackson County, in conjunction with the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme – “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.” – emphasizes the importance of providing needed services at the earliest stage of victimization.
Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award
“Thousands of children, the most vulnerable victims of crime, have been served by the SCAN Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital,” Dickinson said. “The SCAN Clinic is a critical resource to protect children from further trauma, provide the resources they need for recovery and prosecute their abusers.”
The SCAN Clinic is designed to provide an unbiased resource to investigate child abuse based on medical evidence. The specialized medical exams can help identify overlooked abuse as well as disprove suspected abuse. The SCAN clinic serves children and adolescents along with the families involved in the allegations of abuse and neglect. The SCAN Clinic has open access and accepts referrals from all sources including physician offices, individuals and families.
The Division of Child Abuse and Neglect at Children’s Mercy Hospital cares for nearly 3,000 children each year by identifying, preventing and treating all forms of child abuse. The division consists of:
- The SCAN Clinic;
- The Child and Family Therapy Department;
- A multi-disciplinary team for kids under 6 years old dealing with any trauma, which is comprised of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Social Work.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Fincham supervised the Computer Crimes and Child Exploitation Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office before retiring last year.
Her 33-year-long career began as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in 1982. While at the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office Fincham led what was then called the Sex Crimes Unit. She not only handled some of the most difficult and gut-wrenching cases in the office, but she also mentored young attorneys and helped them develop the skills necessary to successfully prosecute sex offenders.
In 1995 Fincham joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office and worked in both the General Crimes Unit and the Narcotics Unit before moving to the Computer Crimes and Child Exploitation Unit. From 2001 until her retirement in 2015, Fincham prosecuted the most serious child exploitation cases in the Western District of Missouri.
“Kathy has helped shape the law when it comes to protecting victims from predators,” Dickinson said, “and has always been conscientious of how a prosecution can affect a crime victim.
“Kathy spent her legal career pursuing justice for victims of crime and has dedicated herself to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society,” Dickinson said. “It is my great pleasure to present this award to a fierce advocate and consummate professional.”
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
The Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award is presented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office each year during the local observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to recognize the outstanding work of an individual or organization in protecting children from exploitation. The award was presented to the SCAN Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital in memory of Crystal Kipper and Ali Kemp, two young women who were both fatal victims of tragic crimes. Roger Kemp, Ali Kemp’s father, participated in today’s presentation; Anna Rhea, Crystal Kipper’s mother, was unable to attend this year’s event.
Today’s event at the Power and Light District also featured comments from Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and showcased various local victim service providers and a solidarity walk led by the Kansas City Mounted Patrol and Parents of Murdered Children. An art display featured the work of students of MyARTS.
The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), enacted in 2004, grants victims in federal criminal proceedings certain enforceable rights, including the right to be reasonably heard at public court proceedings and to receive full and timely restitution as provided by law. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a dedicated Victim/Witness Unit that serves federal crime victims across the district’s 66 counties. Members of this unit notify victims of significant case events through the Department of Justice’s Victim Notification System (VNS). Such notice enables victims to participate in court proceedings and make their voices heard. Victim/Witness personnel accompany victims to court hearings and trials to ensure that victim participation in court proceedings is meaningful and to answer questions and explain the federal judicial process.
In addition to notification and court accompaniment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Unit provides essential services to victims, such as making referrals for counseling, securing temporary housing, assisting with access to victim compensation funds, and accompanying victims to court to provide support and guidance during the proceedings. These services provide tools victims need to reshape their futures.
Further information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is available at http://www.ovc.gov.
The Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award
Crystal Kipper was an 18-year-old Gladstone, Mo., resident who was murdered after her car broke down on Interstate 29, just north of Platte City, on Feb. 24, 1997. Ali Kemp was a 19-year-old Blue Valley North High School graduate who was murdered on June 18, 2002, while she worked at the Foxborough neighborhood swimming pool in Leawood, Kan.