Blanchard Valley Health System has been awarded a $192,881 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to support sexual assault victim assistance services.

The money is from the Crime Victims Fund created by the Victims of Crime Act, which uses fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders to support victim assistance programs.

The grant will be used to support a part-time sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) coordinator position, and to provide nurse training and medical equipment for Blanchard Valley Health System.

“We currently have three SANE nurses as part of our emergency services team,” said Michelle Stratton, SANE program coordinator. “Through this grant, we will be training five additional nurses to allow us to provide 24/7 SANE nurse coverage. We will also be purchasing equipment to ensure we have the tools available to examine and care for those who have experienced a sexual assault.”

Sexual assault nurse examiner services are available through both Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital emergency departments.