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Forensic Nurse Examiners Program (FNEP)


(608) 417-5916 -- on-call FNEP nurses (24hour)

24-hour on call service

UnityPoint Health - Meriter Hospital
Emergency Department
202 South Park St
Madison, WI 53715

Previously known as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, Meriter's Forensic Nurse Examiners Program (FNEP) works with survivors of sexual assault, even if they are not from Dane County. If the survivor wants, the nurse gathers medical evidence that will be useful in court. The nurse works with each survivor in a sensitive, non-threatening manner and respects all decisions made.

The nurse assists survivors with the many concerns following rape, including the threat of disease and, if applicable, pregnancy, and assists in reviewing options. If the survivor wants, the nurse contacts a rape crisis advocate, helps the survivor find a safe place to go, helps develop a medical follow-up plan, provides information on crime victim compensation and testifies as a factual witness if the case goes to court.

They care for about 400 women, men and children each year from Dane County and many of the surrounding communities. Located within Meriter’s Emergency Department, SANE provides care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is the only program of its kind in Dane County.

The SANE Program is staffed by registered nurses who have advanced education and instruction in medical-forensic examination and in psychological and emotional trauma. SANE nurses are available to speak to groups and organizations and may also provide expert testimony in a court of law.

Meriter recognizes this is a frightening, traumatic time for victims. Our SANE nurses will provide a safe, compassionate exam and empower the patient to determine their plan of care, including:

  • Emotional support
  • Physical examination and wellness check
  • Collection of medical-forensic evidence
  • Assistance with reporting the crime to police, when requested (mandatory reporting for children)
  • Assistance with concerns about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy
  • Assistance with safety planning
  • Development of a medical follow-up plan 

After the exam, a SANE nurse will call the patient to discuss any lab test results and may refer the patient to professionals who can provide additional services including:

The Dane County Rape Crisis Center is available for assistance with crisis intervention, advocacy, and counseling.

The Crime Victim Compensation Fund, which provides reimbursement for medical care, clothing, time lost on the job and other losses as a result of the assault.

Health care providers for follow-up medical care. With the patient’s consent, SANE will provide all lab and exam results to the primary care provider.

Meriter accepts all commercial insurance providers such as Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation, Dean Health Plan, Group Health Cooperative and Unity Health Plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid. If a patient has insurance, but prefers not to use it, due to confidentiality reasons, or is uninsured, the hospital can apply for reimbursement through the WI SAFE FundThe SAFE Fund is a program that can provide financial assistance for the cost of a forensic medical exam for victims of sexual assault. If the patient does not have medical coverage, he or she may be eligible for assistance from the Crime Victim Compensation Fund or the Uncompensated Care Program through Meriter. However, Meriter will help all patients regardless of his or her ability to pay.  

A referral is not needed to be seen by a SANE nurse.

Owner:Information Services Specialist .Group:Campus and Visitor Relations
Created:2009-06-03 19:00 CDTUpdated:2020-03-02 16:23 CDT
Sites:Campus and Visitor Relations
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