About the National TeleNursing Center

Information about the NTC Pilot Program

Table of Contents


The MA Department of Public Health’s National TeleNursing Center (NTC) Pilot was a pioneer in the use of telehealth technology to support the delivery of quality, trauma-informed care for sexual assault patients

MA TeleSANE sites

Link to the SANE site hospitals 

TeleSANE clinical practice model

The MDPH SANE Program adapted Joanne Duffy’s Quality Caring Model®, into its TeleSANE Clinical Practice Model. This model helps to ensure a quality, trauma-informed experience for patients, and helps to facilitate seamless teamwork between the TeleSANE and remote/spoke site clinician. The program’s related publication received the 2019 Clinical Article of the Year from the Journal of Forensic Nursing. (citation)

Laying the Foundation for the National TeleNursingCenter: Integration of the Quality-Caring Model Into TeleSANE Practic

A National Scope and Influence

As of January 2019, the NTC was renamed the MDPH TeleSANE Program and is providing TeleSANE services to hospitals across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The MDPH TeleSANE Program is actively involved in furthering the expansion and evolution of TeleSANE practice nationally.

MDPH TeleSANE staff are participants in a Technical Assistance (TA) grant awarded to the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), for expansion of TeleSANE services in 4 additional states (Alaska, Arizona, South Dakota and Texas).

MDPH TeleSANE staff have provided numerous presentations and webinars regarding its TeleSANE Practice Model at regional, national, and international conferences including:

  • American TeleMedicine Association
  • Emergency Nurses Association
  • End Violence Against Women International
  • International Association of Forensic Nurses
  • Organization of Nurse Leaders
  • National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

Historical background

In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), awarded funding to the MA Department of Public Health’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program, to pilot the use of telehealth technology to increase access to expert SANE services for sexual assault patients in underserved communities and populations such as tribal, rural and military communities. The MDPH’s National TeleNursing Center (NTC) was created through this effort and piloted this model in 6 locations in 3 states.

  • Hopi Health Care Center – Polacca, Arizona
  • Metrowest Medical Center – Framingham, MA
  • Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton – Oceanside, CA
  • Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital – Twentynine Palms, CA
  • Saint Anne’s Hospital – Fall River, MA
  • Sutter Lakeside Hospital – Lakeport, CA

The NTC model increased the competence and confidence of local clinicians so that they were well-equipped to provide the quality of care that sexual assault patients in their communities deserve. There was extremely high acceptance of TeleSANE services by patients, and NTC TeleSANEs helped support the care of close to 300 patients and their clinicians during the pilot project.

Project evaluation information can be found here:


Clinicians have repeatedly expressed appreciation for the teleSANE experience, describing an honest, professional relationship that puts them at ease and brings calm to an anxious situation.

“I am not feeling anxious anymore, tell other nurses that you never need to feel afraid again of taking care of these patients. The support from the teleSANEs is everything they have promised.”
—Kathy McCarthy, RN
Staff Nurse, Metrowest Medical Center

“I can’t express how much it helps. It’s like having two extra hands and an extra brain."
—Cindy Forbes, RN, SANE,
Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Lakeport, CA

“The people involved in the MA TeleSANE/SANE services are very focused on the human relational components of healing, rather than on the technology that hey may utilize. They talk about and model: presence, kindness, compassion and mindfulness in their work. They understand our human design and utilize it for healing rather than overwhelming it. The MA TeleSANE/SANE program personnel are exemplary in the current practice of health care”.
—Harvey Zarren, MD, FACC
Connect Healing Institute Consultant
North Shore Medical Center

Others involved in the implementation of the NTC have shared their appreciation for the approach to care:

“The NTC has literally transformed care for the sexual assault patients they serve. The expert support provided by TeleSANEs gives the onsite clinicians the guidance they need to conduct a thorough and victim-centered medical-forensic exam. As a result, victims receive compassionate, top-notch care and it gets them one step closer to bringing the perpetrator to justice.”
—Kristina Rose
Director, Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice

“The NTC has worked hard to create support for local SANEs utilizing telemedicine technology to transform the care of sexual assault patients in tribal communities. It has promoted expanded access to expert SANEs in remote and underserved regions that are unique in geography, trauma, culture, and governance. TeleSANE experts have truly gone the extra mile to be culturally informed and to meet tribal sexual assault patients where they are.”
—Dorma Sahneyah
Former Director of Training and Technical Assistance, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center


For more information, please contact the National TeleNursing Center

Last updated: September 21, 2023

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