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We are pleased to introduce the Academy of Forensic Nursing Executive Board Members! Learn more about all of the Academy Board Members below!









Immediate Past-President








It’s an exciting time for the Academy as we continue to grow and adapt with additional nursing certifications that began in March 2022 and the continuation of our educational webinars.  We strive to remain always motivated and responsive to the continued growth and advancement of forensic nursing!




Jennifer L. Johnson

Debra Holbrook

Catherine H. Rossi

Tamara Jackson

Kathleen Thimsen


Kathy Bell

Allyson Boss

Natalie Calow

Cathy Carter-Snell

Paul Thomas Clements

Teresa Devitt-Lynch

Diana Faugno

Theresa Fay-Hillier

Christine Foote-Lucero

Paula Newman-Skomski

Valerie Sievers

Angelia Trujillo


Annie Lewis-O'Connor

Virginia Lynch

William Smock

Gael Strack


Barbra Bachmeier

Kathleen Gill-Hopple

Trinity Ingram-Jones

Stacey Mitchell

Patricia M. Speck




Dr. Jennifer Johnson


Deborah Holbrook


Catherine Rossi


Tess Anderson


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Jennifer Johnson is a Board Certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and a Board Certified Advanced Forensic Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified Forensic Nurse Examiner, and Board Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for pediatrics, adults and adolescents. She earned her Associates degree in Nursing from Fort Scott College in 1996. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Pittsburg State University in 1998, Master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2002 and earned her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Maryville University in St. Louis in 2017. Previously, she developed and directed a comprehensive forensic program in the Midwest. She is the President and Owner of Johnson Legal Nurse Consulting, LLC, and an adjunct professor at Maryville University.

Over the last 18 years, Jennifer has continued to advance forensic nursing through publication of forensic related topics and educating law enforcement, attorneys and health care providers on the importance of the medical forensic examination and the role of the forensic nurse examiner.  She is an appointed member of several professional and governmental organizations related to forensic nursing, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology/National Institute of Justice Evidence Management Project, and a Co-Founder of the Academy of Forensic Nursing.

"AFN provides those in the forensic community a means to collaborate and network while focusing on all aspects of forensic science.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Debra Holbrook attended Wilmington University for both Graduate and Undergraduate studies. After working in the field of critical care, Mrs. Holbrook founded a Forensic Nurse Examiner Program in Delaware that became a model of the United States (US Senate, 2002).

In 2002 she testified on Capital Hill before a Senate Judicial Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs on behalf of the Bill that became the DNA Justice Act. She is a subject expert for the Department of Justice and the U.S. Military, and has developed a model for mobility in forensic care. Mrs. Holbrook will be inducted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Nursing in 2018 and is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the ANCC Magnet International Nurse of the Year, the Delaware Nurse of the year, the International Association of Forensic Nurses Pioneer Award, and the 2014 Most Influential Marylanders/Healthcare. Mrs. Holbrook has authored grants totaling over 11 million dollars benefitting victims of major person’s crimes and lectures both nationally and internationally on violence related topics. She has conducted over 200 pediatric and adult SANE educational offerings.


Mrs. Holbrook has integrated comprehensive forensic practice into a Nursing model and her Programs have cared for all patients of interpersonal violence across the lifespan including domestic, institutional, vulnerable populations, gunshots, stabbings, non-accidental poisonings and burns. She has pioneered the use of the Alternate Light Source in strangulation cases and set precedence in International court systems. She is currently Director of Forensic Nursing at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore which coordinates care to victims of interpersonal violence for all hospitals in Baltimore City.

“The AFN embraces a collaborative spirit in forensic nursing through respect, education, leadership and research.“


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Catherine Rossi is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Board Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for pediatrics, adults and adolescents. She earned her Associates degree in Nursing Science from Regent’s College, Albany, NY in 2005. She earned Masters degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2014.

She practices with and directs the Forensic Nursing Program with the Cone Health System in Central North Carolina which she established and has managed since 1997. She has been instrumental in the promotion of the field of Forensic Nursing for North Carolina, where she pioneered the use of a unique blended learning educational curriculum to serve the needs of health care providers in rural and urban areas affected by staffing shortages.

Over the past 21 years, Catherine has developed significant expertise in the field of forensic nursing and interpersonal violence and is frequently invited to lecture extensively for law enforcement, attorneys and health care providers on numerous topics such as sexual assault, human trafficking, and strangulation. In addition, Catherine has published and presented at the local, state and national level on key forensic issues and topics. She is a lifetime member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and served as a Certification Commissioner in 2017.

“AFN was founded on the principles of inclusivity and allows for the diversity of thought, while encouraging the professional growth of all forensic nurses through scholarship, education and service.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Tamara Jackson is a Board-Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for adults and adolescents. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing. She earned her Master’s degree from Chamberlain University in 2018.


