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Annette Cannon

Annette Cannon

Dr. Annette Cannon is an RN with more than 25 years of forensics experience. She has served a population of 600,000 for the past four years as the Jefferson County, Colorado coroner, and was re-elected in November 2022 for another four-year term. She holds a PhD in Healthcare Administration with a focus on the mentally ill in the criminal justice system, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Nursing with an emphasis in Leadership. Her credentials include D-ABMDI (Diplomat - American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators), MDI (Medicolegal Death Investigator from the Colorado Coroners Association) and most recently, DF - AFN.


As an RN for over 35 years, she has served in a variety of healthcare settings ranging from medical surgical nursing to administrative and education positions, including city and county systems for the department of corrections outpatient clients, correctional inmates as a psychiatric forensic nurse, and presently as a coroner, death investigator, and management of the investigations, autopsy, and morgue operations within her office. Cannon continues to provide ongoing education and speaking engagements to the community and at nursing and death investigation conferences. She serves as a governor-appointed board member on the Colorado Coroner’s Standards and Training Board. She served more than 10 years as a governor-appointed board member and forensic nurse expert on the task force for the Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System. She serves on various other boards and committees in a leadership role.


Cannon's professional goals are to expand her expertise, education, and certify in the forensics field; continue to provide education to nursing students, new nursing graduates, and to those desiring to change fields about forensic nursing possibilities; and provide clinical rotations or internships to nurses through the next four years of her elected appointment at the coroner’s office. Her goals within AFN are to continue to collaborate with all nurses regarding their encounters with forensic clients or decedents; continue networking through education about nursing and forensics; and continue to expand all areas of forensic nursing throughout learning institutions and in the nursing community.


Since joining AFN, Cannon has participated in the SIG committee for Medicolegal Death Investigation. The SIG wrote an article, “Nurses and Medicolegal Death Investigation” in 2020, which was published in the Journal of Forensic Nursing. The group completed a Bootcamp Workshop that was presented through AFN. Cannon has written and published two books: An Investigation of How Inadequate Mental Health Resources Have Created a Mental Health Crisis for Incarcerated Juveniles with Mental Illness (2005) and Mental Health Crisis (2015). She has written and published several peer-review articles, and wrote a chapter for the book, Overview of Forensic Nursing Principles and Practice, called “When Death is the Outcome”.  She has served as the Chair of the AFN SIG Death Investigation committee since January 2021.

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