Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $473,754)
Indiana University Health, Inc. (IU Health) is pleased to submit this application which requests funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime under the FY 2022 Expanding Access to Sexual Assault Forensic Exams Program. The funds requested in this application will support an expansion of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) capabilities in Indiana where IU Health has a presence, and which demonstrate a current gap in SANE capacity.
This application requests funding under Priority Consideration A, as it will increase the availability of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) and enhance standards of care and access to victim advocacy services in targeted, highly rural IU Health critical access hospitals. This application requests a total of $473,754.09 in funding. The proposed project will serve four critical access hospitals: IU Health Bedford (Lawrence County); IU Health Morgan (Morgan County); IU Health Paoli (Orange County); and IU Health Tipton (Tipton County). The project is also designed to improve access to pediatric care via tele-consults from IU Health Riley (Marion County).
This project will accomplish the purpose of this program through addressing the lack of resources in Emergency Medicine departments for patients reporting sexual assault in highly rural areas. First, it will allow for utilization of telehealth equipment in four IU Health facilities that do not currently have access to SANE expertise and services. This equipment will allow these facilities to connect to a project hub at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where trained SANEs will be available to screen patients to determine if a full medical forensic exam is needed prior to transfer. Simultaneously, targeted sites will receive training to enhance their abilities to provide advocate for victims’ rights and services and utilize the telehealth technology. This will reduce the number of patients who are transferred to undergo an exam.
Outcomes include: 1) 90% of sexual assault and/or violence victims who enter targeted IU Health Emergency Medicine departments will be connected with a tele-SANE Forensic Nurse to receive care that addresses their critical needs and increases access to victim advocacy services, and 2) 75% of IU Health team members surveyed in targeted Emergency Medicine departments report understanding and utilizing the tele-SANE consult pathway and seeing an increase in access to care for victims.
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence will serve as a support partner when victims require connection to additional services such as legal support.