The EvergreenHealth Foundation has been awarded an important grant from the Tableau Foundation to enhance and expand training for EvergreenHealth’s Forensic Nurse Program (FNE), which provides skilled, compassionate, specialty care to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and neglect. In addition to caring for victims with emotional support, nurses who are trained as Forensic Nurse Examiners play a key role in evidence collection for law enforcement agencies and delivering forensic-level documentation to help improve the safety of our communities.
The Tableau Foundation Community Grant awarded to EvergreenHealth Foundation will fund training by Britt Toalson, senior photographer from the Seattle Police Department, to coach 18 EvergreenHealth nurses on photography techniques that contribute to the prosecution and conviction of perpetrators.
“We are extremely grateful that the Tableau Foundation helps us to continue providing this important 24-hour service. Our goal is to do everything we can to minimize the trauma assault victims experience by proving the most compassionate and skilled care in convenient locations for our patients and families. No one should have to travel outside of their community to receive this highly specialized care, and we’re committed to growing these resources to be our patients’ best advocate,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte.
In 2006, the EvergreenHealth Foundation secured funding to launch one of the first FNE programs in the state of Washington. After more than a decade, the Foundation continues to support the EvergreenHealth FNE program and its goal to provide skilled, compassionate, specialty care to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and elder or child abuse and neglect.
Each certified FNE— also referred to as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)— receives over 56 hours of specialized training in evidence collection; forensic photography; chain of custody; secure evidence storage; and courtroom testimony. While providing emotional support for victims, these specially trained nurses play a key role in evidence collection for law enforcement. EvergreenHealth maintains consistent communication with the Kirkland Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies, as well as with local schools, to ensure they are aware of the FNE program and familiar with the resources EvergreenHealth provides for survivors of sexual assault.
“By enhancing the skill level of EvergreenHealth nurses, and ensuring the health system has enough FNE nurses trained to offer care whenever it’s needed most, EvergreenHealth continues to add value to law enforcement, as well as provide resource options to survivors of these crimes,” said Malte. “In fact, two cases of human trafficking were discovered through this program over the last decade, allowing us to work with local authorities to provide the recovery resources they needed.”
The EvergreenHealth Foundation serves as EvergreenHealth’s philanthropic partner, assisting in promoting the health and well-being of patients by offering financial assistance in support of hospice and health care services. The Foundation raises money through a variety of fundraising programs that solicit private charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and civic organizations.
For more information on the EvergreenHealth Foundation, please visit www.evergreenhealthfoundation.com/.
For more information on EvergreenHealth’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, please visit www.evergreenhealth.com/sane.