Tamara is an innovative and driven nurse with over 20 years in the healthcare system. Over 15 years of experience with the emergency department. Tamara is the System SANE-Clinical Programs Coordinator of Amita Health Chicago Metro Region. She helped the organization build and complete policy and procedures, implement, educate, and advocate. Managing multiple sites within the organization with significant change integration, implementation of SANE Program. Development of policy and procedures, documentation tools, advanced practice techniques aligning with the state of Illinois Sexual Assault Emergency Treatment Act (SASETA), and promoting the incorporation of forensic photography in the documentation of sexual assault, sexual abuse, child abuse, and strangulation patients.

While assisting with leadership; she worked closely with other senior leadership nurses to ensure a smooth transition. She was instrumental in the organizations Strangulation Policy and procedure. She is leading the system and the community in her clinical practice for the identification of human trafficking, elderly abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse and assault.


“AFN offers the distinctive opportunity to build a diverse and high performing nurse as it endorses culture change while providing service, education and scholarship.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Kathleen Thimsen has demonstrated her expertise, leadership, training, and dedication in the successful implementation of research projects, and in designing new programs that build capacity and are created to be sustainable, impactful interventions focused on vulnerable populations over the course of her career. 

Dr. Thimsen was instrumental in laying the groundwork in creating a victim focused collaborative network in 2015 that is an interdisciplinary and interprofessional community, academic and hospital-based network purposed in human trafficking at Washington University, ST Louis, MO and the Barnes-Jewish Healthcare system, St Louis, MO. 

The network provides research, care, policy, and other programs. As the lead on the healthcare work group, she has provided education and training for over 3200 healthcare professionals on comprehensive training on pre-, peri- and post- hospital care encounters for victims. In addition, she has provided consultation, and facilitation between community-based providers and hospital system emergency departments to create safe and appropriate referral for after care that addresses short and long-term tiered programming aimed at achieving survivorship and recovery. 

Dr. Thimsen was also one of the founding members of the Academy of Forensic Nursing (2018) and the Forensic Nursing Certification Board (2020). She served as the Treasurer for the FNCB until October of 2021. 

Dr. Thimsen is an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She serves as the Director of the Doctorate in Nursing Practice program and is Co-Director of the UNLV Community Clinic.

“AFN offers opportunity to all forensic nurses and interprofessional colleagues to have a voice, be heard and make a contribution to reducing the impact of violence in our society.”




Academy of Forensic Nursing



Ms. Bell education includes a diploma in Nursing from Hillcrest Medical Center,1974, BLS from University of Oklahoma, 1996 and MS in Forensic Science 2002, from University of Central Oklahoma.

Ms. Bell joined the Tulsa Police Department in 1994. She provides the day-to-day operations management of the forensic nurse examiner programs. She is responsible for development of replication strategies and training programs that will facilitate other communities in providing forensic nurse examiner services. Ms. Bell is a forensic nurse, performing sexual assault, drug endangered children, domestic violence, and elder abuse examinations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner of Adults and Adolescents and Pediatrics (SANE-A and SANE-P) by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. She is a member and Past-President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and Oklahoma Nurses Association. She is a member of Academy on Violence and Abuse. She has participated on many task forces, advisory committees and forums regarding sexual assault, violence, and forensic nursing issues.

"Through scholarship, education, and service, AFN will be a leader in providing care, hope, and compassion to all persons touched by violence."


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Mrs. Boss attended Anne Arundel Community College Nursing Program, in Arnold, Maryland and completed her undergraduate studies at Stevenson University in Owning Mills, Maryland. She worked for the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in the Neuroscience Department, from 2011-2021. While with Johns Hopkins Hospital, she educated clinical staff on numerous Neurological conditions and Neurosurgical procedures. She became a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) in 2014 and started teaching for the CNRN Review course offered by Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2016. 

In 2018, Mrs. Boss was asked to become the Stroke Liaison for her unit to assist with the expansion of Stroke patient care throughout the Neuroscience Department. She became a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN) in 2018. During this time, Mrs. Boss provided nursing staff education on Comprehensive Stroke Center measures and implemented a stroke training course for staff. She assisted in the Joint
Commission Stroke Survey in 2019.

