By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

The local Public Safety Coordinating Council met April 12 to address countywide safety issues.

Curry Health Network CEO Virginia Razo updated the council on recent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) trainings and certifications. Curry County now has SANE nurses available 24/7 so sexual assault victims will no longer be sent to Medford or Coos Bay.

SANEs are registered nurses who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation to care for patients who have experienced sexual assault or abuse, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

According to Executive Assistant to the CEO Cheryl McDermott, Curry Health Network (CHN) recruited two experienced Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

McDermott said one, Mary Reina, serves as CHN’s SANE coordinator and is nationally certified for adults, adolescents and children.

She added that Georgeann Green, an experienced SANE –– also for adults, adolescents and children –– works with Reina.

Two other CHN nurses completed a portion of the Oregon SANE course in March and are gaining experience with Reina and Green, McDermott said.

SANE services are provided at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach.

Executive Director Jackalene Antunes said Wally’s House also has a pediatric SANE to work with children there.

“It’s pretty cool we finally have nurses in the county to do these exams,” she said. “We don’t have to have victims travel two to three hours to get service.”

Capt. Mick Espinoza of the Curry County Sheriff’s office said law enforcement will be working with the three county school districts on violence prevention and active shooter scenario training.

Espinoza added he was waiting for the districts to agree upon a universal response protocol so law enforcement can coordinate an effective response at any county school.

Currently, he and Gold Beach High School Principal Tim Wilson were considering Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate (ALICE) training.

Wilson will become superintendent in Gold Beach this summer.

Juvenile Department Director Jay Trost suggested the groups apply for money from the Gold Beach Youth Foundation (Wild Rogue Youth Foundation) and other organizations to present training in violence prevention.

The goal, according to Trost, is to identify and get help for potential shooters before violence occurred.

Circuit Court Judge Jesse Margolis suggested the council explore implementing drug courts.

According to the National Institute of Justice, drug courts provide a sentencing alternative of treatment with supervision for people living with serious substance use and mental health disorders. They take a public health approach to help addicted offenders into long-term recovery.