Baptist Health Foundation Hardin provides operational funding for SANE Forensic Program

March 18, 2022

SANE nurses complete special training and provide forensic examinations for all victims of violence.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky., March 18, 2022 – Baptist Health Foundation Hardin’s Board of Directors announced that it will provide $121,000 to keep Baptist Health Hardin’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)/Forensic program fully operational despite first time reductions in state grant funding.

SANE nurses complete special training and provide forensic examinations for all victims of violence including adults, adolescents and pediatric patients. Forensic services are available for victims of sexual assault, domestic or intimate partner violence, child abuse, human trafficking, and elder abuse. In addition to providing medical assessment and treatment, SANE nurses also collect and preserve time-sensitive evidence and testify in legal proceedings if necessary. In 2021, the SANE/Forensic program provided 532 acute victim services and 288 follow-up services. More than 100 victims were 18 years old or younger.

Baptist Health Hardin’s SANE/Forensics program is the only SANE-Ready designated program in central Kentucky. In addition, the hospital is one of six in the state identified within the International Association of Forensic Nurses. SANE/Forensics services are available for pediatric through geriatric patients. Baptist Health Hardin is the only hospital-based program in Kentucky to offer follow-up services to SANE/Forensic patients at no cost.

In 2016, the foundation began helping Hardin’s SANE team secure program funding from  Kentucky’s Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, specifically via grants from the Violence Against  Women Act (VAWA) and then from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Over the last four years, these grants provided $1,342,850 to improve care and add services to all abuse victims.  In 2021 the pandemic and other factors forced the state to dramatically reduce the grant funds available.

“Since we helped start the SANE program and since the number of victims continues to rise, our board unanimously voted to fill the grant gap so patient services and care could continue at the highest level,” said Baptist Health Foundation Hardin Chair Mike Bowers. “We exist to provide the extras that the hospital could not otherwise fund, so the request fits our mission perfectly.”

“Our increasing patient numbers do not necessarily reflect an increase in regional sexual assault, but rather are indicative that our work to make the public aware of the compassionate care available to them is paying off,” said Sarah Manning, BSN, RN, SANE, the SANE/Forensic program manager at Baptist Health Hardin. “This compassionate, highly specialized care would not be possible without the foundation’s continued support of our efforts.”

Though the program serves patients throughout Baptist Health Hardin’s 10-county region, the majority of SANE/Forensic patients served in 2021 were Hardin County residents.