Specialized care for sexual abuse patients expanded in Oneida


ONEIDA — Oneida Health and Liberty Resources jointly launched the 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at the Emergency Room in Oneida.

“Today marks an important day for local survivors of sexual assault,” said Jacqueline Dawe, Chief Nursing Officer of Oneida Health. “Previously our Emergency Department’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program was limited by the availability of the nurses who could provide this form of specialized care. Moving forward, we will be able to provide this valuable service to our patients 365 days a year, around the clock."

She said, "We are grateful to Liberty Resources, Colgate University, and Community Memorial Hospital for working together to strengthen and improve this form of specialized care to the patients we serve in our communities.”

About one in five women and one in 71 men in the U.S. will become victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. Of those survivors, 81 percent of women and 35 percent of men report significant short-or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

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

“We welcome Oneida Health as our newest Liberty Resources SANE program partner site," said Sara Haag, Liberty Resources Divisional director. "The partners, team and I could not be more proud of the fact that we’re here today to let the community know that if a survivor calls the Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center domestic and sexual assault program’s hotline or walks in to one of these two hospitals in our county, Liberty Resources SANE can now respond to support hospitals with compassionate, trauma-informed, specialized patient care."

"Not only can an exam be conducted locally right here, but our nurses may help the survivor make a connection to our program’s longer term care through advocacy and therapy for their healing journey," Haag added. "Together, we are able to help some of our most vulnerable patients receive the best local care possible.”

In 2017, Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center, in collaboration with Colgate University and Community Memorial Hospital, launched the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to provide sexual assault or abuse survivors with critical medical and trauma care in southern Madison County.

In an effort to further increase local access to these services, Oneida Health and Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center developed a partnership to ensure that survivors of sexual assault can receive this exam at the Oneida Health’s Emergency Room 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Community Memorial is proud to have been the launch site for this collaborative partnership with Colgate University and Liberty Resources, and we support and welcome Oneida Health coming on board as another location for the SANE program in Madison County and the surrounding region. This program brings many crucial services and resources for sexual assault survivors in our rural area,” said Sean Fadale, president and CEO at Community Memorial Hospital.

Madison County SANE services can be accessed by contacting the Help Restore Hope Center’s hotline at 1-855-966-9723 or presenting directly to the emergency room at Oneida Hospital or Community Memorial Hospital. 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.


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