CoxHealth has been given hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant funding that will allow them to expand their services to sexual assault survivors.
The funding, which will be available to CoxHealth in early 2020, will allow them to expand and launch new services with an aim of making the treatment and SAFE exam processes easier on the patient.
“Wonderful news,” former Springfield Sexual Assault Task Force member Janice Gehrke said. “The SANE nurses at both Cox…are truly amazing advocates.”
The first grant of $363,627 will add additional Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) to provide Sexual Assault Forensic Exams (SAFE) at rural hospitals in the CoxHealth system. The funding will also help increase staff at CoxHealth’s Springfield, Branson, and Monett locations.
The nurses will work with any victim of sexual assault that arrives in an emergency room. The SAFE examination and the services of the SANE nurses will be available to sexual assault victims even if the victim does not want to report the incident to police.
A second grant of $227,202 will be used to create an extensive telehealth system to work with victims of sexual assault in rural areas of Missouri that do not have ready access to a hospital. SANE nurses will be available 24/7 through the system via phone or internet link for victims.
Currently, some victims can be 65 miles or more away from a facility that can provide them with necessary services.
The system will also create a TeleSANE Nursing Hub at CoxHealth in Springfield; those SANE nurses will be able to work with nurses at Cox Barton County Hospital and Cox Monett Hospital on examinations and treatment of victims. The program will also provide “comfort care items” for victims when they are discharged from the hospital.
The funding is being given to CoxHealth through Missouri Department of Social Services’ Victims of Crime Act.