In 2016, Mrs. Boss became a Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE-A). She began working with the Mercy Medical Center, Forensic Nursing Department. She began working as a VOCA staff member in 2018.  Mrs. Boss audits all the Forensic Cases that come through the department. In 2019, she started regular Peer Review sessions with the staff. This allowed staff to learn from others and to identify areas for improvement. She is the Chair of the Elder Abuse committee and has developed assessment documentation for this specific population. She works in conjunction with Adult Protective Services in Baltimore City to help facilitate Elder Abuse examinations and understanding of these complex cases. Mrs. Boss also cares for patients who have experienced sexual assault, interpersonal violence, strangulation, human trafficking and stranger violence. She is currently the VOCA Team coordinator in the Forensic Nursing Department at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore which coordinates care to victims of violence for all hospitals in Baltimore City.​


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Natalie Calow is a forensic nurse at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana and sees any patient that is a victim of a crime that presents to the emergency department.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Indiana University and her Master’s Degree in Nursing Hospital Leadership from University of Indianapolis.  Natalie has been practicing as a forensic nurse for 5 years and has been an Emergency Department Nurse for the past 18 years. 

Natalie is on the Interprofessional Collaboration Committee with AFN and has co-written the Trauma Informed Care position statement and was a reviewer for the Evidence Based Forensic Nursing Education position statement for AFN.  She is also active in ENA (Emergency Nurses Association) for the past 18 years.  Natalie has served as the ENA local chapter President, Treasurer, Forensic Committee Chair and the ENA State Government Affairs Committee.  Natalie currently serves on the Indiana Coalition for Crime Victims’ Rights (ICCVR) Board of Directors and is the secretary of the organization.  Natalie joined two years ago the SAPIR (Sexual Assault Prevention Intervention & Response) team at Indiana University Purdue University Campus which raises awareness of IPV and Sexual Assault issues on campus. 


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Cathy Carter-Snell (CJ) is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Mount Royal University in Calgary. She has worked with victims of trauma since 1977, including Emergency, Intensive Care, flight teams, and has worked with sexual assault and domestic violence teams since 1998.

She coordinated and developed most of the courses for Mount Royal’s distance graduate certificate programs for both the Emergency nursing and Forensic studies. She also teaches an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on violence across the lifespan at the university and an online SANE course. Her program of research is focused on prevention of violence or early effective intervention for trauma or abuse. She created the injury identification guide called BALD STEP which is in the new RCMP sexual assault kit and international forensic training. Cathy also developed an Enhanced Emergency Sexual Assault Services (EESAS) program for multidisciplinary professionals in rural communities for which she received a national award. The multidisciplinary program is now used in at least two provinces and is used by the Canadian Military nurses and military police. She is also involved in research on prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder in nursing students and graduates, male survivors of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence, a dating violence prevention program for university students, injury identification and prevention of mental illness after sexual assault and domestic violence.

Dr. Carter-Snell also is frequently called as an expert witness in provincial and federal courts on sexual assault injuries and examinations. She has won many awards for her forensic research and teaching including national nursing recognition as one of 100 nurses shaping nursing in Canada, a Sigma Theta Tau international dissertation award and recognition as one in 150 Canadians making a difference in mental health. 

“The AFN values and supports evidence informed research, education and practice so that all members may provide high quality holistic forensic care.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Clements is a forensic psychiatric clinical specialist, a Certified Gang Specialist, and Certified in Danger Assessment. Practicing in the forensic nursing arena for over 25 years, Dr. Clements has provided consultation for hospital systems, EMT’s, Child Protective Agency personnel, trauma/emergency nurses, psychiatric providers, and corporate executives - each regarding vulnerability risk assessment, target hardening and decreasing the number of violent incidents in the workplace, as well as bullying and the subsequent sequelae. Dr. Clements has provided consultation to school systems and other child-related agencies related to child abuse assessment, and also related to the aftermath of violence and/or violent death (including homicide of a child) for schools, teachers and other classmates. Dr. Clements has three edited textbooks: Violence against women: Contemporary examination of intimate partner violence, Mental health issues in child maltreatment, and Nursing approach to the evaluation of child maltreatment. Additionally, he has numerous peer review publications, and a significant number of conference presentations, nationally and internationally, that address assessment and intervention related to the neurobiology of trauma, interpersonal violence and aggression, coping after a violent death, safety assessment, and exposure to interpersonal violence and crime.

Clements has also spent time in Bolivia, working with provincial judges, prosecutors and forensic psychologists regarding enhanced assessment and intervention with children victimized by sexual aggression and other forms of interpersonal violence. Dr. Clements holds a Master’s degree in Child and Family Psychiatric /Mental Health Nursing and a Doctor of Philosophy in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing, both from The University of Pennsylvania, with research that has examined the traumatic presentations and behaviors of children exposed to the homicide of a family member. Clements was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow in the International Association of Forensic Nurses in 2002, and was an inaugural Associate Editor of the Journal of Forensic Nursing from 2005-2012. Most recently, in 2021, he was inducted as the first Distinguished Fellow of the Academy of Forensic Nursing.

