Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault

Report date
August 2016

What has been most instrumental to your progress?

Convening our SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Team in Duluth with SANEs from across the region has been very beneficial for both the rural SANEs, but also our SANE Program. We have been partnering very actively with the hospital-based SANE Program at Fairview Range Memorial Hospital located in Hibbing, Minnesota. The Hibbing SANE Program is a very rural program without a set budget for recruitment, training, call time, or continuing education. In April, PAVSA SANE Program staff visited their bi-monthly staff meeting to learn more about their program structure and the operating challenges that both SANE Programs share. Then, in June, the PAVSA SANE Program invited the Hibbing SANEs to come to one of our monthly meetings to do extensive case review. Our Lead SANE, Alisha Blazevic, also provided continuing education on strangulation and charting to the four nurses from the Hibbing SANE Program who joined us. We've continued to be in contact via email about future plans to meet. Several of the Hibbing SANEs will be attending a clinical workshop in Duluth in October, and there is interest in a regional SANE Summit this winter. This collaboration has definitely been impactful.
A significant activity that has been made possible by the Bush Foundation grant is the PAVSA SANE Program being involved in statewide efforts to standardize and improve medical forensic services for survivors of sexual assault across the state. The work that PAVSA is doing through our Bush Foundation grant to improve access to medical forensic exams in Northeastern Minnesota is very much aligned with the work being led by MNCASA (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault) through the Medical Forensic Exam Access Project (MFEAP), funded by the MN Office of Justice Programs. We have been able to send Em Westerlund, PAVSA SANE Coordinator to the bimonthly meetings hosted by MNCASA that are providing insights about access and quality of medical forensic exams across the state to the Minnesota Legislature. MFEAP provides a platform to amplify the concerns of outstate and rural SANE programs and hospitals that are tasked with providing these exams. Having a seat at the MFEAP table also ensures that as important policy decisions are being made about exam payment, exam components, and statewide SANE program coordination, communities in Northeastern Minnesota are not left behind.