Ep. 6 - The Better Tomorrow Network: Improving recovery after sexual assault through sustained research


Samuel McLean, MD, is an emergency medicine physician and Jeffery Houpt Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina, where he directs the Institute for Trauma Recovery. He has developed and leads several national research networks dedicated to improving the lives of trauma survivors, including the Better Tomorrow Network.

In this Bell Work Talks, Dr. McLean discusses efforts to improve recovery after sexual assault (SA) within the Better Tomorrow Network. Efforts to improve the human condition over the past 100 years demonstrate that substantial improvements in health after an event or diagnosis (e.g., cancer, heart disease) can be achieved through sustained research conducted in large-scale research networks. Ten to thirty percent of the ~3.7 billion women on the planet are sexually assaulted, and SA survivors often experience tremendous mental and physical suffering, yet little research for SA survivors as been performed to develop ways to improve recovery. The Better Tomorrow Network (BTN) is a research network comprised of SANE programs. The mission of the network is to to conduct high quality research studies that yield continuously improved understanding, treatments, and services for sexual assault survivors. The vision of the network is that one day no sexual assault survivor will experience chronic reductions in physical health, mental health, or quality of life due to sexual assault. Dr. McLean will describe the history of the BTN, discoveries using the network to date, and current work using results from the first large-scale multisite study of sexual assault survivors.

For further information and resources, please visit:

Better Tomorrow Network