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Indiana SANE Project receives $1.46 million to improve care of sexual assault, abuse victims

July 19, 2022

The Indiana SANE Training Project, an initiative of the University of Southern Indiana and Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC), has received $1.46 million in federal and state funding to continue and expand its work training nurses and healthcare professionals to improve care for victims of sexual assault and abuse throughout Indiana. 

The Indiana SANE Training Project provides medical forensic education, training, resources, and clinical support to healthcare providers and offers funding assistance to cover the costs associated with this specialized training. Access to a trained medical forensic provider, often referred to as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), improves patient outcomes and aids in successful prosecution of offenders.   

In 2018, Southwest Indiana AHEC was the recipient of a grant from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for Advanced Nursing Education for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ANE-SANE). This three-year award, worth more than $1 million, established the Indiana SANE Training Project. Recently, the project was awarded an additional $966,692 to support the ANE-SANE project for two more years and continue its efforts focusing on rural and underserved communities. 

In addition, the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has awarded the project $500,000 over two years, which will support education to organizations partnering with IDOH to expand access to medical forensic services at locations beyond emergency departments, including several clinics throughout the state. 

"This new funding will allow our project to further expand training opportunities for nurses to improve clinical competence and confidence to ensure high quality forensic medical care to victims of crime across the state," said Jane Friona, Executive Director of Southwest Indiana AHEC. 

Since the project's inception in late 2018, there have been more than 15 new SANE programs developed at hospitals and other care settings in the state of Indiana, and the project has supported more than 350 nurses receiving medical forensic training, according to Friona. 

"The Indiana SANE Training Project has certainly made an impact on the number of SANE programs offered in the state, especially in rural areas," said Friona. "When looking at the number of counties offering adult/adolescent SANE services, there has been an increase of 40% since starting this project, and the number of counties offering pediatric SANE services has nearly doubled." 

Southwest Indiana AHEC began as a regional center in 2008 and is hosted by the University of Southern Indiana in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. SWI-AHEC is part of a national network with a mission to improve health by leading the nation in the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse health workforce for underserved communities.   

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving healthcare to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. 

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $966,692. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. 

For questions, to be involved with the Indiana SANE Training Project or for more information, email Friona at 

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