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River Bridge Regional Center is happy to announce that Mountain West SANE Alliance has a permanent home under the River Bridge Regional Center umbrella. In 2012, the Roaring Fork Valley lost its Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program, leaving our community vulnerable and victims of sexual assault with inadequate services. A small group of dedicated professionals came together to reinstate the needed services that victims in our community require, forming the Mountain West SANE Alliance (MWSA). With dedication and tireless work, this group of individuals was able to reestablish services to our community and in 2016, MWSA conducted its first SANE Examination.

Mountain West SANE Alliance Nurses: Kelley Hill, Becky Antonelli (Coordinator), Danielle Yost, Beth Hoffman, Beth Barnes.

Not pictured: Leslie Fink, Valerie Curry, Nicole Connors.

Since 2016, MWSA has continued its important work. However with limited funding, mounting volunteer hours, and borrowed space, the longevity of the program was at risk. To ensure that our community does not lose its adult SANE program again, River Bridge Regional Center now provides the structure and leadership that is necessary for the permanency of the program.

River Bridge Executive Director Blythe Chapman is dedicated to creating a safer and stronger community. “Unfortunately when Valley View Hospital closed the SANE program in 2012, victims of assault in our community had to travel to Frisco or Grand Junction for this essential service. Due to the travel hardship, many patients decided against an exam. We fear that even more did not report assault because of the lack of services available. All victims of assault deserve the dignity, respect, and specialized medical care that a forensic nurse examiner can offer. We feel that it is unacceptable for our community to get by without a SANE program. This is why River Bridge has stepped up to provide the administration and oversight to a much needed service in our community. We have many nurses in our valley who are engaged, committed and enthusiastic about SANE. The program will experience strength and longevity with the right management.”

Under River Bridge Regional Center’s direction, Mountain West SANE Alliance is already growing. The program currently has four nurses on contract who are able to provide exams to the 9th Judicial District which includes, Garfield, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties. In addition, there are six nurses who are currently in training and will begin examinations in early and mid-2018.