New mobile medical unit in central Ky. hopes to help sexual assault survivors

WKYT News at 4:00 PM
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman cut the ribbon on a new mobile medical unit that’s ready to hit the road in central Kentucky.

The RV aims to offer quality, accessible care to sexual assault survivors in rural areas of Kentucky.

As a sexual assault nurse examiner, or SANE nurse, Haven Andrews has both seen and lived through the trauma that can stem from sexual violence.

“I did become a survivor in 2012 and I had to go to the hospital that I worked at to have the exam done which was traumatizing in itself,” Andrews said.

For some survivors, she said the anxiety of going to the ER keeps them from taking the trip, and others can’t get the care they need even if they do go.

“Sometimes they get to the hospital and there’s not even a forensically trained nurse on staff to take the exam,” Andrews said.

She is directing a new mobile medical unit with the goal of creating a better experience for those impacted by sexual assault. The RV will provide survivors a private space for trauma informed sexual assault forensic exams. It’ll work around the clock 365 days a year.

It will span across 17 central Kentucky counties, focusing on rural communities.

“For us to be able to go to the patient, reduce their travel and have a forensically trained nurse to take care of them appropriately, that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Andrews said.

They’re also pairing up with law enforcement to bridge the gap in the bluegrass between survivors and brings them special care that Andrews said they need and deserve.

“We hope that as folks in the community start to hear about this project and program that they’ll know and see that we are here for you all,” Andrews said.

The partnership with law enforcement and EMS agencies will also include designated parking space for the RV in each county to ensure the safety of both patients and staff.

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