Whenever the call came – whether it was the middle of the night or during a family gathering – Julie Greis would respond. A certified sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) who worked in the University of Virginia Health System’s Emergency Department and lived in Lyndhurst, Greis was always at the ready to support sexual assault victims.
“She would just drop everything in the middle of a meal and go if she got a call,” says Darbi Sullivan, an Emergency Department technician. “She really loved helping people.”
After Greis passed away suddenly in March 2011, her family and friends wanted to find a way to carry on her work. “She always said that not many people knew what was going on with the SANE program,” says Ashley Greis, Julie’s daughter. To honor Julie Greis and raise money to support victims of sexual assault, the first Forever Remembering Our Girl (FROG) Fight for Justice 5K run/walk will be held at 8 a.m. Oct. 1 in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park. Proceeds will benefit SANE programs in Augusta County as well as other programs for sexual assault victims in the Shenandoah Valley.
Always dressed in matching fluorescent scrubs, socks and shoes, Greis is remembered by her co-workers as a burst of energy in the Emergency Department.
“She was so funny in the way that she could hear a baby crying at the opposite end of the department. She would show up in [the Pediatric Emergency Department], scoop the crying baby up, swaddle it in a blanket and cuddle it back to sleep,” says Donna Rowzie, RN, a Pediatric Emergency Department nurse. “It was her goal to make sure her patients of all ages were satisfied with their care.”
Greis was especially dedicated to caring for victims of sexual assaults. As a sexual assault nurse examiner, Greis’ role included providing support for victims and their families, performing medical exams and care, gathering evidence from sexual assaults and testifying in court.
“She carried this role in two counties and was on call quite a bit,” Rowzie says. “Working with these patients is quite difficult and it took a special person to take it on. Julie loved her role and was certainly a strong advocate both for the families of these victims and the victims themselves.”
For more information or to learn how to register for the FROG Fight for Justice 5K, visit frogfight5k.webs.com/ .