About WI CAN

Two-month-old Ashley could have been saved if the professionals around her had accurate medical information and had worked together.

Ashley had a small bruise on her cheek from being violently grabbed by her mother’s boyfriend. Ashley’s doctor reported the injury, but the investigation went nowhere because her doctor and the investigators did not work together or understand the serious implications of a seemingly minor bruise. One week later, Ashley died, violently abused by the mother’s boyfriend. Had a cohesive interdisciplinary model existed, Ashley might be alive today.

What is WI CAN?

Formed in 2009, the Wisconsin Child Abuse Network (WI CAN) is an inter-disciplinary public-private partnership dedicated to improving the accuracy of child abuse investigations and is led by representatives of state departments, community-based organizations, professional associations, along with the state’s medical universities and children’s hospitals.

Why WI CAN?

  • Child maltreatment has immediate negative consequences for the child, family and society, and its lifelong impact on physical and mental health is devastating.
  • Accurate detection of and effective intervention for all types of child maltreatment require a coordinated inter-disciplinary response by law enforcement and child welfare, usually with input from medical professionals.
  • While the law enforcement and child welfare responses are statutorily mandated and funded, the medical response beyond making a mandated report is not.
  • WI CAN has created a solution to improve the response to child maltreatment in Wisconsin by increasing access to evidence-based practices, education, and experts from key disciplines.

WI CAN creates the environment where professionals work cooperatively to reach the ideal outcome for every child.

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Amy Domaszek


Director of Statewide Prosecutor’s Education and Training (SPET)
WI Dept. of Justice

Amy earned her B.A. in English from Luther College and an M.S. in Human and Community Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Amy has been professionally engaged in domestic violence advocacy and batterers treatment facilitation. Her background also includes wellness and professional development programming, community leadership, event planning, and property management.

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Emily Erickson


Child Welfare Policy and Program Section Manager
WI Dept. of Children and Families

Emily Erickson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has worked in both child/family mental health as well as child protective services. Emily has a passion for supporting healthy children and families. She is particularly interested in the intersection of trauma, alcohol and other drug abuse, mental health and child maltreatment. Emily received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from UW-Madison and her Master of Science in Community Counseling from Denver Seminary.

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Raymond Hoffmann


Professor of Biostatistics
Associate Director of the Section of Quantitative Health Sciences
Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics

He is also certified in Epidemiology by the American College of Epidemiology. Dr. Hoffmann is a Biostatistician at the MCW CTSI (Clinical Translational Science Institute). He is past chair of the Statistics in Epidemiology Section of the American Statistical Association and is the Chapter Representative of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Statistical Association. He has extensive experience and publications (over 240) including analyses of the HICFA administrative database (10,000,000 subjects). He has collaborated and assisted in the design of community studies and questionnaires, both of pediatric care and assessment of child abuse, as well as firearm injury in Milwaukee. He has received the outstanding service award from the Milwaukee Chapter of the American Statistical Association.

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Michelle M. Jensen


Executive Director
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board

Michelle M. Jensen started working with the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board in September 2014. Previously, she served as Director of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Children’s Court Improvement Program. She currently serves on several statewide advisory committees related to children and families, is a former member of the Wisconsin State Bar Children and the Law Section Board of Directors, and is a University of Wisconsin Law School graduate.

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Rita Kadamian, DNP, FNP-BC


Child Advocacy and Protection Service
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Dr. Kadamian received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marquette University, Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Marquette University. She is a certified family nurse practitioner. She has been working in the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Child Advocacy and Protection Services program since 2001. Dr. Kadamian provides service to children in foster care and those suspected of being maltreated in both the Kenosha and Racine Child Advocacy Centers.

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Jill Karofsky


Executive Director
Office of Crime Victim Services
WI Dept. of Justice

Jill has fought for victims and their rights for over 20 years as a prosecutor, law school professor, and administrator.

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Connie Klick, MSW


Director of Child Advocacy and Protection Services
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Board Member, Child Advocacy Centers of Wisconsin

Connie is the director of Child Advocacy and Protection Services for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. She oversees seven child advocacy centers (CACs) and two medical satellite offices across Wisconsin, one of the largest child advocacy networks in the country. She has experience working with victims of child maltreatment in both public and private agencies and is involved in state and national initiatives that address child maltreatment and family violence issues. Connie is also a Child Advocacy Centers of Wisconsin board member. This organization supports and promotes the development of CACs in Wisconsin in the effort to provide child-friendly locations to facilitate multidisciplinary team child maltreatment assessments.

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Danielle Long


Criminal Justice Program Analyst
Training & Standards Bureau
WI Dept. of Justice

Danielle is the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) training program manager. Additionally, she manages the Prescription Drug Take- Back Program. She managed the Firearms Surrender Demonstration Project and continues to provide technical assistance to counties implementing the model procedures. Danielle has worked in the domestic violence field for nearly 20 years. Previously, Ms. Long was a policy analyst for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Director of State Courts Office where she focused on restraining order policy. She sits on the Attorney Generals Sexual Assault Response Team (AG SART), DOJ VAWA Advisory Committee, the Domestic Violence Training Advisory Committee. Danielle trains locally and nationwide on domestic violence issues. She earned a B.A. in Criminology and Law Studies and Political Science from Marquette University.

