Hardin Memorial Health’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program has earned SANE Ready designation from the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General, health officials announced earlier this week.

HMH is the first Central Kentucky hospital and the eighth in the state to become SANE Ready, according to a news release.

“The designation is the result of years of training and investment and thorough year-long review by the Office of the Inspector General,” said hospital Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright in the release. “We are fortunate to have passionate, dedicated and well-trained SANEs on the HMH team. They, together with our partners, take care of the sexual assault victims’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.”

The hospital will be included in a directory distributed to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, first responders and the Kentucky Hospital Association. Annual recertification is required, the release said.

The hospital’s emergency department – one of the busiest in the state – is one of eight Kentucky hospitals offering around-the-clock SANE services, the release said. During its recent expansion, the emergency department included two rooms specially designed and equipped for sexual assault victims’ privacy, comfort and safety.

“The HMH emergency department team cares for over 70,000 patients each year with amazing compassion,” said President and CEO Dennis Johnson in the release. “This SANE distinction proves once again that they are committed to offering the very best possible care.”

The hospitals SANE team consists of a program manager, program coordinator and 14 certified SANEs who provide a complete continuum of patient care, from forensic exams proven to aid in the prosecution of perpetrators, to vital follow-up services long after the initial exam.

With a 10-county service area that includes 400,000 people and its proximity to Interstate 65, the release said demand for HMH emergency care and SANE services continues to grow. From October 2018 to June 2019, 122 adult sexual assault victims from 14 Kentucky counties and five other states received care in the emergency department.

SANE Manager Sarah Tovar in the release praised the support hospital leadership and the foundation have demonstrated for the program and the patients it serves. Over the past three years, the foundation has secured more than $450,000 to pay for SANE program staffing and training.

“Funding from the HMH Foundation was the catalyst to develop a strong SANE program,” Tovar said in the release. “Thanks to them and our other partners, our HMH team is trained and equipped to provide the best possible care to victims from Central Kentucky and beyond.”

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