“The contemporary era of forensic nursing requires translation of scientific evidence towards providing safe and effective clinical forensic practice - for both victims and offenders - all in the pursuit of justice. This can only be achieved through a tri-partite mission of research, theory, and practice. The Academy’s commitment toward excellence in all of these facets is clear, which continually maintains their standing as the premier agency for forensic nursing professionals”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Teresa Devitt-Lynch, a native North Dakotan (GO BISON!), is the founder and CEO of INTREPID Forensic Healthcare Consulting, a dynamic consulting firm dedicated to forensic analysis of criminal cases involving abuse, sexual assault and other medical issues, providing expert testimony and educational offerings, located in Converse, TX. With over 20 years of nursing experience, she holds a master’s degree in nursing and is board certified in Advanced Forensic Nursing and Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examinations. She is also a 20-year veteran of the US Navy with a military nursing background in medical/surgical nursing, couplet care, ambulatory surgery, education and training, and forensic healthcare. While on active duty, Teresa was a Tri-Service Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner Trainer and expert forensic nursing consultant for military courts martial proceedings in all military branches.

She also served as the lead forensic examiner at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA and Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examination Program Director at US Naval Hospital, Sigonella, IT. Teresa currently chairs the Adult Trauma and Domestic Violence Special Interest Group of the Academy of Forensic Nursing organization. She has steadily been engaged in multiple military and civilian organization, national and community-based initiatives aimed at fostering multidisciplinary collaboration and improving forensic healthcare in response to violent trauma. Working out of a home office for the past three years, Teresa has been able to form impenetrable bonds with her and her husband’s three dogs; who, now, don’t even know her husband still lives with them.


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Diana Faugno graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing-University of North Dakota and a Master of Science in Nursing-University of Phoenix. Ms. Faugno is a Founding Board Director for End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the California American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.  She is a founding board member for the Academy of Forensic Nursing and the current past president of the Academy of Forensic Nursing as well as a retired-fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Science.  She is a Distinguished Fellow in the International Association of Forensic Nurses and the Academy of Forensic Nursing.  She currently is the nurse examiner at Live Safe resources in Dallas, Georgia. She was the nurse examiner at the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center and Eisenhower Medical Center’s SART team for many years. She provides trainings throughout the country ​and is the co-author on numerous textbooks and papers on dealing with the forensic medical aspects of violence such as sexual assault, strangulation and domestic violence.

“The AFN is committed to the application of scholarship, education, and service and is home to leaders and mentors in forensic nursing practices globally.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Theresa Fay-Hillier is psychiatric forensic nurse with expertise in the post-trauma related impact of significant interpersonal violence, crime, and disaster. Following the 9/11 tragedy, Dr. Fay-Hillier was involved with debriefing employees who worked in and around the New York City area. She has presented at both national and international conferences on issues related to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), harm-reduction strategies in addressing individuals addicted to opioids, and implementation of collaborate simulation experiences into nursing programs. Dr. Fay-Hillier has also co-authored several peer reviewed articles and is co-editor of a textbook on Child Maltreatment. Dr. Fay-Hillier's focus of research is related to health care providers' experiences in adequately assessing and addressing IPV. Dr. Fay-Hillier has an interest in working with the chronically mentally ill as well as people who are victims of abuse. She was a co-leader of a homicide bereavement group for families at the City of Philadelphia Office of the Medical Examiner. Dr. Fay-Hillier was also a co-owner of a nurse owned business providing Critical Incident Stress Debriefing services to employees who worked in both health care agencies and general business facilities.

Dr. Fay-Hillier is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned her Doctorate in Public Health from Drexel University's School of Public Health, her Master's Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Holy Family University. Dr. Fay-Hillier is a board-certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and is also certified in completing Danger Assessments with victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). 

"AFN has clearly situated itself to expand the contemporary vision and scope of forensic nursing research, scholarship, and practice in the contemporary era of healthcare and medicolegal care of victims and offenders globally.  As a member of AFN, I have found myself completely aligned with these exciting and important endeavors and my goal is to continue to actively contribute to this mission of the agency."


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Christine Foote-Lucero has been a licensed Registered Nurse in Colorado for 20 years, with a focus on critical care.  She received a Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Creighton University in 2002 and a Masters of Science in Forensic Nursing in 2019. For the past decade, she has worked as a Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE). She currently manages the FNE team at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) in Aurora, CO where she developed a robust FNE orientation program as well as education and training for on-going FNE performance based competencies, clinical skills exemplars, and high fidelity simulations. She has also created a Strangulation Pathway at UCH that serves as a clinical practice guideline for Emergency Providers. 


Her clinical experiences as a forensic nurse have included death investigation and correctional nursing, as well as sexual assault, intimate partner violence, physical assault, strangulation, elder abuse, child abuse, and human trafficking. She has worked in Professional Nursing Development and is a certified instructor for the Emergency Nurse’s Association, teaching ENPC and TNCC, as well as a guest lecturer for the University of Colorado School of Nursing.  She has presented at both state and national conferences on a variety of forensic and trauma topics.


