Since 2010, the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program now known as FNE (Forensic Nurse Examiner) at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center has been providing forensic exams and care for survivors of sexual assault 24/7/365. Mary Skowron, FNE Program Coordinator and ten specially trained FNE nurses are available for head to toe medical exams for patients who have experienced domestic violence. The program has been renamed to more accurately reflect the expertise and training received by the nurses to conduct forensic medical exams on victims of sexual assault, child abuse, child sexual assault, strangulation and domestic violence.
A survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence experiences one of the most painful, confusing and frightening events that can happen to a person. The FNE nurses provide the special care needed that begins in the Emergency Department with the forensic exam and continues with the support, compassion and advocacy as the patient begins the healing process.
The FNE program serves the 5th Judicial District that includes Summit, Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake Counties and the north part of Park County, and the 9th Judicial District that includes Pitkin and Garfield Counties. Each year Jennifer provides education to more than ten law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado Mountain College Police Academy in Glenwood Springs. Police officers and Advocates for Victims of Assault direct patients to the Emergency Department at Summit Medical Center for their FNE exams and care. The FNE nurses are also available to do exams for children who have been physically or sexually abused.
We continue to have a list of needs not met alone with our facility. One of the ongoing needs is funding for supplies, training and salaries for nurses for the FNE Program in the hospital Emergency Department. Hundreds of cases occur each year within the 5th and the 9th Judicial Districts. Without the program based at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, victims from both the 5th and 9th Judicial Districts would need to travel to Denver or Grand Junction to receive the exam, treatment and support services.
Anyone needing help or information regarding domestic violence or sexual abuse should call the hospital at 970-668-3300 and ask for a Forensic Nurse.