Longtime Volunteer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Is Honored by New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
Ana Christina Minerly, Ph.D., Wins Lydia Martinez Award for Combatting Sexual Assault and Empowering Survivors
May 23, 2017
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue announced today that Ana Christina Minerly, Ph.D., has been honored by the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault for her 15 years of service as a Rape Crisis Advocate at Bellevue’s Victim Services Program.
Dr. Minerly, a New York State Licensed Clinical & Forensic Psychologist, received the Lydia Martinez Multidisciplinary Collaboration Award on Monday night at an event in Manhattan. The award was named in honor of NYPD Detective Lydia Martinez, who will forever be remembered for her strength, compassion and advocacy on behalf of survivors of sexual assault. Recipients of this award are recognized for excellent service by their peers who are also involved in the coordinated response efforts against sexual violence in New York City.
Dr. Minerly began volunteering as a sexual assault victims advocate at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in 2002 and has treated a wide range of patients who struggle with the after-effects of sexual assault trauma.
“She advocates tirelessly for the rights of abused survivors, speaking on their behalf and empowering them with information,” said Carla Brekke, LCSW and Associate Director of Social Work at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Victim Services Program.
As a testament to Dr. Minerly’s commitment, a survivor who requested anonymity spoke at an annual advocate training session about her experience in Bellevue’s Emergency Department after being sexually assaulted. “Dr. Minerly helped me immensely during one of my worst days,” said the patient. “She handed me an informational packet, which I originally put aside thinking I would be okay. Six months later, I realized I was having trouble coping. I found the literature Dr. Minerly had discussed with me. At that point, I made a decision to begin counseling.”
Dr. Minerly, who has a private practice in New York City, said her decision to become an advocate was influenced by stories she read and heard about sexual assault while growing up. She said each story she heard was more disheartening to her. “I became tired of not doing anything to change such an enormous problem,” recalls Dr. Minerly. Her father helped her understand that there was something she could do–she could advocate for those affected, one survivor at a time. “The work I do at Bellevue helps empower survivors in their times of crisis, but I also feel like I am making an impact to combat sexual assault overall.”
“Dr. Minerly’s humanitarian and public spirit has added priceless contributions to our program and its patients,” Ms. Brekke said. “She collaborates effectively with the multidisciplinary team in the Emergency Department and has a unique way of engaging everyone to skillfully integrate them into her advocacy work. She also feels compelled to do whatever it takes to help survivors find their voices and assert their rights. In addition to being a champion advocate, she has a wonderful, warm sense of humor, and a zeal for adventure.”
After completing her Masters’ degree in Psychology at New York University, Dr. Minerly obtained a Ph.D. in Biopsychology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, in 2006 and completed her clinical psychology postdoctoral studies from Hofstra University in 2008.
“We are fortunate to have such a dynamic leader dedicated to raising awareness and prevention of sexual violence among Bellevue’s diverse patient population and the larger community,” said William Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “Dr. Minerly is deserving of this award for her commitment as a Rape Crisis Advocate at Bellevue’s Victim Services Program. I congratulate her on receiving this important award and for the fearless work she does every day to help sexual assault victims.”