Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $494,444)
The VUMC SANE program currently supports Middle Tennessee with SANE services at it main campus in Nashville, TN. When a sexual assault occurs in outlying counties, the victim must either come to Nashville or receive a forensic exam conducted by a non-SANE trained provider. With either situation, care is delayed, and there is a risk that the chain of custody for evidentiary materials is broken. This proposed project was developed to mitigate these circumstances. Specifically, the primary purpose of this Vanderbilt Health SANE Expansion Project is to increase the number and quality of SANEs in Middle Tennessee. The Vanderbilt SANE program developed three objectives to be met within three years. These objectives include 1) develop and implement a formal SANE training program to be used to train 90 SANE providers internal and external to the Vanderbilt Health system of clinics and hospitals, 2) expand access to the Vanderbilt SANE program into 3 clinic locations in rural Tennessee and 1 clinic specializing in LGBTQ+ health, and 3) increase the linkages between the Vanderbilt program and external agencies and law enforcement supporting victims of sexual assault in Middle Tennessee. To meet objective 1, the Vanderbilt SANE program will enhance its current SANE orientation to include formal simulated and evaluated experiences, as well as expand SANE training access to healthcare and social service agencies external to Vanderbilt Health. To meet objective 2, the Vanderbilt Health SANE program will fully equip and train providers at two rural health access hospitals in Tennessee (Bedford and Coffee Counties) to provide SANE services. It will also update equipment and training for an additional rural health access hospital in Wilson County, TN. In addition, the Vanderbilt SANE program will equip and train SANE providers and staff at VUMC’s specialized LGBTQ+ health clinic (VIVID Health). Lastly, to meet objective 3, the Vanderbilt Health SANE program will increase its formal linkages with the Tennessee Sexual Assault Center and Haven of Hope. These agencies provide support for victims of sexual assault through the recovery, and with engagement with law enforcement. Through meeting these objectives, the Vanderbilt SANE program will be more equipped to meet the needs of victims of sexual assault across Tennessee. It will provide more timely care and support to victims while increase the potential that the perpetrator is identified and that due process is served.