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Our SANE Mentorship Program connects members of Strengthening Forensic Nursing: a RE Lab Project who are working as SANEs to experienced SANEs who have been trained as mentors.  Participants receive long-term support including case debriefing and a focus on prevention of burnout/vicarious trauma.

If you are a member of the Strengthening Forensic Nursing: a RE Lab Project interested in joining the mentorship program, please email: [email protected].

Mentorship Program Structure

The mentorship program includes 1:1 time with a mentor and mentee.  In addition, small group meetings of two mentors and their mentees allow a community approach to development as a SANE.  Case review is an important part of how mentors and mentees work together.

Expectations Of Mentees 

  • Participate in monthly mentorship group meetings via Zoom
  • Participate in individual mentor/mentee meetings via Zoom
  • Submit redacted cases for case debrief
  • Engage in self-reflection and program evaluation

Membership Program Team

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Courtney Bouthilet, Mentor

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Courtney Bouthilet, BSN, RN, PHN, SANE-A, SANE-P has been a Forensic and Critical Care nurse for over 12 years. She has experience in Forensic nursing leadership, management, program development, nursing education, and caring for underserved patient populations, with interests in women, children, BIPOC, and rural communities. She is an active member of the Association of Forensic Nursing and holds memberships in the MN and WI chapters of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

She is highly interested in trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs),  interpersonal violence, and their systemic effects on individuals and communities.  By applying this knowledge in healthcare settings, she aims to center the lifelong health and wellness outcomes of the patient. Courtney hopes to change the way health practitioners view chronic medical problems, mental health, and past trauma while influencing the incorporation of trauma-informed practices into their daily lives.

Ellen Johnson, Mentor

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Ellen Johnson has been a nurse for 46 years, specializing in Emergency nursing. She has been a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner since 2002 and now devotes all her time to that specialty.  Ellen supervised the SANE program at Regions Hospital from 2005 to 2022 and now works as the SANE Educator there.  Regions Hospital SANE Program provides sexual assault exams at 5 hospitals in the Twin Cities metro area.  Ellen enjoys collaborating with community partners and is a frequent presenter locally and nationally on forensic nursing through the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), the Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI) and the Ramsey County Sexual Assault Protocol Team.  She has been an instructor for the 40-hour SANE didactic course since 2006 and has hosted IAFN clinical skills labs at Regions Hospital since 2015.  Ellen is a lifetime member of both IAFN and Emergency Nurses Assoication (ENA), and is active in both IAFN and the MN chapter of IAFN. 

Kaylen Moore, Mentor

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Kaylen Moore BSN, RN, CCRN, SANE-A, SANE-P has been practicing as a Registered Nurse for 18 years, caring for patients in the specialty areas of internal medicine, critical care, and perioperative care at Froedtert Hospital, a Level I trauma academic medical center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kaylen also has 9 years of experience as a Forensic Nurse Examiner, caring for survivors and perpetrators of violent crimes. She is a Ph.D. nursing student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a current research focus that examines how African American women navigate the intersecting systems of healthcare and law enforcement after experiencing intimate partner violence. Kaylen contributes to the improvement of nursing practice and trauma-informed care of survivors as a professional mentor for Marquette University BSN students, membership in the Wisconsin chapter of the IAFN, and authorship of publications such as chapters in the book, IAFN Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certification: A Review for the SANE-A® and SANE-P® Exams.  

Kelly Nelson-Cichosz, Mentor

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Kelly Nelson-Cichosz has been a practicing Registered Nurse for 21 years; most of her has been time spent working in the Emergency Department and as a Forensic Nurse Examiner.  Kelly is the Lead Forensic Nurse at Allina Health and prior to that was the Lead Forensic Nurse for St. Francis Regional Medical Center.  Kelly has been practicing as a forensic examiner for the past 7 years, conducting adult and adolescent sexual assault exams, child non-sexual/Elder abuse exams, and domestic violence exams at the local level.   Kelly has maintained membership with the Minnesota Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and is currently the Education director for the MN Chapter.  Kelly has been involved with many multidisciplinary teams on topics regarding sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Kelly provides education and leadership to the forensic nursing staff and guidance around her patient population.  She works with communities to provide education and outreach to various entities including schools, colleges and universities, and others on prevention and caring for those who have experienced trauma of personal violence.  Outside of work, Kelly enjoys time with her husband and seven children.  She owns and operates a small hobby farm, managing chickens and bee apiary.  

Linda Walther, Mentor

Linda Walther is the Clinical Coordinator for the Statewide Medical Forensic Policy Program SVJI@MNCASA. She has over 40 years of nursing experience and has been a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for 15 years. Currently, Walther is a SANE with the Regions Hospital SANE team.  She provides training on the medical forensic exams for hospitals and coordinates SANE trainings in Minnesota.  

Melissa Jackson, Mentor

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Melissa Jackson has practiced as a Registered Nurse since 2008, and in 2016 she began work as a SANE with Regions Hospital SANE Program in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to this role, she enjoys instructing at SANE-A trainings and providing education to community partners on the role of the SANE and the medical forensic exam.  

Sarah Hoffman, Mentorship Program Coordinator

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Sarah Hoffman is an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She studies intergenerational trauma in war-affected families and the longitudinal health effects of trauma from torture and war. Prior to her appointment at the University, Sarah served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, a human rights intern in South America, and a nurse on the inpatient unit of the Johns Hopkins Hospital AIDS service. In conjunction with her faculty position at the University, Sarah is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. She teaches and advises in the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at the School and serves as an affiliate faculty member to the Master of Human Rights program. 

Savanha Winkel, Mentor

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Savanha Winkel has been a nurse for 5 years and a SANE in the Twin Cities since 2019. Currently, Savanha works in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and for the Regions SANE Program, serving 5 hospitals in the east metro area. It was not until the fall of 2018 Savanha discovered the field of Forensic Nursing. She instantly became engaged in the necessary level of caring, compassion, education, and cooperation required in the field. Her first few years have been everything you could imagine as a new SANE, eye-opening, challenging, and also rewarding. It became excruciatingly clear to her just how important this work was, for her patients and for society as a whole. She quickly got involved with her program participating in training for new SANEs, advocates, and law enforcement personnel. Her passion for education had always been there, but her work as a SANE taught her truly just how powerful education can be, for her patients, her community, and the systems in which Forensic Nursing intersects.  Savanda attended The Strangulation Institute advanced course on strangulation prevention in June of 2021 and has since performed many trainings on this important, often misunderstood topic. Having engaging and meaningful educational opportunities available where true learning and change can happen is where her passion lies. Savanha is the current President of the Minnesota Chapter of the IAFN and engages in regular interdisciplinary meetings with individuals across the state of Minnesota. Although her time in Forensic Nursing has just begun, she has committed herself to the field and looks forward to continuing to provide education, advocacy, and support to new SANEs. 

Susan Kolar, Mentor

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Susan Kolar is a Registered Nurse at Saint Mary’s Hospital Emergency Department in Rochester, Minnesota. Prior to her work in the Emergency Department, she worked as a Registered Nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Hematology/Oncology/Blood Marrow Transplant unit. In conjunction with her role as an Emergency Department nurse, Kolar has been a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner since 2016. She received her SANE-A certification in 2021. She is an active member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (national and local chapters) and the Academy of Forensic Nursing.