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Resources Added To Forensic Nurse Examiner Program

By Tamara Steele Oct 26, 2022 | 3:13 PM

Greg Doiron is the vice-president of clinical operations at Horizon Health. Image supplied by Horizon Health.

Horizon Health has changed the name of its Sexual Assault Examiner program to the Forensic Nurse Examiner program.

Coordinators and full-time coverage are also being added in areas served by Horizon.

The measures were identified following an internal review earlier this fall.

Greg Doiron, vice-president of clinical operations, said the new resources will be permanent.

“These people will be dedicated to supporting the same program. Our investment will guarantee coverage sixteen hours a day in our three largest centres and eight hours a day in our two smallest centres, seven days a week,” Doiron said.

The additional staffing will cost $1.1 million.

Additional measures identified by the review include the formation of a Provincial Governance Committee including leaders and experts from Horizon, Vitalité and the Department of Health.

An educational strategy will be developed for the provincial forensic nurse examiner program.

It will include “technological solutions to enable ease of access and to ensure effective and efficient onboarding of all FNE personnel”.

The internal review was prompted when a sexual assault victim did not receive immediate care when she arrived at Fredericton’s Chalmers Hospital seeking treatment.

In September, interim CEO Margaret Melanson called it “unacceptable” and the said the program was under review.

Horizon officials were asked if they think staff who resigned over the criticism of this program by the premier will want to come back.

Doiron said he has spoken with the team of forensic nurse examiners and the program coordinators about how they move forward.

He has noticed a change in the outlook the staff have about the program.

“There continues to be growing interest in the FNE program. This is a program people have been attracted to for years not for the money but, for the purpose. To be able to help victims in their time of need,” Doiron said.


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