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SMMC Celebrates Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Anniversary

Nov. 1, 2022

The long-standing program provides compassionate care to victim-survivors of sexual assault and connects them with critical community resources

On October 27, St. Michael Medical Center celebrated the 25th anniversary of its SANE program. Founded in 1997, the SANE program continues to be the only program on the Kitsap Peninsula to provide uninterrupted 24/7 critical and compassionate care for sexual assault survivors in Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson and Clallam counties.

“Compassionate, patient-centered care that is accessible to all is at the heart of what we do. As we recognize this significant milestone, I am extremely proud of our team for supporting victim-survivors for over two decades and going above and beyond to care for our community every day. Since the SANE program launched, we have seen more than 4,000 patients and have never lapsed in providing this service to Kitsap, Mason, Clallam and Jefferson counties,” said President of St. Michael Medical Center, Chad Melton.

St. Michael Medical Center’s SANE program is designed to assure compassionate care for victims, assist law enforcement in the prosecution of crimes and provide sexual assault education to the community. The sexual assault nurse examiners provide trauma-informed care to victim-survivors, explain all the choices available to them and empower patients to make the best decision for themselves.

“I’ve been part of the SANE program since it first started and it’s been an honor to support victim-survivors alongside my dedicated colleagues. Our patient-first approach ensures we create a safe and secure environment where all our patients receive high-quality care,” said Kate Espy, SANE program manager.

In the past twenty-five years, the SANE program has worked to form crucial community partnerships to facilitate the best outcome for victim-survivors such as its partnership with the Kitsap Support Advocacy and Counseling Agency (KSAC). KSAC’s advocates support victim-survivors 24/7 including during forensic interviews, any police and/or lawyer interviews as well as by connecting survivors to therapists. Through these collaborations, the SANE program ensures a continuum of care for victim-survivors after leaving the hospital.

About Virginia Mason Franciscan Health

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is an integrated health system serving the Puget Sound region of Washington state, offering access to some of the country’s most prestigious experts and hospitals that are internationally known for superior quality. With a team of 18,000 team members, including nearly 5,000 employed physicians and affiliated providers, we unite the brightest health care minds in the region to provide world-class clinical excellence at 11 hospitals and nearly 300 sites of care throughout the Puget Sound area. We are proud to be the home of Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS, and Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research. We embrace our community’s uniquely vibrant, active culture by providing holistic, personalized and patient-centered care. We are committed to caring for the most vulnerable in our communities, including the poor and underserved, providing more than $300 million in community benefit – free, subsidized, and reduced cost health care and programs.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health was formed in 2021 by bringing together two leading health systems in Washington state. Our family of hospitals includes Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Michael Medical Center, Silverdale and Bremerton; St. Anne Hospital, Burien; Rehabilitation Hospital, Tacoma; and Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital, Tacoma.