VON awarded contract to expand SANE program to Colchester County

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA)

The province says VON Nova Scotia has been awarded the contract to expand the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to Colchester and Cumberland counties, East Hants, and the Eastern Shore.

In a press release, government says the VON will work with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to train nurses, and this announcement means the program will be available through all regional hospitals.

The request for proposals to find an organization to implement a SANE program was issued by the province in June.

The Tri County Women's Centre is also now offering the program at the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville and South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are registered nurses who have advanced training and expertise to provide specialized medical and forensic response.

Government says anyone wishing to access a SANE nurse can call the location nearest to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week or can go to the closest emergency department.

Two women came forward last year and said they were turned away from the Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro after being sexually assaulted.

In October, weeks after those stories were reported, Health Minister Randy Delorey said the premier had committed to having SANE services in Truro, although a timeline wasn't given.

The province says it has committed about $1.36 million this year on the SANE program.