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2012 Love Lights program to fund Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program

Community Health
Friday, September 14, 2012

For 28 years, the response from individuals, organizations, clubs and businesses has made the Fort Memorial Hospital Love Light Tree project a successful annual event, exemplifying the spirit of giving. The support given to the project has generated funds to help people of all ages with a variety of healthcare needs. The Love Lights will decorate several evergreen trees on the hospital grounds facing Sherman Avenue beginning in December.

Each year, the Fort HealthCare Partners select a project at Fort Memorial Hospital to support through the sale of Love Lights. Through proceeds raised during the 2012 campaign, Fort HealthCare Emergency Services will be able to provide equipment needed to support the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.

Emergency services coordinator Sarah Chesmore, RN, received education funding to provide SANE training for 13 emergency department nurses through the Fort Memorial Hospital Healthcare Innovation Grant program. Training requires over 80 combined hours of classroom education and practical experience. Nurses who complete training gain experience with law enforcement personnel, criminal justice procedures, victim advocacy, medical examinations and social services.

The goal of the training program is to help the emergency department nursing staff deliver coordinated, expert forensic and medical care that not only provides comfort and reassurance to the victim, but also safeguards evidence that aids in the successful prosecution of offenders.
In addition to the training, funding is required to support the program’s equipment needs including a special camera, light source and supplies for the exam itself. Patients will never be billed for a sexual assault exam.

Currently, there is no formal program to treat sexual assault victims in Jefferson County, even though between May and August 2012, there were 44 reported cases of sexual assault in Jefferson County.

Kari Behling, manager of volunteer services remarks, “The Partners organization chose the SANE program because there is a vital need for this service for people in Jefferson County.” She continues, “Sexual assault victims require special care and treatment that only SANE-trained nurses can provide.”

By donating $2 or more, a Love Light on the tree can be purchased as a gift to honor or remember a loved one in support of the SANE program. Colored lights are intended to honor someone special, while white lights serve as memorials for loved ones who have passed away. Special pledge cards are available, upon request, to notify the person or family of someone being remembered that a love light has been purchased in their honor.

Love Lights can be purchased from the Partners Gift Shop, during regular business hours, in the main lobby of Fort Memorial Hospital. Order forms can be found online at To purchase a Love Light by mail, send checks to Love Lights, Fort HealthCare Partners, 611 Sherman Avenue East, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. Please specify a colored (honor) or white (memorial) light and include the name(s) and address of the person(s) being honored or the family of the individual being remembered.

Donations of $25 or more are recognized as Love Light Tree sponsors. All donations and sponsors will be acknowledged in December. To ensure recognition as a sponsor in this year’s listings, donations must be received by December 12.

The campaign is celebrated with a tree lighting ceremony that will be held on Thursday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. on the Fort Memorial Hospital grounds, near the Sherman Avenue entrance. At the lighting ceremony, seasonal message and special music will be provided. Following the tree lighting ceremony, attendees are welcome to gather in the hospital’s Steel Away Café for refreshments and a visit from Santa. All are welcome to attend.

For more information or to arrange a donation, please visit or contact the Fort HealthCare Volunteer Services office at (920) 568-5276.