Wilkes Medical Center Now Offering Sexual Assault Examination Services

October 3, 2023

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Wilkes Medical Center has added comprehensive Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exams for patients 16 years of age and older. 
SANE nurses are registered nurses who have undergone additional, specialized training to care for those experiencing health effects associated with sexual assault.

This service is available daily, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. when a SANE nurse is on call. 

”In the past, patients who experienced a sexual assault had to be transferred to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem to receive a comprehensive forensic exam by a trained SANE nurse,” said Brandi Huggins, a SANE-trained registered nurse in the Wilkes Medical Center emergency department. “Requiring already vulnerable patients to travel outside their community created additional burdens, so having these services available locally allows us to provide safer and more compassionate care.”

Huggins and Emileigh Brewer, emergency department charge nurse, co-lead Wilkes Medical Center’s SANE program.

Patients who may not be sure if they should come to the hospital may call Wilkes Medical Center at 336-651-8004 and speak with someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SANE nursing is a specialty within the forensic nursing field and Wake Forest Baptist is a leader in this area, providing training to registered nurses throughout the health system and at other hospitals across the state.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Wilkes Medical Center Foundation, which provided funding for equipment and training and was instrumental in getting this program set up,” said Chad Brown, president of Wilkes Medical Center.

Media contact: Jenna Kurzyna, jkurzyna@wakehealth.edu