Lancaster Medical Center Partners to Support Victims of Sexual Assault


HERSHEY, Pa. – Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center is committed to providing high-quality, compassionate care to survivors of sexual assault with the launch of a new partnership. Penn State Health’s newest acute care hospital today (November 1) announced its partnership with SAFE-T Systems, a grant-funded program within Penn State’s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing.

Registered nurses in the emergency department who have completed the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training are essential partners in providing high-level sexual assault care as part of the comprehensive program offered by SAFE -T Systems.

Aimed to serve rural and underserved communities, SAFE-T Systems combines state-of-the-art telemedicine technology with live teleSANE expert mentorship to facilitate local sexual assault forensic examination. SAFE-T teleSANEs are highly experienced Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners who have conducted numerous cases and are adept at mentoring others through telehealth while ensuring examinations adhere to best practice standards.

In addition to live telehealth mentoring, Lancaster Medical Center’s new team of sexual assault nurses also receive comprehensive training, programmatic support, and access to an extensive peer network through its partnership with SAFE-T Systems. SANEs provide the highest standard of health care with a trauma-informed approach for victims seeking treatment after sexual assault, and are on call for the Lancaster Medical Center Emergency Department 24/7. 7. They perform forensic examinations and provide emotional support and expert legal testimony.

“The SANEs at Lancaster Medical Center know the importance of ensuring these patients have a safe space to process their trauma and loving care during these exams,” said Valerie Ritter, director of nursing in the emergency department at Lancaster Medical. Center. “This innovative partnership is an example of our commitment to improving outcomes for our patients.”

At every stage of the process, nurses work with people who have been sexually assaulted to explain their options, including reporting to law enforcement, medical examination and documentation of injuries, gathering evidence, infection and pregnancy prevention, referral to community resources and follow-up. -up care for a holistic approach. SAFE-T systems Exclusive nurse-designed SAFE-T Scope technology uses secure video conferencing and a forensic medical device to navigate the highly sensitive exam, minimizing the likelihood of retraumatization while simultaneously preserving the victim’s ability to ask justice with defensible forensic evidence. The approach combines this advanced technology with the compassionate care of SANE to help survivors on their healing journey.

Launched with the support of the Office for Victims of Crime of the United States Department of Justice, SAFE-T Systems is present in the health systems of Pennsylvania. Sheridan Miyamoto, who is a principal investigator and director, is also a faculty member at Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing and the Child Maltreatment Network. Miyamoto is a nurse scientist and researcher, Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and Betty Irene Moore Fellow.

Four other Penn State Health hospitals are also partnering with SAFE-T Systems. Penn State Health’s flagship Milton S. Hershey Medical Center launched a partnership with the SAFE-T Center in 2019 with funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Hampden and Holy Spirit Medical Centers joined in the spring of 2022, and St. Joseph Medical Center joined in September.


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