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Paula Newman-Skomski, ARNP has been a RN for over 30 years in various capacities. She has spent the past 17 years as a Forensic Nurse Examiner with Providence Intervention Center for Assault & Abuse providing services to victims of all forms of interpersonal violence. She has been involved with the Snohomish County Sexual Exploitation Intervention Network since its inception in 2006 and was the chair from 2010 -2017. Paula is also the Founder and Board President for a project called Peoria Home which is a residential recovery program for women who have experienced exploitation through trafficking and prostitution.  

Paula is passionate about providing services for victims, fighting to end interpersonal violence and human slavery. She has won several awards for her work including: March of Dimes Nurse of the Year 2010, Innovation/Creativity Category; The’ Spirit of Nursing’ from Providence Hospital 2014; ‘Inspiration in Women’s Health’ 2014 from the Nurse Practitioner’s in Women’s Health Association; ‘Community Champion’ 2014 from Molina Healthcare; March of Dimes Nurse of the year 2014 in Innovation and Technology; Providence Mission Award in 2015 & 2017; Providence “Values in Action” Award 2020; Seattle NOW SHERO Award 2021; and was nominated for the 2015 National Crime Victims' Service Awards from the US Office of Crime Victims and US Department of Justice.  She has been involved with Girl Scouts for over 30 years; is a veteran of the United States Air Force; and volunteered with the U. S. Department of Health following hurricane Katrina.


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Val Sievers is a Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist with more than 35 years of health care experience as a registered nurse, advanced practice nurse, educator and consultant with extensive practice experience in the arenas of emergency and critical care nursing, academic education and forensic clinical practice. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Val provides advanced education to healthcare and interdisciplinary professionals regarding the care and treatment of patients affected by violence and abuse to include; evidentiary examinations for adult, adolescent and child survivors of sexual and physical abuse.

She is currently dual board certified as an adult-adolescent and pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner. In addition, Val has provided consultation to hospitals, health care agencies, non-profit organizations, communities and military installations regarding collaborative strategies for developing or improving a response to those affected by violence. Val worked in the position of Colorado SANE Project Coordinator/Director for 15 years, a project funded by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice before moving the position and funding to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs to support an academic and clinical foundation for forensic nursing education.

In 1995, Val and emergency nurse colleagues developed the first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program in Colorado at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs and for 24 years provided forensic healthcare services to children, adolescents and families at Safe Passage, a Children's Advocacy Center. Currently, Val is owner of MedLaw Consultants, LLC, a forensic healthcare consulting practice.

“The Academy of Forensic Nursing, with a focus on evidence-based education, practice and rigorous scholarship is well positioned to have a positive impact on forensic healthcare.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Angelia Trujillo is an Associate Professor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, School of Nursing. Dr. Trujillo has worked in the field of interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and public health for approximately 15 years. Dr. Trujillo obtained her Women's Health Nurse Practitioner certification from Frontier Nursing University in 2017, obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a focus on Forensic Nursing in 2008 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and also holds a Master’s of Science – Advanced Community Health Nursing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Trujillo currently practices as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and has worked as a forensic nurse examiner with experience working with adult, adolescent and child sexual assault victims.

“The Academy seeks to provide forensic nurses and our interdisciplinary partners with a forum to promote leadership, education and service to communities and individuals who have been affected by violence; focusing on collaboration and eliminating silos.”



Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Annie Lewis-O’Connor is a Board Certified Pediatric and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She is the Founder and Director of the C.A.R.E Clinic (Caring Approach to Resilience & Empowerment) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. This clinic is committed to providing patient centered and trauma-informed health care to people who have been intentionally harmed by trauma, violence and abuse. Dr. Lewis-O’Connor addresses violence from four pillars: Research, Policy, Education, and Clinical perspectives.


Dr. Lewis-O’Connor is published in peer-reviewed journals and academic books on the topic of violence against women and children and the effects of trauma, violence and abuse on health. Her current research is focused on measuring Trauma-Informed Care models of care in health care settings and exploration of best ‘screening’ (inquiry) methods for trauma, violence and abuse. 

