New tool to better care for sexual assault victims

DuBois, Pa. — Penn Highlands DuBois Hospital introduced a new tool to help sexual assault victims Wednesday.

The program is called SAFE-T. The program was developed by Penn State and brought to the hospital thanks to a grant.

SAFE-T allows an expert nurse to be virtually present in the exam room via video chat.

They will assist the hospital nurse through the examination process for a sexual assault victim.

“Having the SAFE-T Center with us will afford the nurses some comfort in knowing they gave high-quality care, they did the best evidence collection, and if they move forward to a court case, they’ll feel comfortable, they’ll feel confident they did what they needed for the patient,” Kim Cicon with Penn Highlands said.

“When someone comes, in they’ll feel exceptionally well-cared for,” Sheridan Miyamoto from the SAFE-T Center said. “They have choices at every step of the process.”

The SAFE-T program will also be used at the JC Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon.