About the Center for Safe and Healthy Children

We Treat the Whole Child

The Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children focuses care on the child and gives children information and control during their visit. We believe in the Child First Doctrine—putting the child’s interests first, not the authorities, the investigation or the “story.”

Family-Centered Care

Our team meets with the parents or caregivers before and after the medical evaluation and interview. The family is informed about the services. The medical provider and social worker consider the needs of the whole family in light of the current situation. Appropriate educational materials, resources and referrals are given to the family to address their needs. We consider this form of family-centered care to be critical in the child’s recovery.

A Combined Effort

We work with different groups to provide a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach when investigating child abuse reports with Georgia authorities. These include:

  • National and Georgia Law enforcement personnel
  • Georgia's Child protective services
  • Legal system
  • Community abuse and neglect professionals


We provide forensic medical evaluations and interviews, behavioral health assessments and counseling, multidisciplinary team review and case tracking and research and collaborative partnerships. In addition to clinical services, the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children offers ongoing training, education and consultation.

  • Services

      The Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children offers services including:

      - A child-friendly environment
      - A private waiting area
      - Personalized, age-appropriate exam education and preparation
      - A comprehensive medical history and examination conducted in a comfortable environment by a forensic physician or nurse practitioner
      - Colposcopic exams using video camera equipment for detailed, high quality photographic documentation
      - Recorded forensic interviews
      - Second-opinion consultations
      - Expert witness testimony
      - Behavioral health assessments and counseling
      - Referrals for counseling
      - Professional training
      - Community education and prevention programs
      - Multidisciplinary team meetings for case coordination

  • Meet the Team

      The Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children is staffed by a team of trained professionals who work together to minimize a child’s trauma and promote healing. Our team includes:

      - Physicians

      - Stephen Messner, M.D., F.A.A.P.
      - Jordan Greenbaum, M.D.
      - Nancy Fajman, M.D., M.P.H. 
      - Tamika Bryant, M.D., F.A.A.P.
      - Verena Brown, M.D.

      - Child Abuse Pediatric Fellows
      - Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
      - Patient Care Technicians
      - Forensic Interviewers
      - After-Hours Social Workers
      - Licensed Clinical Social Worker
      - Child Life Specialists
      - Family Advocate
      - Intake Coordinators
      - Business Operations Coordinator
      - Registration Coordinator
      - An Onsite Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) liaison
      - Practice Manager
      - Clinical Supervisor
      - Program Manager and Coordinator for Training and Education
      - Child Abuse Prevention Trainer 
      - Behavioral Health Program Manager
      - Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellows

  • BellaBella is the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children's therapy dog.  She is the first therapy dog for a child advocacy center in the state. 

    Bella's job is to help build rapport with the patient and let children and families know they are in a safe place. She can help reduce anxiety, stress and fear associated with a forensic interview and medical exam. 

    Bella can also help build self-esteem and a feeling of control when the child gets her to do tricks. She can also be in the room during interviews, which may help the child disclose abuse or neglect by being able to tell Bella instead of the interviewer.

    Learn more about Bella.