Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program

Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO) offers the services of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to advocate for one of the more vulnerable populations we serve. This joint program through the Pediatric Emergency Department and the Child Protection Team at Children’s Hospital Colorado promotes the specialized care for victims of acute sexual assault. The SANE program provides 24/7 care for survivors of acute sexual assault at Children’s Hospital Colorado.   

Our SANE program is the only pediatric and adolescent focused program in the region, treating patients less than 22 years of age. Our program promotes a wholistic approach to patient care. The SANE program serves the entire Denver metro area. The care is provided by specially trained pediatric nurses.   

Our approach to sexual assault care includes the traditional forensic evidence collection, along with post exposure prophylaxis for sexually transmitted infections. What is unique about our program is the specialized focus on child and adolescent development, patient mental health and safety concerns for children and adolescent survivors of sexual assault. Not only do our specially trained SANE nurses complete the medical care necessary, they also collaborate closely with clinical social work in the hospital. This collaborative approach is aimed at not only treating physical injury, but also in assessing mental health and safety. The SANE nurses also have the unique ability to work directly with subspecialists within pediatric medicine and nursing.  They have 24/7 access to specialized Pediatric Emergency Medicine providers, Child Abuse Pediatrics providers, and Pediatric Infectious Disease providers when there are questions specific to patient care. This close working relationship demonstrates the utility in creating interdisciplinary teams to provide excellent patient care.