Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)
Care for non-acute prepubescent (typically ages 11 and under) sexual assault victims is currently fragmented in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. There is a need for comprehensive pediatric care that can be provided in a single location during a single visit. Currently, patients/families need to go to multiple locations for a forensic interview, forensic medical exam, wrap around services, and follow-up. Further, there is a shortage of trained sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) to perform sexual assault examinations in both adult/adolescents and pediatrics. The SANE shortage results in patients having to travel long distances to receive care and an increased risk of SANE nurses experiencing compassion fatigue that can lead to termination of their SANE role.
To address these needs, the ProMedica Metro Forensic Program: Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and Training Expansion (PMFPE) program will expand a partnership with the local CAC to provide coordinated forensic interviews and non-acute medical exams and follow-up care. PMFPE will also expand training opportunities for nurses wanting the SANE certification. The PMFPE program will be located in Toledo, Ohio (Lucas County) and serve non-acute prepubescent sexual assault victims across a 27 county region of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
The goal of the PMFPE is to expand SANE training and SANE services for prepubescent pediatric sexual assault victims by coordinating trauma-informed non-acute exams, follow-up, and advocacy. This goal will be met through six primary activities: 1. Strengthen multidisciplinary teams through formal agreements and ongoing meetings; 2. Expand policies and procedures to include pediatric sexual assault follow-up by a pediatric nurse practitioner; 3. Provide comprehensive, coordinated non-acute exams to prepubescent sexual assault victims; 4. Provide follow-up care to prepubescent sexual assault victims; 5. Train registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses as SANEs; and 6. Provide continuing education/training to pediatric SANE nurses.
The activities to be completed by PMFPE will streamline the process for prepubescent sexual assault patients and lead to greater follow through and improved recovery. Over the long-term, the collaborative efforts will also improve forensic documentation and examination, which will better aid law enforcement, child protective services and prosecutors during an investigation. This work will also increase the number of SANE trained nurses, resulting in improved access for patients.