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DOVE Program - Summa Health SystemSumma Health System made a commitment to the community to meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens through the creation of the DOVE (Developing Options for Violent Emergencies) Program. Open since 1997, the DOVE Program began as a clinical program specifically for victims of sexual assault. In October 2000, DOVE expanded to serve victims of domestic violence and elder abuse and neglect. Today, the DOVE Program is one of only a handful in the nation that provides this type of specialized health care.

The program’s objectives include:

  • Providing compassionate, confidential and specialized medico-legal care to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and elder abuse and neglect
  • Increasing awareness and clinical capacity through ongoing professional education

What DOVE is:
The DOVE Program provides specialized healthcare to victims of acute sexual assault, domestic violence and elder abuse and neglect. As with other consultative healthcare services, the clinicians in the DOVE Program have the education and experience to provide focused and immediate medico-legal care for patients presenting with complaints of violence. DOVE clinicians are also able to collect physical evidence and provide expert court testimony when needed.

What DOVE is NOT:
The DOVE Program is not a crisis center, a counseling service or a law enforcement agency. DOVE clinicians advocate for their patients as healthcare providers, but are not professional advocates. The DOVE Program has no affiliation with any law enforcement agency or prosecutor’s office, although collaboration may occur in the course of providing direct patient care.