Includes 24-hour response for sexual assault victims
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 19, 2016) — Several Kentucky hospitals are the first to have obtained certification as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)-ready facilities. This means these facilities have successfully demonstrated readiness to provide round-the-clock response for sexual assault victims.
A sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) is a registered nurse with advanced training in the forensic examination of sexual assault victims and is credentialed by the Board of Nursing. The SANE certifications were issued to all of the St. Elizabeth Hospitals in Northern Kentucky, Fleming County Hospital and Meadowview Regional Medical Center by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) following passage of the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) Act by the General Assembly earlier this year.
“St. Elizabeth Hospitals, Fleming County Hospital and Meadowview Regional Medical have taken an important step in becoming SANE-ready,” said CHFS Sec. Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “This designation demonstrates a commitment to providing a higher standard of care for sexual assault victims by ensuring they will be examined and treated by someone with skills and expertise necessary when dealing with this type of crime. This is a certainly step forward for victims’ rights in Kentucky.”
Intended to address the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, the SAFE Act also seeks to improve the quality of medical care sexual assault victims receive by allowing hospitals to seek a SANE-ready designation if they have a SANE nurse on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Kentucky lawmakers passed the SAFE Act with bipartisan support during the 2016 General Assembly. Following its passage, Governor Matt Bevin proposed an additional $4.5 million for the state crime lab to help it meet new testing deadlines set by the bill.
CHFS will be charged with annually certifying SANE-ready hospitals, posting a list of certified facilities on its website and providing the list to the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services. The state Board of EMS, in turn, shares that list with the local EMS providers.