EAST LANSING, Mich. — Thursday Michigan State University announced a free, confidential medical care program for individuals who have experienced sexual assault.
The MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program facilities will be open 24 hours a day and located with the MSU Center for Survivors within the Student Services Building.
“The staff members at the Center for Survivors have been talking with community partners about the possibility of creating a community-based sexual assault nurse examiner program in the Lansing area for years,” said Tana Fedewa, director of the Center for Survivors at MSU. “When we became aware of an opportunity to partner with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the dream became a possibility.”
The Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) Expert Advisory Workgroup recommended the creation of an inclusive and accessible sexual assault health care program that is trauma-informed. Nurses will be led by Sameerah Shareef, a longtime nurse midwife.
“The Sexual Assault Healthcare Program suite is designed to provide care for one patient at a time,” Fedewa explained. “This program will first and foremost tend to the health and well-being of each person who seeks treatment.”
Rebecca Campbell, who leads MSU’s RVSM workgroup, formed and chairs a statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Advisory Board and advises MSU president Samuel L. Stanley on RVSM matters.
“We are grateful so many survivors and advocates throughout Michigan participated in the planning process for this program,” said Campbell. “With their guidance, our program staff are ready to provide quality health care to survivors of all genders, survivors with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ communities and survivors from different racial, ethnic and cultural groups.”
The program is available for individuals who have experienced sexual assault and are seeking care within a five-day period from the incident. It was funded by a grant through the Victims of Crime Act.
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