SANE Program Provides Critical Sexual Assault Victim Services for Madison County

September 25, 2017

“Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center is thankful to be a part of this collaboration between Colgate University and Community Memorial Hospital. This effort will increase access greatly for survivors to exams for evidence collection and prosecution.  Rural communities may have less access to resources than larger city areas, but we still have these same needs for trauma-informed survivor care,” said Sara Haag, Liberty Resources Divisional Director.

Colgate University, Community Memorial, and Liberty Resources began meetings in 2016 to connect passionate and motivated individuals in the community with an interest in providing more resources for local assault survivors. This unprecedented rural community partnership created the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to provide sexual assault or abuse victims with critical medical and trauma care in southern Madison County.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are registered nurses who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of a patient who has experienced sexual abuse. SANE services – which include emergency contraception, trauma response, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, forensic medical care, and referral to further support services – are vital for evidence collection to identify and hold offenders accountable. Most important, however, is the survivor’s treatment and recovery.

“The launch of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner initiative with a focus on the college student population allows us to support survivors through the aftermath of a sexual assault and respond in the most compassionate ways possible,” said Dawn LaFrance, PsyD, Colgate University Director of Counseling and Psychological Services.

“Community Memorial Hospital is proud to partner with Liberty Resources and Colgate University to provide this crucial service for the region,” said Sean Fadale, President and CEO of Community Memorial Hospital.  “The launch of this program demonstrates a combined effort of organizations and individuals focused on providing exceptional care for individuals who have suffered a sexual assault.  We are all focused on providing the best interventions possible for our patients and connecting with our community partners.”

“Our community will benefit from this first-of-a-kind team providing quality health care close to home,” said Merrill Miller, MD, Colgate University Director Health Services, “Our five inaugural SANE nurses have completed extensive training courses and been approved by New York State. They are ready to help victims become survivors, and to move forward after a traumatic experience.”

Madison County SANE services can be accessed by contacting Help Restore Hope Center’s hotline at 1-855-9NOWSAFE/1-855-966-9723 or presenting directly to the emergency room at Community Memorial in Hamilton. From there, the survivor will be taken to a private area within the hospital. Advocates are available 24/7 to provide support to the survivor throughout the SANE exam and processes which follow – longer term help is also available.