Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $4,000,000)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2019 Enhancing Care and Improving Access and Quality of Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations through Telehealth (Purpose Area 1), is to develop or enhance statewide or regional telehealth programs to improve the quality of healthcare for sexual assault victims, increase the quality of forensic evidence collection, and expand the reach of SANE services through telehealth for communities with limited access to trained SANEs. The Texas A&M University will plan, develop, and pilot test a statewide sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) telehealth program, the Texas Teleforensic Remote Assistance Center (Tex-TRAC). Tex-TRAC will increase access to high-quality, patient-centered, trauma-informed sexual assault medical forensic exams (MFEs) for patients in rural and underserved areas. Twenty highly-trained, experienced SANEs will guide health care providers to provide high-quality MFEs at three geographically diverse, underserved pilot sites via 24/7 telehealth consultation: 1) Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco (Rio Grande Valley); 2) Uvalde Memorial Hospital in Uvalde (South Texas); and DeTar Hospital North in Victoria (Gulf Coast) Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio (South Texas). In addition, Tex-TRAC expert SANEs will be available via toll-free number (1-833-TEX-TRAC) to provide 24/7 expert technical assistance to any health care facilities or practitioners regarding MFEs.