a group of people looking atg the camera, a telehealth cart is set up in the middle and a face appears on the screen

Clarion Hospital launches SAFE-T to better help sexual assault victims

CLARION – Clarion Hospital, in conjunction with Penn State University, last week introduced a new program to aid in the treatment of victims of sexual assault.

The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center (SAFE-T Center), established and maintained by Penn State University, is a telehealth program that enables rural hospitals in Pennsylvania to offer expert treatment in the aftermath of a sexual assault.

According to Clarion Hospital CEO Steven Davis, the local hospital is now one of six Pennsylvania hospitals that collaborate with the SAFE-T Center. Clarion’s involvement grew out of a need voiced by the District Attorney’s Office to ensure that perpetrators of sexual assault do not go unpunished due to “lack of evidence or lack of proper collection of evidence.”

“We are now bringing telemedicine technology to the Clarion community to make sure that, when we do unfortunately have these cases, we have all the resources and training in addition to access to a forensic nurse examiner remotely 24/7,” Davis said during last Wednesday’s program launch presentation at Clarion Hospital, noting that hospital personnel want to do what’s right for the victims through a holistic approach. “Our job is to make sure that we do the right thing and collect the evidence in a respectful, emotional way so that we meet their needs during that time of crisis.”