IRVING, TX – As a result of Senate Bill 1191, starting Sept. 1 all Texas hospitals with emergency rooms will be required to have staff trained in at least basic collection of forensic evidence from sexual assault victims. On Sept. 24, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) will sponsor “Rape Kit Responsibility: The impact of Senate Bill 1191” from 7:30 – 10:00 a.m. in the T. Boone Pickens Conference Center at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
The agenda will include information on Senate Bill 1191 and emergency department education by certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). SANE is registered nurses who have completed detailed education in medical forensic care of patients who have suffered sexual assault or abuse. Currently, 312 sexual assault nurse examiners are certified in the state, according to the Texas attorney general’s office. Information on how to achieve SANE certification will be available. Defense attorneys will also discuss evidence collected and used in the legal system.
“Prior to Sept. 1, Texas communities were required to have one or more facilities designated as the primary care center for sexual assault victims,” said W. Stephen Love, president/CEO of DFWHC. “If the victims go to a hospital that lacks the designation, they are stabilized but would have to go to the primary center for evidence to be collected. Now, while victims can still go to the designated primary care center, all emergency room hospitals will be able to collect such evidence. This educational event is an example of North Texas hospitals continuing to take the extra step to provide an important social responsibility to the community.”
Courtney Underwood, co-founder of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center and executive director of the SANE Initiative, will open the program with an introductory presentation. SANE nurses will also instruct and educate hospital clinicians during a special breakout session.
“Hospitals provide important community needs and perhaps treating sexual assault survivors is one of the most important,” Love said. “We hope this meeting will assist North Texas hospitals in achieving this important goal. If a sexual assault survivor is treated quickly and efficiently by our hospital emergency rooms, then their level of stress and trauma can only be decreased.”
Representatives from Children at Risk will also discuss telltale signs of sexual human trafficking victims seeking medical treatment from hospitals. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Texas has some of the highest numbers of incidents of human trafficking in the country, with the Interstate 10 highway corridor identified as the top human trafficking route.
This event is free to attendees. To register, go to http://sept24dfwhc.eventbrite.com/. For more information, contact Kristin Alexander at DFWHC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council is an 85-member organization with 44 years of service to North Texas healthcare. Governed by a 14-member board, the hospital trade association is committed to the continuous improvement of patient care.
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August 21, 2013
Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council