The policy governing a multi-million dollar Michigan State University fund which covers therapy for patients of ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar was updated Friday afternoon to include all survivors of his abuse regardless of gender, a university spokesperson said.
This comes hours after a State News story detailing the experience of David Batterson, a male Nassar survivor who was recently denied access to the fund because of the formerly-restrictive policy.
Batterson, who was raped and molested during years of appointments beginning when he was 10, said he was surprised to see the change.
“This is a lot,” Batterson said. “I did not expect this.”
MSU Title IX Coordinator Nicole Schmidtke — who assisted Batterson in his previous unsuccessful applications to the fund — emailed him Friday afternoon to let him know the policy was updated, and encouraged him to reapply, Batterson said.
Beyond his case, he said he hopes other survivors who have been denied over the years will be notified of the update and get access to care.
Until Friday morning, the online application portal for the fund described an eligible applicant as “a female who received treatment from former doctor Larry Nassar at a MSU health clinic or as a MSU student-athlete.”
The site was briefly down Friday afternoon, before returning with the updated policy: “Eligible Recipient means a survivor who received treatment from former doctor Larry Nassar at a MSU health clinic or as a MSU student-athlete.”
The university previously blamed the restrictive policy on a communications error.
MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant told The State News that the university intended for all survivors to have access to the fund, but that the 3rd-party administrator responsible for processing applications to the fund, JND Legal Administration, was using an outdated policy.
The fund was established in its current form in August 2019.
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