MSU and Feds resolve civil rights investigation tied to Nassar abuses

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Michigan State University and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights, have reached a voluntary agreement related to Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of gymnasts and others while employed by MSU.

After it was found that Nassar had sexually abused hundreds of women and girls under his care while he was an osteopathic physician and associate professor at MSU, the HHS OCR began a Title IX compliance review of MSU, the MSU Health Team and MSU Health Care, Inc.

This agreement settles the review of the university’s Title IX policies and the compliance with part of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age and disability in certain health programs or activities.

This agreement comes one week after William Strampel, the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, was sentenced on one count of felony misconduct which stems from a charge that he used his public office to sexually harass students.  Strampel also was convicted of willfully neglecting to monitor Nassar after an earlier investigation.

As part of the settlement, Michigan State University will:

1.    revise their non-discrimination notices and sexual misconduct policies to clarify Title IX’s and Section 1557’s prohibitions on sex discrimination;
2.    improve their processes for investigating and resolving Title IX and Section 1557 complaints (including for MSU-students, non-MSU-student patients, faculty and staff);
3.    designate a responsible official to coordinate the acceptance, investigation and resolution of Title IX and Section 1557 complaints;
4.    institute a new chaperone policy requiring authorized members of the health care team to be present at sensitive medical examinations and allowing patients to request chaperones according to sex;
5.    when conducting sensitive examinations, provide the patient with an appropriate gown, privacy for undressing and dressing, and sensitive draping to maximize physical privacy; and
6.    conduct all-staff training and provide bi-annual reports to HHS OCR during the three year term of the agreement.

Roger Severino, Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said, “While Nassar and the dean who oversaw him have been rightly convicted of crimes, the institutional reforms that MSU has agreed to undertake will help ensure that no patient is ever victimized like this again.”

>>>This story is developing and will be updated online and on 6 News

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