Congratulations to Shannon Krueger, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, SANE-P, who received the 2022 Women of Achievement Award in the professions category from the YWCA Northwestern Illinois. Krueger, who is the director of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford’s Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) Program, received the award during the 42nd annual Leader Luncheon on March 6, 2022.
As a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and sexual assault nurse examiner for pediatrics and adolescents, Krueger has the exceedingly difficult role of performing specialized exams for physically and sexually abused and neglected children. In her role at MERIT, she not only helps children get needed medical attention, but also helps to ensure the evidence of abuse is appropriately documented to better assist in putting the perpetrators of such crimes behind bars. She’s been with MERIT since 2013.
“Her passion for her work is inspiring, especially combined with her genuine compassion for the children she helps, many of whom are young women and girls,” says Dean Alex Stagnaro-Green. “She has developed such a talent for putting severely traumatized, frightened children at ease when they come for exams.”
Besides her role as a nurse practitioner where she sees the majority of the roughly 325 patients who come to MERIT each year, and an educator to other professionals about child abuse, she has taken on a director role. Her recent accomplishments have included development of our acute sexual assault response team, which provides a vital service to hospitals in our area. In addition, she developed contractual agreements with three additional Children’s Advocacy Centers in our northwest Illinois region, has provided medical guidance to the seven CAC’s that we already work with, and has provided training and mentoring to our newest nurse practitioner.
“I believe all abused children deserve a space where they can feel empowered and safe and receive medical health care that is evidence-based, trauma-informed and by an experienced provider,” says Krueger. “My hope is that all children at MERIT start their healing process knowing that their body is healthy and belongs to them. In years to come, I hope they remember we care about them, we helped them and we were one of their advocates.”