Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $500,000)
Forensic Training Program for Healthcare Providers and Advocates
Purpose: This proposal seeks funding to increase awareness of generalist forensic training program using module-based, conceptual learning programing tailored to meet health care providers’ (including nurses, doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, community health aids, and EMTS (HCP)) learning needs. This blended learning program incorporates theoretical knowledge with skill competencies to ensure that HCP are confident in their knowledge and practical application of forensic skills.
Justification: Interpersonal violence issues affect all persons in the State of Alaska and is not limited to any age group, gender, race, or culture. Historically, the state has relied on the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) model to meet needs of sexual assault victims, but does not have a model to meet needs of victims of domestic violence, strangulation, child abuse, and other interpersonal violence issues. The skills typically associated with SANE practices are the same skills that would be utilized for the care of other types of victims (including but not limited to gunshots, assault, strangulation, and abuse). In many areas of Alaska, HCP find themselves needing to identify, collect, document, and preserve forensic evidence despite lack of training to do so.
Service Area and Intended Beneficiaries: Building Alaska’s community capacity to respond to violence is especially important for rural communities with limited resources. If the one health provider in a community is trained broadly to respond to many forms of violence and understands how to work with victims, law enforcement, and advocates; victims will receive improved care specific to their needs.
Activities: The proposed project is two-fold: to increase statewide awareness of generalist forensic training and to understand how communities accept and adopt new ways of responding to violence. The grant recipient plans to promote generalist forensic health care training through town hall style meetings in seventeen of the larger communities across Alaska. They will coordinate community stakeholder meetings to include health care administrators from local, borough, tribal, military, and statewide healthcare systems to promote inclusion of generalist forensic health care training for HCP to expand this necessary knowledge base and training. They will also explore implementation strategies, evaluate community response, and identify needs for successful implementation of generalist forensic training for HCP statewide.
Ultimately, the goal is to develop a critical mass of HCP using a sustainable model of care that is evidenced based and built on strong ethical values of inclusion, trauma informed care, and intersectionality.