Lake Regional Celebrates National Forensic Nurses Week

Lake Regional Health System observed National Forensic Nurses Week on Nov. 12-16 to recognize nurses who provide compassionate care to victims of abuse and violence.

Lake Regional employs five forensic nurses, who are certified sexual assault nurse examiners: Dee Ballard, Angie Halterman, Stacy Sederwall, Jaimie Wheat and Anne Wilson. SANEs work with investigators to identify injuries resulting from sexual assault trauma, provide assessment, document injuries and use forensic techniques to collect evidence. They also provide expert witness testimony and referrals and work to ensure the safety of children and adults after discharge.

During the past fiscal year, Lake Regional’s SANE nurses provided care for more than 130 victims. Since the beginning of the program in October 2007, the team has provided care for nearly 600 victims.

“This team of nurses tries to make an awful situation tolerable,” said Melissa Hunter, R.N., Emergency Department nurse manager at Lake Regional. “They are a vital part of the healing process by collecting evidence and providing expert testimony that can convict perpetrators. We are very proud of the work they do and their deep commitment to their patients.”