Renee is the senior director of programs for the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation Stroke Program, a Medicaid-funded statewide Telestroke Program serving over 50 hospitals. She also provides leadership to the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation TeleSANE program.
Previously, Renee served as the trauma section chief for the Arkansas Department of Health at which time the trauma system became a reality with over 70 designated trauma centers. She has worked in the public health arena for over 30 years in the areas of maternal and child health, women, infants and children, tobacco prevention and cessation, hospital preparedness and injury and violence prevention.
She has her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and a Bachelor of Science in sociology and health education, also from UCA.
Sherrie Searcy, BSN, RN, SANE-A, is the visionary and the director for the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation TeleSANE program with the mission to bring sexual assault nurse examiner expertise to every hospital in the state of Arkansas via digital technology while also supporting the growth of evolving sexual assault nurse examiners and other clinicians.
She is a internationally-certified sexual assault nurse examiner for Adult/Adolescence. She has 15 years of experience as an Emergency and Trauma Nursing leader in a level 1 trauma center where her education and influential history began as a Forensic Nurse.
Sherrie developed and launched the sexual assault treatment protocol and order set to positively influence high standards of care for all patients that arrive to the UAMS Emergency Department post-sexual assault.
She has a publication in the prestigious HIV Medicine journal related to the successes of this implementation. She also has two other co-publication related to the UAMS TeleSANE program’s success.
She serves on the committee against rape for the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence and is a guest speaker for the annual conference on topics of sexual assault related to evidence collection, treatment options, and hospital protocol and also collaborates with Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault to aid in the development of new Community Sexual Assault Response teams in communities throughout the state.
Sherrie serves as the president-elect of the Arkansas Forensic Nurses Association in efforts to have influence on the state of Arkansas’ care standards while increasing the networking among sexual assault nurse examiners.
She continues active practice as a SANE-A through the UAMS on-call program, and will provide TeleSANE consultation to spoke sites.
Rhiannon Zerbe works as a clinical specialist for SANE with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
She began her health care career in the Army as a combat medic in 1997 and went on to become a registered nurse in her home state of Kansas. Rhiannon moved to Arkansas in 2015.
Most of her career has been within the emergency department. In 2018, she received specialized training in adult/adolescent SANE and holds her SANE-A certification. In 2021, she completed specialized training in SANE for pediatric patients. She is PRN at a child advocacy center and is working towards SANE-P certification.
Rhiannon is treasurer for the Arkansas Forensic Nurses Association. She is also a member of Academy of Forensic Nurses, Arkansas Nurses Association, and the International Association for Forensic Nurses.
When Rhiannon has time off, she loves to be outdoors. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, trail running, and mountain biking. If she is not outdoors, you can find her at home relaxing with her wife and two dogs, or back in Kansas visiting her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter.
Rhiannon finds it beyond rewarding to empower nurses to have the confidence to provide high-quality, trauma-informed care through education and mentorship.
Ashley Connors is a registered nurse currently working as a sexual assault nurse educator with the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation TeleSANE program.
She began her nursing career in 2015 as part of UAMS’s first intensive care unit nurse residency program in the trauma/surgery intensive care unit. In 2017, Ashley began working in the UAMS Emergency Department, where she found her passion for working with critically ill patients needing immediate, high-quality care. This is also where she was introduced to caring for sexual assault victims.
Ashley received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UAMS.
Ashley is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and looks forward to bringing awareness to sexual assault in the urban setting and in the black community.
Regina Welch has been a registered nurse for 37 years. The majority of her nursing career was spent in labor/delivery and ER. She has been a Sexual assault nurse examiner for 14 years. She is SANE-certified in adult/adolescent and pediatric sexual assault care.
She served in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps for six years and was deployed during Operation Desert Storm.
She joined the UAMS TeleSANE program as a PRN HUB consultant in 2020 and moved into the nurse educator Role in September 2021.
She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the Academy of Forensic Nursing, the Arkansas Forensic Nurses Association, and the Arkansas Nurses Association.
She lives in Cabot, Arkansas. She has two adult children and three grand-dogs. She is compassionate about her patients and tries to bring love, laughter, and respect into their care. She enjoys mentoring and educating new nurses in the arena of forensic nursing.
Lauren Wegener, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, is a registered nurse, currently working as a sexual assault nurse educator with the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation TeleSANE program.
She began her nursing career in 2009 and has worked with a diverse range of populations from antenatal and mother/baby to hospice care in home health within different settings throughout their lifespans.
She has known she wanted to be a nurse since she was five years old and found that forensic nursing is what she was meant to do.
Lauren is currently a student obtaining her Forensic Master of Science in Nursing.
Lauren is passionate about traveling, time with family, friends, and new places, as well as food — cooking, eating, discovering new restaurants and eateries, as well as time outdoors.
Along with a zest for life and love for people, Lauren is dedicated to serving survivors of sexual assault and victims of crime by providing trauma-informed, specialized care to encourage healing and support with the individual’s journey for patients and families.