Durbin Announces $600,000 For Expansion of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Services At Swedish Hospital

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Swedish Hospital to discuss the $600,000 Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow them to expand and strengthen their Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program. The SANE program supports victims of sexual assault by enhancing best practice care and forensic evidence collection, supporting the recruitment and retention of nurse examiners, strengthening the community response to sexual assault, and creating awareness of sexual assault based on trauma-informed principles.  With this grant, Swedish Hospital will help other hospitals within the NorthShore University HealthSystem develop and expand their SANE programs.

“After a traumatic event, survivors of sexual assault deserve care from qualified nurses who specialize in treating these cases,” said Durbin. “This federal investment will allow Swedish Hospital to expand this critical program, giving survivors the tools they need to heal and rebuild their lives. I’ll keep working to ensure that the federal government continues expanding access to trauma-informed care for sexual assault survivors.” 

At Swedish Hospital, SANEs are part of the hospital’s Pathways program, which works to respond to patients impacted by sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking.  Now in its seventh year, more than 1,900 survivors have been assisted and more than 2,500 medical providers and staff have received training by Swedish Hospital through this program.

Signed into law in March, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act included the Supporting Access to Nurse Exams (SANE) Act that Durbin co-led. This provision of the VAWA reauthorization: (1) helps increase access to SANEs in areas lacking them; (2) authorizes funding for the training of new SANEs; (3) encourages the development of high-quality SANE training programs; and (4) provides for collaboration between forensic service providers and sexual assault advocates.