RANSON, W.Va. – WVU Medicine Jefferson Medical Center recently announced the opening of a new forensic nursing suite as part of the hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.
Developed in 2019, the SANE program at WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center provides specialized services for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Specially trained nurses are available 24/7 to collect evidence, treat patients, and connect them with local resources to assist in their recovery and any possible litigation. The program serves both adults and children of all ages.
Carrie Smith, R.N.C.-M.N.N., Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Center SANE program coordinator, says the new forensic nursing suite at Jefferson Medical Center provides patients and caregivers the privacy and comfort they need when seeking treatment following an assault.
The two-room suite is located in a private area of the hospital and features a dedicated forensic office and a secure waiting area for parents or caregivers. Previously these patients were seen in the hospital’s emergency department.
“This new suite provides patients the privacy they deserve when coming to the hospital after an assault,” Smith said. “Providing a dedicated area in our hospital where survivors can feel safe and supported has been my goal since we launched the SANE program.”
According to Smith, the SANE program collaborated with several community organizations to support its forensic nursing services including the Berkeley and Jefferson County Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART), the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center (EPEC), Safe Haven Child Advocacy Center (CAC), the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney’s office, and rotary clubs in Charles Town, Martinsburg, and Shepherdstown on behalf of Rotary District 7360.
“Our friends at EPEC and the CAC donated clothing that we are able to offer survivors following their examination, and our local rotary clubs participated in the Jared Box Project by supplying us with 40 boxes filled with toys and activities to keep kids busy during examinations,” Smith said. “We are proud to show our community that we are actively working together to combat sexual assault.”
Photo: Carrie Smith, Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Center SANE program coordinator, is pictured kneeling next to Jared Boxes donated by the rotary clubs of Charles Town, Martinsburg, and Shepherdstown. Behind her are representatives of the Berkeley and Jefferson County Sexual Assault Response Teams, the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center, Safe Haven Child Advocacy Center, the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney’s office, and Rotary District 7360.