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Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project
Publication Date:  June 2008
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A SANE Program for Rural West Virginia
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Office of Justice Programs Seal   Office for Victims of Crime, Putting Victims First

A SANE Program for Rural West Virginia

Benefits of a Mobile SANE Project

Leadership

The leadership role in planning and implementing a regional mobile SANE project may vary from one region to the next. State coalitions may want to offer support to communities for such a project. But it also may be useful to assess the willingness of other agencies at the state and local level to assist with project development and to lead the initiative. For example, a state attorney general’s office or state nursing association might be candidates, as might other local organizations dedicated to ending sexual assault.

The Regional Mobile SANE Project, piloted in West Virginia, eliminates many of the problems listed above and offers a viable model for developing SANE programs in rural areas where funding is limited and a minimal number of trained nurses are available. Counties that participated in the project benefited in significant ways, including the following:

  • More SANEs are available to fill a 24/7 on-call schedule because the project recruits nurses from a region rather than a single county.

  • SANEs are less likely to burn out because they have flexibility in when and how often they sign up for on-call shifts.

  • SANEs have increased opportunities to build their clinical experience and skills because more forensic medical examinations are performed regionally than in a single county.

  • Participating hospitals face significantly lower costs compared with hospitals that support a stand-alone, 24/7 SANE program.

  • The region’s rape crisis centers are better able to provide advocacy to sexual assault victims in hospital emergency departments because of the project’s training and coordinating of volunteers.

  • Most important, sexual assault victims in the region receive more competent and timely health care that includes forensic evidence collection.
FRIS and stakeholders from the participating counties were able to implement this initiative because of their enduring commitment to improving care for sexual assault victims and their skill at overcoming challenges.