Building a Culture of Safety Together

Health Affairs is committed to becoming a model for accountable health culture by ensuring safe, quality care for every patient and every student, every time. To help achieve this, we welcome the wisdom and perspectives of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and relationship violence survivors. Survivors are an important source of solutions for making our system better for everyone.

Two of our faculty members, Jennifer Johnson, a clinical psychologist and community participatory researcher, and Claudia Finkelstein, a general internist and expert in wellness and resiliency, lead a project designed to embed the voices of survivors in key places to improve responsiveness to their needs.

People move through healing in different ways. Some survivors feel empowered by using their experiences to help create change. We invite current and past members of the MSU community — faculty, staff, students, patients — who have experienced sexual abuse or relationship violence in any setting, as well as anyone who has been hurt by members of the MSU community, to participate in any of the efforts listed below. By doing this, we hope to empower survivors, help the healing process and improve our responsiveness.

We want to hear many voices and consider many solutions. To help with or find out more about a project below, please contact the person listed. A copy of your email also will be sent to Dr. Julia Felton, a licensed clinical psychologist in the College of Human Medicine who is helping organize this initiative. If you would like to discuss which opportunities might be the best fit for you, you can reach Dr. Felton at Julia.Felton@hc.msu.edu.

If you decide to participate, please know that you will not be asked to identify yourself as a survivor or discuss your experience, unless you wish. Project leaders will not disclose your survivor status unless you ask them.

Your participation and wisdom can help us create a safer and more just future. Thank you for your consideration and courage.

  • MSU Health Care Advisory Group

    Become an advisor to MSU’s Health Care’s performance team. The team’s goal is to foster a culture of safety for all and to ensure that each patient and family has the highest quality experience in the safest environment each time they visit.

    Contact:
    Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM
    Director of Wellness, Resilience and Vulnerable Populations
    MSU College of Human Medicine
    Claudia.Finkelstein@hc.msu.edu

    Time involved: Quarterly (approx.)

  • MSU Health Care Chaperone Policy

    Provide input on the MSU Health Care’s new chaperone policy. (NEED MORE INFORMATION AND LINK TO CURRENT POLICY)

    Contact:
    Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM
    Director of Wellness, Resilience and Vulnerable Populations
    MSU College of Human Medicine
    Claudia.Finkelstein@hc.msu.edu

    Time involved: Flexible

  • Counseling and Psychological Services Feedback

    Provide input on how we can make MSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) safer and more comfortable for survivors. We also would like input on how to more efficiently refer students between CAPS and MSU’s Sexual Assault Program (SAP) to ensure they receive the best care possible.

    Contact:
    Mark Franklin Patishnock, PhD
    Director
    MSU Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
    Patishn1@msu.edu

    Time involved: Flexible

  • Student Groups on Health and Well-Being

    Participate in a collaborative of MSU student groups related to mental health and well-being. Open to current MSU students.

    Contact:
    Mark Franklin Patishnock, PhD
    Director
    MSU Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
    Patishn1@msu.edu

    Time involved: One evening per month plus other activities as desired

  • Health Systems Complexities and Population Vulnerabilities Course Development

    Provide advice to the College of Human Medicine course director for the Health Systems Complexities and Population Vulnerabilities Intersession, a four-week intensive curricular experience required for first-year medical students. The intersession is designed to look at vulnerable populations and challenges in health care. You will advise the course director on how best to address sexual assault and mandatory reporting in the curriculum, assist in creating a simulated patient experience and participate on a patient/physician panel.

    Contact:
    Carol Parker, PhD, MPH
    Executive Director of Academic Affairs
    MSU College of Human Medicine
    Carol.Parker@hc.msu.edu

    Time involved: Flexible, but the syllabus needs to be finalized by January 2019

  • Sexual Assault Response Curriculum Development

    Advise certificate directors on how to incorporate teaching about sexual assault or responding to sexual assault into certificate programming for medical students. Each certificate program is specific to a certain population (rural, global and urban, public health, research). Options could include curriculum material development, panels or seminars, small group discussions or interest groups.

    Contact:
    Andrea Wendling, MD, FAAFP
    Professor of Family Medicine, Director of Rural Health Curriculum
    MSU College of Human Medicine
    Wendli14@msu.edu

    Time involved: Flexible

  • Advanced Skills and Knowledge Course Development

    Advise the content developer teams in the College of Human Medicine Advanced Skills and Knowledge course, which is a course for medical students, on how best to incorporate information on caring for patients who have been sexually assaulted. You potentially will work directly with students, discussing survivors’ experiences in a small group.

    Contact:
    Andrea Wendling, MD, FAAFP
    Professor of Family Medicine, Director of Rural Health Curriculum
    MSU College of Human Medicine
    Wendli14@msu.edu

    Time involved: Flexible

  • MSU President’s Advisory Committee on Disability Issues

    Participate in meetings of the MSU President’s Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. This group makes recommendations to the university about the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy as it effects individuals with disabilities, a particularly high-risk group.

    Contact:
    Graham Pierce
    Assistant Director of MSU Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting
    glpierce@msu.edu 

    Time involved: Meet approximately once a month

  • Go Teal Campaign

    Nicole Szymczak

    Participate on the planning and development team for the Go Teal campaign, a communication campaign emphasizing sexual assault awareness, prevention, and response.

    Contact:
    Nicole Symczak
    Senior Communications Director
    College of Communications Arts and Sciences
    nls@msu.edu 

    Time involved: Flexible

For members of the MSU community seeking survivor input:

If you have projects or opportunities for survivor input that you’d like considered for addition to this page, please contact Dr. Julia Felton at Julia.Felton@hc.msu.edu or 810-600-9125.

Also, please be aware that The Army of Survivors, a survivor-led group dedicated to bringing awareness, accountability, transparency and resources to survivors and allies of sexual violence, has an engagement website for people seeking survivor input for a program, organization, idea or process.