Published: 06/19/2014

Pioneer in Sexual Assault Program at Evangelical Receives Governor’s Pathfinder Award

Twenty years ago, victims of sexual assault found an ally in Evangelical Community Hospital thanks to the dedication and motivation of Emergency Room nurse, Darlene Rowe. Forming the first-ever Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program in the state of Pennsylvania, Rowe and Evangelical made sure victims received the medical and psychological care they needed while at the same time assisting law enforcement in their ability to prosecute the offenders.

For spearheading SANE and her continued support and management of the dedicated nurses who deliver services to victims of sexual assault, Darlene Rowe, RN, CEN, now the Director of Emergency Services at Evangelical Community Hospital, was recently awarded the Governor’s Pathfinder Award in the Allied Professional Award Category. She was presented the award at the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Pathways for Victim Services Conference in State College, Pa., which is held to foster professional development for victims’ service providers.

The Pathfinder Award, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Coalition on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), is given to an individual who has a history of outstanding service in meeting the needs of individual victims in collaboration with a Pennsylvania victim service program.

“As suggested by their name, the Pathfinder Awards recognize pioneering efforts to assist victims of crime,” said Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman, Mark Zimmer. “It is important for us to honor those who have made notable contributions in the communities they serve, as wells as the entire field of victim services.”

Rowe was nominated for the award by Susan Mathias, CEO of Transitions, a comprehensive victim services organization representing Union, Snyder, and Northumberland Counties. Transitions and Evangelical’s SANE program work as a team with law enforcement to ensure victims have the information and support that they need should they wish to file charges and evidence is properly collected in the event prosecution of a crime occurs.

“Many would like to believe sexual assault does not happen in this area – that it is a crime of larger cities and different circumstances. When the SANE program began we had to make the case for why it was needed to get the support of the local justice system, universities, businesses, and individuals. It was hard work, but well worth the result,” said Rowe.

Since the inception of Evangelical’s SANE program in 1994, other hospitals in the area have been inspired to start their own programs and the availability of some type of sexual assault advocacy is available in hospitals statewide. In many cases, Rowe has served as a guide, resource, and advisor in aiding hospitals to begin their own program.

Evangelical Community Hospital, a non-profit hospital committed to the health of its communities, is supporting the fight against cancer by serving as one of four 2014 Regional Sponsors for Relay for Life events being held in Lewisburg, Milton, Selinsgrove, and Midd-West School Districts.

Evangelical employs approximately 1,626 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming Counties.

Pictured from left to right: Darlene Rowe, Director of Emergency Services at Evangelical Community Hospital and Susan Mathias, Chief Executive Officer of Transitions.

Rowe was presented with the Governor’s Pathfinder Award in the Allied Professional Award Category at the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Pathways for Victim Services Conference in State College for the pioneering role she played in starting the first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program in the state of Pennsylvania 20 years ago.