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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hospitals in cities and smaller communities in parts of upstate New York are eligible for a program that expands services for victims of sexual assault.

Albany-based St. Peter's Health Partners announced Tuesday the launching of a new telemedicine program in partnership with Troy-based United Concierge Medicine, made possible through collaboration with the state Office of Victim Services .

The TeleSAFE program offers specialized care for victims who seek medical assistance at rural or underserved hospitals that lack a health care provider certified as a sexual assault forensic examiner.

Emergency department staff can use TeleSAFE to contact certified providers through a secure video connection. Those providers will then guide emergency room staff through the process of the medical and forensic exams.

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Hospitals in Fulton, St. Lawrence and Ulster counties have signed on and 43 others are eligible to participate.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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