In 1992, Surrey Hospitals Foundation supported the launch of pilot program, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), co-founded by Sheila Early, who was a nurse at Surrey Memorial Hospital at the time. Being the first of its kind in BC and second in Canada, the SANE program focused on educating nurses in gathering legal forensic evidence while also providing supportive, confidential nursing care to sexual violence patients.
Before this program was made, Sheila had noticed the overextended period of time that it took for sexual violence patients to receive examination. The SANE program was created to change this process and support those patients. Two years after its launch, Sheila performed the first exam by a sexual assault nurse examiner in the province in 1994.
Our commitment to supporting care for patients who have experienced recent violence and vulnerable populations continues today, and every day. Now called the Forensic Nursing Service, this year marks 30 years since the program launched! We are proud to support Sheila and forensic nurses who continue to bring life-changing care to the people in our community.