Since 2012, Dr. Lewis-O'Connor has served as one of the Chairs of the Partners HealthCare Trauma- Informed Care Initiative. She has served in a number of leadership rolls, including Chair of the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse, President of Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, President of local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International, and is currently incoming Chair of the Expert Panel on Violence at the American Academy of Nursing. Since 2010 she has served on the Executive Board of Casa Myrna Vasquez, the oldest and longest standing shelter in Massachusetts for women and children. She has served on the Board of EQUALHEALTH ( since 2013. In 2012 she was awarded as a Health Care Champion by the Boston Business Journal recognizing her efforts to mitigate the health consequences of violence and trauma. In 2014 Dr. Lewis-O’Connor was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing. She is recognized as a Distinguished Fellow with the International Association of Forensic Nurses and in the Academy of Forensic Nurses. Annie enjoys the outdoors, traveling, gardening and above all- spending quality time with her family, children, grandchildren and friends.  She received her Master’s in Nursing from Simmons College in Boston, a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and her PhD from Boston College.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the Academy of Forensic Nursing that strives towards scholarship, evidence-based practice, and building sustainable programs with colleagues nationally and internationally."



Academy of Forensic Nursing


MS, RN, AFN-Global Ambassador

​Virginia A. Lynch is recognized as the preeminent scholar and founder of forensic nursing as a scientific discipline. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Texas Christian University (TCU) in 1982 where she was introduced to the forensic sciences through a clinical assignment. This project took her into the wider world of interpersonal crime and the scientific investigation of death. Her first experience in a crime laboratory refocused her professional interest, putting forensic and nursing science at the center of her career. This encounter inspired her to learn more about the forensic sciences and its application to nursing practice. She learned that many interpersonal crimes are never properly adjudicated, often due to loss of evidence by health care personnel that was inadvertently discarded or improperly preserved and secured after collection.

Lynch recognized the need for nurses to be enlightened about the precise preservation and relevance of forensic evidence. The revelation eventually motivated her to her to establish a Rape Crisis Program in a rural Texas county and to pursue practice changes which would ultimately lead to a new nursing specialty aimed at improving health and legal outcomes for victims of violence. She was recognized as a Notable Woman of Texas for her work in 1985. Following graduation from TCU she pursued her Master of Science in Nursing in the clinical specialization of forensic nursing, a program she was instrumental in designing at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) College of Nursing. During graduate studies at UTA she was credentialed as a Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner.

In 1984, Lynch served as a medicolegal death investigator for the Tarrant–Parker County Medical Examiner's District in Fort Worth, Texas. She studied advanced death investigation in 1990 at the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), later becoming a certified coroner in the state of Georgia in 1992. This experience broadened her perspectives about potential contributions of nurses in innovative forensic roles and has subsequently become an advocate for the role of forensic nurse death investigator (FNDI). In 1993, Lynch accepted a faculty position at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs to coordinate a MSN forensic nursing program and developed the first course in human rights for forensic nurses. In 2000, she launched a global outreach program in forensic nursing science involving teaching, consulting and social advocacy. Virginia was elected to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (1986), which ask her to define the discipline of forensic nursing and was honored as a Distinguished Fellow in 2018. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. As founding president (1993-1996) of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) one of her most rewarding tributes has been the establishment of the Virginia A. Lynch Pioneer Award, which the IAFN presents annually to a member who has significantly contributed to the advancement of the forensic nursing specialty.

Virginia’s expertise is sought globally, taking her to more than 30 countries as a visiting professor and independent consultant in addition to participation in numerous global consortiums and conferences. Her international involvement in forensic nursing has included a Fulbright Fellowship in global health at Punjabi University in India. A frequent lecturer and prolific writer including the seminal text, “Forensic Nursing” published by Elsevier in 2006 and with a second edition published in 2010. This book was acclaimed as the “most significant scholarly/professional contribution to nursing and allied health” for the year 2006 by the American Association of Publishers, Inc. Lynch’s recent work includes ensuring the proliferation of forensic nursing by helping to build forensic nursing programs as she lectures, conducts workshops, and serves as a consultant to professional societies and universities while she inspires and mentors the next generation of forensic nurses.

Virginia indicates that the greatest challenge in the advancement of forensic nursing is the lack of specialty educational opportunities in both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. Healthcare organizations and community agencies have not fully appreciated the potential value of forensic nursing’s contributions for client services, and a result, there is insufficient funding for forensic support services and related staff positions.

"To foster further growth and development of forensic nursing, the needs include strong legislative mandates, healthcare regulatory requirements, and social advocacy. The demand for services of nurses with forensic expertise is great as we confront clinical issues related to global human violence."



Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Bill Smock is the Police Surgeon and directs the Clinical Forensic Medicine Program for the Louisville Metro Police Department in Louisville, Kentucky. Bill graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1990 and completed a residency in emergency medicine at the University of Louisville in 1993. In 1994 he became the first physician in the United States to complete a post-graduate forensic fellowship in Clinical Forensic Medicine with the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office. Dr. Smock then joined the faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville and in 2005 he was promoted to the rank of full professor.

