Vail Daily letter: About our program

In response to Nov. 18 letter, “SANE program needed.”

In the United States, one sexual assault occurs approximately every two minutes. In Colorado alone, one in four women and one in 17 men will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes. And in 2014 alone, the SANE program at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center has cared for 45 victims of assault and provided seven suspect exams.

The Summit County SANE program was licensed in 2007, implemented in 2008, and the SANE exam room at the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco was opened in August 2010. Currently, the SANE program at Summit is the only program of its kind servicing the mountain regions west of Denver to Grand Junction and include counties of Pitkin, Garfield, Grand, Park, Clear Creek, Lake, Eagle and Summit. A strong collaboration and multi-disciplinary team approach is in place with Advocates for Victims of Assault, local law enforcement of each county and local hospitals of each community to properly care for and quickly transport victims to Summit for a SANE exam.

St. Anthony Summit Medical Center retains eight specially trained SANE nurses who provide compassionate, comprehensive medical care and evidence collection in the Emergency Department here at Summit — 24/7/365. These nurses have been specifically trained in caring for victims of domestic violence, strangulation, child abuse, elder abuse as well as caring for pediatric, adolescent and adult patients of sexual abuse. They are also are available to provide expert witness testimony in court.

The SANE program works to ensure consistent, quality evidence collection and credible, neutral courtroom testimony and partners with Advocates for Victims of Assault, who is dedicated to creating healthy, non-violent individuals, families and community through support, prevention and accountability. Together, both programs provide an invaluable community service for the health and well-being of our communities.

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St. Anthony Summit Medical Center SANE Program can be reached at 970-668-6901.

Jennifer McConnell

Coordinator, Forensic Nurse Examiners/SANE Program, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center

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