The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors at its meeting today honored Geri Archibald as its 2023 winner of the annual Barbara Hammerman Award, recognizing her outstanding and consistent service and passion with the prevention of intimate partner abuse.
Geri Archibald is a Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Coordinator at the Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention at San Mateo Medical Center. The Keller Center serves the needs of victims of child physical and sexual abuse and neglect, adult sexual abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse, providing a compassionate, culturally sensitive experience for the victims of abuse. The Center works in collaboration with legal and judicial systems to facilitate effective investigations and prosecutions. Clinicians at the Keller Center perform comprehensive forensic examinations and collect legal evidence in a manner that minimizes trauma and maximizes outcomes, while protecting the rights of the victim.
Geri leads the team of 16 nurses who respond 24/7 to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She provides training on mandated reporting, sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse to San Mateo Medical Center nurses and staff, in addition to community trainings for other hospitals in the County. Geri also provides expert witness testimony in domestic violence and sexual assault cases, most often in cases involving non-fatal strangulation. She also serves on San Mateo County’s Domestic Violence Council.
Geri has a master’s degree in nursing from University of California San Francisco and has been a Family Nurse Practitioner for 36 years. As an assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF, she realized that she loves teaching, but felt clinical work as a primary care provider in underserved communities was more challenging and rewarding. She provided primary care and women’s health/family planning at San Mateo County’s Daly City Clinic for 15 years. In caring for so many women patients, she recognized that domestic violence was not uncommon, but rarely reported. It was a natural step to accept when asked to be part of San Mateo County’s after-hours sexual assault/ domestic violence response team in 2004.
While caring for victims of domestic violence can be emotionally painful, the ability to support a victim and applaud the courage it takes to participate in the legal process is gratifying. Geri describes her work as a privilege: to provide care and compassion, to tell each victim that she or he deserves love and respect. While recognizing that there are often significant barriers for victims to overcome, Geri sustains the hope for each victim that the current moment of crisis is the beginning of positive change.
To learn more about the Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention, please go to Family Violence Services - San Mateo County Health (smchealth.org)