Texas hospital shutters sexual assault forensic unit as part of layoffs

Mission (Texas) Regional Medical Center has closed its sexual assault forensic unit, or SAFE Place, reports The Monitor.

The closure was part of 40 layoffs that took place Wednesday at the hospital, according to Javier Iruegas, CEO of MRMC. Employees affected by the layoffs include two sexual assault nurse examiners, or SANE nurses, among others.

"This reduction was simply a streamlining of operations, primarily focused around the administrative and clerical areas of the hospital," Mr. Iruegas said, according to the report. "This was a one-time adjustment, and we do not anticipate any other personnel changes in the near future."

SAFE Place has offered services for victims of sexual assault, physical violence, abuse and neglect for more than seven years, according to the report.

In a statement, Mr. Iruegas said the hospital will continue offering SANE exams through the emergency department when a SANE nurse is on duty, reports The Monitor.

"While the SANE program has been a wonderful service, we cannot continue absorbing the cost of a voluntary 24 hours a day, 7 days a week program, at the expense of other inpatient and ambulatory services our community needs," he added.

MRMC's total workforce is about 1,000.



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