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Donations expand Texas Health sexual assault program

🕐 2 min read

A $3.5 million donation from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas will help expand the Texas Health Resources Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program across a 16-county region in North Texas.

Additionally, $1.5 million in the form a challenge grant has been matched by an anonymous donor. Another $1.5 million in support has been provided by The Moody Foundation.

Together, these gifts will make Texas Health’s SANE services one of the largest sexual assault treatment programs in the United States.

“Our SANE-certified nurses are honored to serve communities in North Texas, providing comprehensive, compassionate care to those who have experienced the trauma of sexual assault or abuse,” said Joan Clark, senior vice president and chief nurse executive of Texas Health. “This service is an amazing asset to these communities, and would not be possible without the generosity of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation, the Moody Foundation and other community supporters. For more than a year, we have wanted to find a way to offer SANE services to patients across North Texas, regardless of which Texas Health hospital they choose for care, and we are thrilled that our vision has been made a reality.”

SANE programs offer multidisciplinary, patient-centered care to victims of sexual assault who present to hospital emergency departments or clinics. These specially trained nurses provide crisis intervention and emotional support, along with comprehensive health assessments, medical treatment, and forensic evidence collection.

The funding also allowed the hiring of Kathleen Gann, who will oversee all SANE-led services across the Texas Health system.

Gann is a certified SANE and a certified adult/adolescent SANE through the International Association of Forensic Nurses, and brings more than 20 years of experience as a SANE and SANE trainer in Texas, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Gann’s title will be named for the length of Caruth Foundation’s four-year funding; W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation director of Texas Health Resources system SANE Program. Under Gann’s leadership, Texas Health will hire fulltime administrative staff, including program managers, community outreach coordinators and a forensic nurse examiner/educator.

During the next five years, the Texas Health SANE Program will expand to Texas Health hospitals in Arlington, Denton, Kaufman and Stephenville. Existing SANE services at Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano will further develop their programs, thanks to the Caruth, Moody and other philanthropic gifts. Additionally, mobile services will be available at six locations: Allen, Alliance, Azle, Cleburne, HEB and Southwest Fort Worth.

Texas Health currently provides comprehensive SANE services for adults at two Texas Health wholly-owned hospitals, Texas Health Dallas and Texas Health Fort Worth; a SANE program at Texas Health Kaufman that primarily serves pediatric patients; and as a member of a community-based program at Texas Health Plano.

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