Michigan State University opens health care program for sexual assault
EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University will begin providing free, confidential medical care to people who have been sexually assaulted and seek care within five days, the university said Thursday.
The MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program facilities are located with the MSU Center for Survivors in the Student Services Building, 556 E. Circle Dr., according to a university statement. Due to COVID-19, increased security measures were put in place when the facility opened for patients on Thursday morning, the statement said.
MSU’s Expert Advisory Working Group on Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct recommended that the university create a trauma-informed, inclusive and accessible sexual assault health care program. , indicates the press release. The university consulted the International Association of Forensic Nurses and Forensic Nursing Consultant Jenifer Markowitz to develop a facility tailored to the needs of survivors of sexual assault and train clinical staff in the national model of patient care. sexual assault, the statement said.
“Staff at the Center for Survivors have been discussing with community partners the possibility of creating a community-based nurse examiners program for sexual assault in the Lansing area for years,” said Tana Fedewa, director of the Center. for Survivors at MSU. “When we saw an opportunity to partner with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the dream became a possibility.”
Rebecca Campbell, a psychology professor at MSU, helped form a statewide advisory board of nurse examiners in sexual assault matters, the statement said. Campbell also leads MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Working Group and advises MSU President Samuel Stanley on these issues.
“We are grateful to so many survivors and advocates from across Michigan for participating in the planning process for this program,” said Campbell. “With their guidance, our program staff stand ready to provide quality health care to survivors of all genders, survivors with disabilities, members of LGBTQIA + communities, and survivors of different racial, ethnic and cultural groups.”
Sameerah Shareef, a longtime nurse midwife from the Lansing area, will direct nurses to conduct the specialist exams, the statement said. A care coordinator will train and supervise volunteer medical lawyers who will be available around the clock to provide essential support during an exam, the statement said.
More information on the program can be found here.