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When the Penn State College of Nursing launched the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center in 2016, it envisioned a solution to enhance access to compassionate sexual assault care in underserved communities. What they still needed: a plan to sustain the center’s operations beyond the initial funding period.

With support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, the SAFE-T Center started a virtual training lab for rural nurses and began planning a pilot study including four hospital sites that would become part of a statewide partnership model.

“This partnership provides communities with expertise and support that can ultimately improve care for victims of assault,” said Sheridan Miyamoto, assistant professor of nursing and principal investigator with the SAFE-T Center. “It is imperative that we be able to sustain valued services in our partner communities. We needed a proactive plan to prepare to scale in order to sustain this work.”