Northern Inyo Healthcare District (NIHD) will no longer be performing sexual assault evidentiary examinations, as it has temporarily paused these examinations until further notice.
A recent press release from NIHD states that it has paused these critically important procedures in order to “obtain specialized and specific training necessary for physicians and nursing teams”.
NIHD is working on sending a “crisis response team” to Redding for a week-long training, focused on sexual and interpersonal violence, at the California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center.
“Our goal is to provide the highest quality of care to sexual assault survivors,” said Kelli Davis, NIHD Chief Executive Officer. “This temporary pause allows us to work with Dr. Dugan [the man conducting the training], so the NIHD team is not only competent but confident and compassionate in the care they provide in these cases.”
Historically, NIHD provided evidentiary exams in its Emergency Department.
“As staffing models changed and retirements occurred, NIHD experienced a shift in its evidentiary exam specializations,” Davis said. “These exams require great expertise in a timely manner, and NIHD is committed to working with its partners to find additional ways to support sexual assault survivors.”
NIHD is supportive of Mammoth Hospital conducting any necessary exams while NIHD’s staff undergoes this critical training.
The Sheet contacted Wild Iris, the local domestic violence and sexual assault counseling and crisis center, regarding the recent development.
While Wild Iris did not accept a phone call interview, the Executive Director Matias Bernal did agree to send an official statement to The Sheet.
This statement reads: “Wild Iris continues to support any affected by Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse. We are aware of the situation that unfolded with NIH. We have had very productive conversations with NIH’s leadership and community partners, focusing on finding solutions to the lack of SANE-certified medical professionals in our community. Wild Iris has reached out to the California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center to bring forth best practices and trauma-informed care to survivors in Inyo and Mono Counties.”
In the meantime, Mammoth Hospital will be performing all sexual assault evidentiary examinations needed in the local area.