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Pennie Meyers


Executive Director
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA)



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Brent Nelson


Director
Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System

He brings nearly 25 years of experience in the development, delivery, and support of both traditional and non-traditional educational programs as well as considerable leadership experience and a significant record of accomplishment leading complex, collaborative projects in higher education.

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Melodee Nugent


Statistician
Quantitative Health Sciences
Medical College of Wisconsin

I have over 20 years of experience of working with medical data as a biostatistician. Experience includes implementing statistical analyses and providing data management in support of projects. I have collaborated with physicians in the design and analysis of research data, provided essential scientific and technical expertise to develop scientifically and statistically valid study and project protocols; and analyzed and reported results in a statistically valid manner for section projects and studies.

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Amanda Palm, PA-C, LCSW


Physician Assistant
UW American Family Children’s Hospital
Child Protection Program

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Camille Rodriguez


Director
Bureau of Community Health Promotion
WI Department of Health Services

Camille currently directs the Bureau of Community Health Promotion at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), in the Division of Public Health. The Bureau includes four sections which manage programs and initiatives related to chronic disease prevention and cancer control; maternal and child health; tobacco prevention and control; nutrition and physical activity; and includes the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs program; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program; and oral health programs.

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Lynn K. Sheets, MD


Medical Director, Child Advocacy and Protection Services
Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
Section Chief, Child Advocacy and Protection

Dr. Sheets is a board-certified child abuse pediatrician who has over 25 years of experience in evaluating children suspected of being maltreated. She is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and section chief of the Child Advocacy and Protection Division. She is also the Medical Director of Children’s Hospital and Health System’s Child Advocacy and Protection Services which provides services to children in foster care and children suspected of being maltreated.

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Dave Smith


Detective, Sensitive Crimes Coordinator
Kenosha County Sheriff Department

Dave has been in law enforcement for 35 years, specializing in sensitive crimes and crimes against children for over 20 years.

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Lori L. Thompson


Statewide SANE coordinator
WI Dept. of Justice

Lori graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BS in Nursing and University of Illinois with a MS in Nursing. As a nurse practitioner, Lori holds dual board certifications in Pediatrics and Forensics. She co-developed and was executive director of a child abuse response team in Northern Illinois that covered 15 counties. Last year, she assisted a child advocacy center in coastal North Carolina become accredited for the first time in their 14 year history. As an advance practice nurse, she has been qualified and testified as an expert in child abuse pediatrics in several states. Having held faculty positions at various educational institutions, she has taught general pediatrics and child abuse pediatrics to undergraduate; graduate nursing students, as well as, third and fourth year medical students.

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Michelle Urban, MD


Medical Director
Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare
WI Dept. of Children and Families

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Jessica Wipperfurth, MSW, APSW


Social Worker
UW American Family Children’s Hospital
Child Protection Program

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Jennifer Yates, MSN, FNP-BC


Child Advocacy and Protection Services
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UW-Madison and Master of Science in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach. She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and began working as a nurse practitioner at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, California providing medical management of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. Jennifer started providing medical evaluations to potential victims of child maltreatment in 2006 at the Child Abuse Services Team in Orange County, California. Jennifer started working for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Child Advocacy and Protection Services Program in 2009 and provides medical evaluations to potential victims of child maltreatment at the Fox Valley Child Advocacy Center in Neenah and the Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center in Green Bay.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board


http://www.preventionboard.wi.gov/

The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board (CANPB) administers the Children’s Trust Fund and was created in 1983 to mobilize research and practices to prevent child abuse in Wisconsin. The Board’s vision is that every child in Wisconsin grows up in a safe, stable and nurturing environment.

Child Advocacy Centers of Wisconsin


http://www.cacsofwi.org/

Supports and promotes the development of child advocacy centers in Wisconsin and their efforts to provide child friendly locations to facilitate multidisciplinary team assessments with reported child victims. CACs also provide advocacy and support to alleged child victims and their family members.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin


http://www.chw.org/

We are the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. In Milwaukee and throughout the state, we provide kids and their families a wide range of care and support - everything from routine care for ear aches or sore throats to life saving advances and treatment options.

Medical College of Wisconsin


http://www.mcw.edu/MCW

The Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in advancing Education and the preparing of physicians and scientists of tomorrow while enhancing the skills of today's health professionals.

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault


http://www.wcasa.org/

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA) is a statewide organization incorporated in 1985 to support and complement the work of Wisconsin’s community-based sexual assault service provider programs and other organizations working to end sexual violence.

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families


http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/

Wisconsin Department of Health Services


https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/

Wisconsin Department of Justice


http://www.doj.state.wi.us/