HealthBreak | Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program
About 45 percent of women and 23 percent of men report having a sexual assault in their lifetime. "The statistics increase for those who live on a Reservation," says Erin Rumelhart, BSN, DON - director of Nursing and Quality at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, Montana. "About one in three (66 percent) Native American women report having some type of sexual assault in their lifetime." To care for victims, St. Joseph Medical Center partnered with local organizations and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula to create the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. "Nurse Examiners collect forensic evidence, assist law enforcement, provide resources and a safe place for the victim to be able to completely tell their story," Erin explains. "Victims get a nurse who is willing to sit with them and walk through the journey with them - from the time they enter the hospital to the time they leave." SANE ensures resources are available and put in place, whether it's safe housing, emergency transportation, follow-up care, and emotional support. To learn more, call (409) 327-1700 or visit http://montana.providence.org.