SHARP Victim Advocate successfully meets training requirements during COVID-19

By Jessica Meyer, DDHC Customer Relations SpecialistMay 15, 2020

SHARP Annual Training
Staff Sgt. Marleen Milligan, DDHC’s SHARP victim advocate, provides annual SHARP training to DDHC staff. (Photo Credit: Jessica Meyer) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Mandatory training requirements must be met every year, but this year has been unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the commitment and ingenuity of the instructors at Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic, COVID-19 has not hindered the clinic’s annual training efforts.

Active duty and civilian instructors are turning to virtual platforms to conduct mandatory training.

For example, during last month’s observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, nearly 100 percent of the staff at DDHC met the Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention training requirement through virtual training.

“Failure is not an option; SHARP training during COVID-19 is just as important as it is during any other time, as it is the forefront of our prevention efforts,” said Staff Sgt. Marleen Milligan, DDHC’s SHARP victim advocate, and U.S. Army Hawaii’s Soldier Volunteer of the Year. “It is making sure that Soldiers know their reporting options and who or where those reporting assets are for sexual harassment and sexual assault.”

While a majority of annual training is provided online, the SHARP face-to-face training is vital for both the staff and the instructor, especially when it comes to discussing a sensitive subject as SHARP, Milligan said.

“This is a challenging time and it’s even more challenging to maintain training, but training must continue,” said Col. Dave Zimmerman, the DDHC commander.

In an effort to ensure everyone received annual SHARP training, Milligan led nine virtual face-to-face training sessions by sending the Fiscal Year 2020 SHARP Training Support Package to every employee and providing times to dial in to the conference call line. There were also six seats available in a conference room for face–to-face training that allowed for social distancing; attendees were required to wear masks.

Almost 250 people were trained, in nine sessions. In one day alone, three sessions were held and 102 personnel were trained.

Milligan’s efforts successfully reached 99.29 percent of assigned personnel, including staff who were present at the facility and those teleworking from home. DDHC’s active duty medical personnel are now 100 percent trained. Civilian staff have a 98.9 percent completion rate, Milligan said, a number that will rise once employees return to work at the clinic.

“Sexual assaults and harassments do not stop because of a global pandemic and our training doesn’t stop either,” Zimmerman said. “I couldn’t be more proud of what Staff Sgt. Milligan has accomplished.”

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