McLeod Receives Level 1 SAFE Designation for Forensic Nursing Services


Will McLeod, CEO, McLeod Regional Medical Center; Cheryl Neuner, Regional Systems Developer-Perinatal Outreach for McLeod Regional Medical Center; Tammy Abel, Vice President of Women’s & Children’s Services, McLeod Regional Medical Center; Kelley McCormick, Clinical Nurse Manager, McLeod Regional Medical Center Emergency Department; Shannon Scott, Coordinator, McLeod Health Forensic Nurse Examiner Program; Lauren Moose, McLeod Forensic Nurse Examiner; and Dr. Carl Chelen, McLeod Pediatric Intensivist.

The South Carolina Victim Assistance Network (SCVAN) has presented McLeod Regional Medical Center with a Level 1 SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) designation. Similar to a hospital’s trauma level designation, this designation tells the community and collaborating agencies what type of forensic nursing services are provided at McLeod.

McLeod is only the second hospital in the state to achieve this designation.

Level 1 is the highest designation attainable and demonstrates that McLeod Regional Medical Center provides the most up-to-date evidence-based, trauma-informed and patient-centered forensic nursing practices for adult, adolescent and pediatric patients 24/7/365.

The Forensic Nurse Examiner Task Force, headed by SCVAN, in partnership with multiple state agencies including the Attorney General’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina Hospital Association and more, has implemented a statewide standard of care for sexual assault victims.

Hospitals and other agencies involved in sexual assault care, including EMS, Law Enforcement, Fire and Advocacy Centers, can apply to have their organization/agency recognized with the SAFE Designation.

The McLeod Health Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) Program currently operates out of McLeod Regional Medical Center with plans to expand to all McLeod Health hospitals.

Forensic Nurses are specifically trained to treat victims of sexual assault in a compassionate and understanding manner. They help with the physical, psychological and social trauma faced by someone who has been assaulted or abused.

“Our focus is the patient,” explains Shannon Scott, Coordinator of the McLeod Health Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. “We provide treatment, collect evidence and offer courtroom testimony when requested, but our overriding goal throughout the process is to not add to the patient’s trauma. This is what ‘trauma-informed care’ means.”

McLeod Forensic Nurses treat the following: sexual assault, domestic or intimate partner violence (if there is a sexual assault component), child abuse or neglect, and exploitation/sex trafficking.

This program was made possible by the generous support of donors to the McLeod Health Foundation.

If you are a victim of domestic violence/intimate partner violence or sexual assault, contact Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault. The call is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

Toll Free – 1-800-273-1820
Florence – (843) 669-4600