The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center is available 24/7 to provide treatment and support for victims of sexual assault. It is among the very few services of its kind in Los Angeles County. SART is headed by Toyetta Beukes, RN, MSN, NP, a healthcare professional who has devoted her career to helping sexual assault victims.
Her patients have been as young as 7 months and as mature as 94 years. They come from as far away as Riverside County and as close as the surrounding neighborhood of San Gabriel. Women and men, children and infants with a common experience: they are all victims of sexual assault.
She is not one to see herself as a hero. She is humble, soft-spoken, and gentle in her demeanor. Her name is Toyetta "Toy" Beukes and she is a hero to thousands. Toy is the director of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) of San Gabriel Valley Medical Center. By training, she is a nurse practitioner who specializes in forensic nursing – a field that combines her passion for nursing with her fascination with forensics.
As the SART Director, Toy provides expert nursing care, supportive counseling, and detailed forensic examinations. She treats and comforts patients in their most vulnerable state and becomes their greatest advocate. When asked what her goal is for her patients, Toy states that she "wants to provide compassionate care and wants patients to leave the center knowing the assault was not their fault." Toy often interchanges the words "patient" and "victim" when referring to those under her care due to the nature of her work.
Each time Toy's phone rings, the likelihood is great that another person has been violated in one of the most heinous ways. Often in the middle of the night, Toy is called upon to perform a role that few are trained for, or aware even exists. In addition to her work in the SART Center, Toy volunteers her time to educate women on personal safety.
It takes an individual of great strength and extraordinary courage to confront what Toy does hundreds of times in a year. If a hero is someone who dedicates not only her career, but her life to helping others, then Toyetta Beukes, RN, is that individual.
The SART Center can be reached at (626) 789-3678.