ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - The Hardin Memorial Health Foundation has received $221,000 in federal grant funding from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The funding will allow Hardin Memorial Hospital (HMH) to expand its Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program and recruit and hire more SANEs, provide training, employ a SANE Program Manager and create a new position for a Sexual Assault Care Coordinator (SACC) who will provide follow-up care for sexual assault patients.
“The Sexual Assault Care Coordinator will oversee and coordinate medical, counseling and social care for sexual assault patients during and after their initial exam,” HMH’s SANE program manager and registered nurse Sarah Tovar said in a press release. “This trained professional will also provide patients with reassurance and support as well as education to promote self-care. Because of this grant, HMH can now provide a complete continuum of patient care.”
Over the past three years, HMHF has raised over $400,000 for the HMH SANE program.
HMH is one of eight Emergency Department based SANE programs in Kentucky listed with the IAFN (International Association of Forensic Nursing). The SANE program offers patients 12 trained SANEs who provide around-the-clock coverage. This year, HMH cared for 104 sexual assault victims from across Central Kentucky, an 108% increase in volume over 2017.
HMH Vice President for Emergency Services Deanna Parker attributed the dramatic increase, in part, to improved community awareness of sexual assault prevention and about SANE services offered at HMH. The newly expanded HMH Emergency Department is equipped with specially designed exam rooms dedicated to sexual assault victims, providing the privacy patients need.
According to Parker, research shows more than 70 percent of sexual assaults are not reported.
“It is unfortunate HMH needs a SANE program, but we are so glad our Foundation can help HMH expand services for victims here, close to home,” HMH Foundation Chairman Joe Prather said in a press release.