About us

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The First Step was established in 2017, in order to provide better care to victims of sexual assault.

We conducted our first SANE exam in November of 2018. We currently have 5 nurses and 6 advocates that maintain a 24/7 call coverage. We are operating in two different locations to serve Northern Michigan. 

"We wanted to create a safe environment for victims of abuse to receive services".

Rebecca Yuncker

Executive Director, The First Step

What makes The First Step different?

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exams are needed when a person has been sexually assaulted within the last 120 hours or 5 days. Our specially trained forensic nurses are available to provide exams to patients of all ages 24/7, 365 days a year. The victim receives a complete medical exam by a specially trained SANE including, but not limited to, assessing for injuries, providing prophylactic STI, HIV and pregnancy medication, and collecting evidence for law enforcement. At our private SANE facility, located within the Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center (NMCAC), the victim is the only patient with a SANE and a trauma informed advocate. This allows for private, quick, one on one compassionate care. 

Our services are completely free, and we have specialized equipment to capture even the smallest of injuries the victim may have. The victim can make an informed decision on what portions of the exam that they wish to consent to. The SANE will complete a head to toe medical exam, along with giving prophylactic medications while the victim decides if they want to report to law enforcement. Reporting to law enforcement is not a necessary step in order to receive the medical treatment offered.

Meet the Team

Rebecca Yuncker

Executive Director of The Northern Michigan Children's Assessment Center and The First Step Services

Rebecca graduated from Central Michigan University with her Undergraduate Degree in Child Development and Psychology and earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling. After receiving her Master’s degree she moved to Grand Rapids and worked at the Kent County Children’s Assessment Center for 15 years. 

In 2011, Rebecca and her family moved to Roscommon County and quickly learned of a need for a children’s assessment center. The lack of services to children in our community was unacceptable to Rebecca and she quickly started the process of opening the Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center (NMCAC). As the Executive Director, Rebecca is dedicated to the success of the Center and giving our most vulnerable a voice.

Sarah Masse

Medical Coordinator, RN, SANE RN

Sarah began working as our Medical Coordinator in 2023 after graduating from Kirtland Community College with her nursing degree  & gaining experience working as on on call SANE nurse. 

Sarah also has experience working as a nurse in a hospital setting. Her passion for providing ethical, trauma informed, quality care to children and adults who have survived abuse continues to inspire Sarah to grow in her position.  

Stacie K


Stacie has been a SANE nurse with our center since 2019. She has a passion to help others in a caring and trauma informed way.

Sylvia L


Sylvia has been part of our team since 2020. She is dedicated to providing each patient with care and compassion when they need it the most.

Because you deserve the best Care.

We care about YOU and aim to help you with all our resources. You are not alone. We are here for you.