Enhancing care for sexual assault victims in underserved communities.

The first step toward healing.

No matter where victims of sexual assault live, they should be able to access expert care. And no matter where nurses work, they should have the support of a network of experts when dealing with sexual assault cases. Having a forensic exam performed with expert nursing assistance via telehealth can be the first step toward healing, providing patients with a safe, supported environment.

“Every nurse deserves peer support and every victim deserves expert care—no matter where you live.”

Sheridan Miyamoto, Director, Penn State Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center

How We Work

The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center (SAFE-T Center) was launched with support from the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime as a solution to enhance access to high quality sexual assault care in underserved communities. When a sexual assault examination is performed at one of our partner hospitals, one of SAFE-T Center’s expert nurses participates through telehealth. The expert nurse appears on a screen where she can talk to, and support, both the on-site nurse and the patient. Through our specialized digital telehealth technology, she can also see the live exam in progress, ensuring best practices, proper evidence collection and a safe, helpful environment for the patient.


Equality of Care Wherever You Live

Promoted by evidence-backed solutions


24/7 Expert Nurses

Support on-site nurses during exams

Better Images and Documentation

For diagnosis and use in court


Proven Secure Infrastructure

For handling sensitive digital material


24/7 Technical Support

To troubleshoot telehealth solutions

Easy-to-use Technology

Lets nurses focus on the patient

Training and Education

For preparation, peer networking, and support

We want to increase the confidence and skills of clinicians who conduct forensic exams. With support from the SAFE-T Center, we will retain more sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) in their jobs because they will know a more experienced SANE has their back.

Kristina Rose

Former Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime

Executive Director, End Violence Against Women International

Who We Serve and How We Help

Rural Nurses

With SAFE-T Center, you have access to an expert nurse when you need it most: as you are performing examinations. The SAFE-T Center nurses help by enhancing your own expertise, ensuring that you do not have to do this difficult work in isolation.

Policy Makers

Research has shown that people living in rural areas experience significant health disparities, including quality sexual assault care. By providing expertise through telehealth, SAFE-T Center helps address these disparities for victims of sexual assault. We help local forensic nurses with real-time support, quality assurance, and peer review throughout the exam—a proven gold standard of care.

Hospital Administrators

Sexual assault examinations can be technically and emotionally difficult, and staff performing these exams may be difficult to retain. SAFE-T Center helps administrators train and retain talented nurses by offering quality assurance, peer support, mentorship, and on-demand training. We can help your nurses do a better job and feel confident in their work.

District Attorneys and Law Enforcement

SAFE-T Center strengthens forensic evidence collection and documentation by ensuring that best practices are used; best practices are supported through ongoing feedback, training, and quality assurance of peer review of examinations. The SAFE-T Center helps to develop competent and confident nurse examiners who can provide accurate testimony when needed.

Serving rural and underserved areas through telehealth.

Rural and underserved communities often struggle to support specialized medical practices such as forensic exams. With the support of SAFE-T Center, each of our partner sites has access to experienced professionals for telehealth support during forensic exams, training for nurses and health care professionals, and community education.

SAFE-T Center Team

Sheridan Miyamoto, PhD, FNP, RN
Principal Investigator

Lorah Dorn, PhD, CPNP

Dennis Scanlon, PhD, MA



Daniel Perkins, PhD, MS
Evaluation Team Lead

Hui Zhao, PhD, MS, MS
Business Lead

Diane Berish, PhD, MA
Statistics Lead

Cynthia Bittner, RN, BS
Project Director
Clinical & Administration

Sarah Watson, MA
Project Manager

Elizabeth Thiede, BSN, RN
Project Support

Jana French, MS, BSN, RN, SANE-A
Clinical Education & Training Coordinator

Faith Mong, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P
Clinical Education & Training Coordinator

Jonathan Essick, BS
Telehealth IT Manager

Thomas Rodgers, BS
Telehealth IT Support

Todd Durant, BS
Multimedia Specialist

Research Project Manager 2

TeleSANE Expert Consult (Part-Time)


Pennsylvania Rural Health Magazine Showcase

Sheridan Miyamoto, Ph.D., FNP, RN, assistant professor in the Penn State College of Nursing, is principle investigator for an innovative project designed to use telehealth to ensure positive, timely, and thorough forensic examinations for victims of sexual assault in...

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Get in touch.

Would you like to learn more about who SAFE-T Center serves, and how we can help?


SAFE-T Center

121 Nursing Sciences Building, University Park, PA 16802

View directions on PSU Maps.

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