Minnesota Forensic Nurses in the News


Women’s Health Leadership TRUST Award | Health & Wellbeing Category

Congratulations to Ellen Johnson, BA, RN, SANE-A, CEN. Ellen has been a nurse for 47 years and she has dedicated her career to victim-survivors as the . An incredible leader in this field, Ellen was the Supervisor for the Regions’ SANE Program. She continues to lead on her team and in the state Minnesota as an educator. 

Champion of Change Award | Sexual Violence Center

Congratulations to Amy Schmitz, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P. Amy is the Nurse Manager of the Allina Forensic Nursing Program. Day in and day out, Amy leads with excellence on her team and in our state. She collaborates with other forensic nurses and with the multi-disciplines that intersect in the care of the victim-survivor to ensure the patient receives excellent care at every step. 

Larry Anderson Partnership Award | The Aurora Center

Congratulations to Breanna Heisterkamp, BSN, RN, PHN, SANE-A, SANE-P. Breanna Heisterkamp is the Supervisor of the Hennepin Assault Response Team at Hennepin Healthcare. Breanna has a dedication to ensuring multi-disciplinary partnership is strong to ensure excellence in the care of victim-survivors. She is passionate about education and direct the Hennepin Healthcare HRSA-funded grant project Train to Retain: SANE Expansion in the Upper Midwest.

In the News

Hennepin Healthcare HRSA Grant Hosts Strangulation Prevention Training | June 20th, 2023

93 professionals in the medical field, advocacy, law enforcement, and the justice system attended the 4-day advanced training from all across the Midwest. This training was offered to attendees cost free, removing the often burdensome barrier of cost to professionals seeking this essential training. 

Heisterkamp is also a nurse manager for Hennepin Healthcare’s Hennepin Assault Response Team and director of a three-year, $1.5 million federal grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration.

This was made possible by Hennepin Healthcare’s three-year, $1.5 million federal grant from HRSA. Project coordinator Stephanie Ellis organized the weeklong training, which involved flying in experts from Alliance for HOPE International and their Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention.

Check out the article, here.

Local nurse continues sexual assault survivor advocacy | March 24th, 2023

“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and a local nurse and advocate continues to speak out in hopes to educate the public to prevent further sexual violence against men and women and to encourage survivors to no longer fear reporting their assault.”

Check out the article featuring Allina Forensic Nurse, Michelle Sorensonhere.

Regions Hospital readies rural nurses to help sexual assault victims | April 28th, 2023

“Regions started the training program [with RE Lab] last year in partnership with the University of Minnesota, seizing on the reality that the urban hospital treats more sexual assault victims than the average rural hospital.”

Check out the article featuring Wisconsin area SANE who participated in residency here.

Dakota County SART | Medical Care

Kelly Nelson-Cichosz, Supervisor of the Allina Forensic Nursing Program, educates listeners on the role of the forensic nurse in the care of the victim-survivor. This is part of Dakota County’s “I Believe You” Series. Check it out here