Dr. Smock currently serves as a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and is Chair of the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention’s National Medical Advisory Committee. Bill has edited 3 textbooks on clinical forensic medicine and published more than 40 chapters and articles on forensic and emergency medicine. He is an internationally recognized forensic expert and trains forensic nurses, physicians, law enforcement officers, attorneys and judges in multiple fields including: reconstruction of officer-involved shootings, felony strangulation investigation and prosecution, the forensic evaluation of gunshot wounds, forensic toxicology, injury mechanisms and the reconstruction of motor vehicle trauma.


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Gael B. Strack is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Alliance for HOPE International. Programs of the Alliance include: National Family Justice Center Alliance, Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Camp HOPE America, Justice Legal Network and VOICES Survivor Network. Prior to launching Alliance for Hope International with Casey Gwinn, Gael served as the Founding Director of the San Diego Family Justice Center from October 2002 through May 2007. In that capacity, she worked closely with 25 on-site agencies (government and non-profit) who came together in 2002 to provide services to victims of domestic violence and their children in one location. The San Diego Family Justice Center was featured on Oprah in January 2003, was recognized as a model program by President Bush and was the inspiration for the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative launched in October 2003.

Prior to her work at the Family Justice Center, Gael was a prosecutor at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. She joined the office in 1987 and served in many capacities including Head Deputy City Attorney responsible for the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Unit. Gael has also worked as a Deputy Public Defender and a Deputy County Counsel for the San Diego County Counsel’s office handling juvenile dependency matters. She graduated from Western State College of Law in December 1985.

Gael is a former board member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, former President of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council and former commissioner of the ABA’s Commission on Domestic Violence. In her spare time, Gael is an adjunct law professor for California Western School of Law where she teaches “Domestic Violence and the Law.” Gael has been honored with numerous awards, including San Diego Attorney of the Year for 2006, and was the 2010 Recipient of the National Crime Victim Service Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services by United States Attorney General Eric Holder.

Gael has also co-authored a series of strangulation articles and five books with Casey Gwinn, JD, on the Family Justice Center movement.



Academy of Forensic Nursing



Barbra Bachmeier is a family nurse practitioner and advanced practice forensic nurse examiner at IU Health – Methodist Hospital and a solo attorney in which her practice focuses is in the areas of Guardian Ad Litem and Guardianships in Indianapolis, IN. Barb’s nursing career began in 1982 as a licensed practical nurse at Trinity Medical Center in Minot, ND. From there, she has worked as a staff nurse, nurse practitioner, and an advanced practice forensic nurse examiner. She completed a clinical ethics fellowship in 2013 at Charles W. Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics - IU Health. In 2015, Barb received the National Emergency Nursing Association Nurses Practice and Professionalism Award and inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Emergency Nursing (AEN) in 2018. Barb was one of the original members of the Academy of Forensic Nursing. She proudly served and retired as a lieutenant colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army National Guard.

"The Academy of Forensic Nursing is a home and an institution for mentorship not only for forensic nurses, but all nurses and inter-professions who work with those affected by and responding to trauma. AFN promotes evidenced-based education and collegial relationships with all professions who support the mission and growth of AFN and forensic nursing."


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Kathy Gill-Hopple, PhD, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P received her doctorate from the University of Nebraska (2010), Masters of Science in Nursing with a focus in women’s health from Wichita State University (1994), and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University (1980). Dr. Gill-Hopple has worked in the women’s health field for 27 years as a clinician and educator.

In Wichita, Kansas she was on the nursing faculty at Kansas Newman University and Wichita State University teaching women’s health maternal child care. She later became the Director of the Forensic Nursing Services at Via Christi Regional Medical Center, where she founded Healthcare Haven for victims of juvenile human trafficking. This program was the first of its kind to provide immediate healthcare services to victims in a multi-disciplinary format.

Since 2012, Dr. Gill-Hopple has managed the Forensic Nursing Service program at the Medical University of South Carolina, overseeing the day-to-day management as well as grant-writing, orientation, on-going education, multi-disciplinary training, consultation and direct clinical care. At MUSC, she developed the first multidisciplinary review team to address intimate partner violence policies, procedures and clinical care, resulting in a 24 hour forensic nurse/social work response in the Emergency Department. Dr. Gill-Hopple founded the South Carolina Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Education Network, which provides education, clinical training and technical assistance to hospitals in South Carolina seeking to develop an improved response the sexual and intimate partner violence.

Dr. Gill-Hopple has received extensive training in intimate partner violence, strangulation, forensic interviewing and is a member of numerous task forces and teams addressing issues of sexual violence, intimate partner violence and human trafficking. She is a frequent expert witness, invited lecturer to nursing and medical students, emergency service providers, law enforcement agencies and is the lead instructor in the adult and pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner courses in South Carolina.

“Mentorship of new forensic nurses, promotion of evidence-based practice, enhanced scholarship of our field sets the AFN apart.”


