Joe joined Columbia Health in 2022 as a Survivor Advocate at Sexual Violence Response (SVR).
As a Survivor Advocate, Joe provides objective, empathetic, knowledgeable, and supportive intervention assisting a survivor, co-survivor, or bystander in securing the necessary information, services, referrals, and follow-up care that may be required based on an individual’s experience.
Joe has been working in mental health and the helping profession beginning in undergraduate when he was a counselor for youth on the Autism spectrum along with working in a lab focused on biopsychosocial testing, becoming familiar with trauma responses and the necessity of approaching work from a trauma-informed lens. Joe has worked with a variety of populations and systems, ranging from crisis intervention and placement to family therapy with adjudicated youth. He ultimately found his focus when working for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) as an On-Call Advocate.
During his time at PAAR Joe developed and distributed resources and programming that continues to be used by the organization, including a resource map (coded and distributed by Joe), a trauma-informed mindfulness group program, and a streamlined volunteer education and training process. Following PAAR, Joe transitioned into a role with Wesley Family Services working with adjudicated youth. His time working with both survivors and perpetrators has given him a unique perspective on advocacy. Joe focuses on advocating for restorative justice and giving greater access and platforms for survivors.