COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Thousands of patients are examined by UCHealth Memorial’s Forensic Nurse Examiner team each year.
“We are a team of 15 nurses, and we take care of any patients that come into the emergency room or the hospital who are victims of violence,” said Megan Lechner, the manager for the program.
This program started at UCHealth Memorial in 1995 and was the first-of-its-kind in the state. Right now, it’s one of the few programs in the country that is 24/7.
“Most programs are on-call SANE programs,” Lechner said. “So that does set us apart that we’re staffed 24/7 in-house and able to respond to a variety of types of violence.”
In 2018, the team examined more than 2,200 patients at Memorial Hospital Central and Memorial Hospital North.
Sometimes during that exam, the forensic nurses have to collect the patient’s clothes as evidence.
“Patients typically don’t get that back,” Lechner said.
Thanks to the Assistance League of Colorado Springs, the hospital gets clothing donations so the patients have something to wear home from the hospital.
“We want to give that power and control back to the patient because that’s what they’ve lost,” Lechner said. “When you’re seen as taking something from the patient when you’re collecting that evidence, being able to give back to them really just kind of helps them feel more comfortable, keeps them warm, makes them feel safe and that really just kind of helps them on their journey toward healing.”
The hospital sees all ages of patients, so they’re in need of all sizes and types of clothing.
“The ladies at the Assistance League are great about giving us sweatshirts in the wintertime, flip flops in the summer, things like that,” Lechner said. “So we use a little bit of everything really.”
People can donate money or brand new clothes to the Assistance League. If you’re interested in donating to this program, make sure you specify that the donations are for the Assault Survivor Kits.