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Dr. Trinity Ingram-Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Auburn University, and she earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis in executive-level administration, a post-MSN certificate in Advanced Child Health (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with an emphasis in clinical leadership from the University of South Alabama. She also completed post-doctoral training as a legal nurse consultant through the University of Georgia. Dr. Ingram-Jones is a board-​certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Forensic Nurse, and Pediatric, Adolescent, and Adult Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. 


Dr. Ingram-Jones is the owner of Ingram-Jones & Associates and the Executive Director of Serenity Hill, collectively referred to as "The Cottage," a free-standing, community-based, medical-forensic practice in Richmond Hill, GA, where she provides care to children who have suffered various forms of maltreatment, as well as adult sexual assault patients. For many years, she served as the medical-forensic representative to the Bryan and Liberty County Child Fatality Review Boards, and she coordinated Bryan County's Board from February 2015 until mid-June 2019. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Ingram-Jones is also an adjunct professor in a doctoral and graduate-level nurse practitioner program, and she has worked as an adjunct or full-time professor at colleges and universities across the country since 2004.


Dr. Ingram-Jones is the President of the Georgia Association of Forensic Nurses, a Distinguished Fellow in the Academy of Forensic Nursing, a member of the Academy of Forensic Nursing Board of Directors, the webmaster for the Academy of Forensic Nursing, the President of Serenity Hill, Inc., and is the President of the Victoria Bristow Memorial EMS Scholarship Program. She was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 2018, and she is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. Dr. Ingram-Jones also served as the Secretary on the Founding Board of Directors for the Forensic Nursing Certification Board from 2017-2019. The co-author and reviewer of multiple books and other scholarly publications, Dr. Ingram-Jones is a frequently invited lecturer at professional conferences and training seminars at the local, state, national, and international levels. 

"The AFN promotes diversity and inclusivity in forensic nursing, while facilitating the development of scholarly forensic nursing practice that reflects a collaborative and multidisciplinary team approach to trauma and violence and promotes an evidence-based, patient-centered, trauma-informed model of care."


Academy of Forensic Nursing



A member of Sigma Theta Tau, International, Dr. Mitchell holds a Doctorate in Forensic Nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Her Master’s Degree in Nursing has a focus in trauma and forensic nursing from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Dr. Mitchell’s bachelor’s degree is in Nursing from the Medical College of Virginia. Her nursing career spans over twenty-five years with experience in critical care, emergency nursing, forensic nursing, and risk management.

Dr. Mitchell began her forensic nursing career as the coordinator of the Forensic Nurse Examiners of St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She has served as a Director at Large for two terms, Treasurer, President- Elect and President on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN).

Dr. Mitchell held the position of Deputy Chief Forensic Nurse Investigator at the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office in Houston, Texas, for six years. From 2008 to 2017, she was the Administrative Director of Forensic Nursing Services and Risk Management and Patient Safety for the Harris Health System. Currently, she is a Clinical Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Forensic Health Care Program at Texas A&M University College of Nursing.

In October 2017, Dr. Mitchell was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. In 2015, Dr. Mitchell was honored as one of the Top 20 Outstanding Nurses by the Texas Nurses Association District 9. She also received the Virginia Lynch Pioneer in Forensic Nursing award that year. Dr. Mitchell is a frequent invited speaker at both domestic and international nursing conferences and training seminars, and she is regularly called upon to provide expert testimony regarding forensic nursing, sexual assault, child abuse, child sexual abuse, and trauma.

“AFN leadership represents over 500 years in nursing and 240 years in Forensic Nursing science and practice.“


Academy of Forensic Nursing



Patricia M. Speck graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Nursing in 1982, 1985, and 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a Master of Science degree in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Science degree respectively. After retiring from UTHSC College of Nursing as the Public Health Nursing and Forensic Nursing Concentration Coordinator, she joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing in the Department of Community Health, Outcomes, and Systems. Currently Dr. Speck is a Professor and Coordinator of the graduate Advanced Forensic Nursing program, serving on the DNP and PhD faculty. She is internationally recognized as a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (1984-present) and expert in advanced forensic nursing care of patients experiencing an intersection with the legal system. She is the past-president of IAFN (2004-5), is the recipient of over 25 awards, and received the lifetime Professional Impact Award from End Violence Against Women International in 2017. Dr. Speck consults nationally and internationally with governments, universities, institutions, and non-governmental organizations to evaluate and implement infrastructure change in response to violence. As a forensic nursing practice expert and active researcher, Dr. Speck develops policy, evaluates programs and builds workforce capacity through publication, education, and violence prevention initiatives.

“AFN strives to link research to practice through dissemination of scholarship through education and service to those affected by and responding to trauma.”

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