Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners
Center of Forensic Excellence

Our Leaders

HCFNE_Khara Breeden.jpg

chief executive officer 

Khara Breeden 

Khara Breeden, DNP, MS, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, AFN-BC, completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, in August 2016. Khara holds a Master’s of Science in Patient Safety Leadership from the University of Chicago at Illinois. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Her nursing career spans over 15 years with experience in critical care, emergency services, women’s health, and most currently, forensic nursing and academia.

Khara started working at Harris Health as a Forensic Nurse Examiner in 2011, and immersed herself within the field. In 2015, she became the Program Manager of Forensic Nursing Services, and was responsible for the day to day management of the department. After achieving her doctorate, Khara decided to pursue her goal of teaching, and is currently an Assistant Professor at Houston Baptist University.

While working with community partners, the gap in forensic nursing services was recognized, in response Khara formulated Harris County Forensic Nursing Services (HCFNE), DBA Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners (TxFNE) a non-profit, community based forensic nursing program, where she currently serves as the Executive Director.

Khara serves as a Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) board member and has served on the board of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). She has served as the Board liaison of the Strangulation Task Force, Title IX Task Force and the Suspect Exam Task Force. She serves on the policy committee for the Texas Council on Family Violence and is currently the IAFN Texas Chapter’s President.


Chief Operating oficer

Julie Sengstacken

Julie Sengstacken has been a registered nurse for 45 years, has a Master's degree in Patient Safety Leadership, a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and is certified in Quality Management and Accreditation and Regulatory Affairs.  She is a past adjunct professor at the Southern New Hampshire University where she taught Quality Improvement for Healthcare Entities.  Julie has also served as the Risk Manager for the State of Kansas' Health Facilities Division of the Department of Health.  Julie is currently a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Nonprofit Management certification program which she will finish in the late spring, 2019.  Julie won the Flame Award at Memorial Hermann Health System in 2018 for Excellence in Leadership Management.  Julie is the Chief Operating Officer for the Harris County Forensic Nurse Examiner's (HCFNE).




Stephanie de Jongh  

Stephanie de Jongh, MSN, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, CA-SANE, CP-SANE, completed a Master’s degree in Nursing with a Forensic Focus at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in August 2017.  She also received a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas.  Her associate degree in Nursing was obtained from Alvin Community College in 1989. Her nursing career over 28 years with much of that experience in the emergency department; most of which involved a level I trauma center, but also small community, rural, and free-standing centers. She is also a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) as well as a Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN) on the national level. She has been a charge nurse and preceptor much of her career. 

Stephanie began her passion for forensic nursing in 2002 where she attended her first Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training by the Office of Attorney General for the State of Texas.  She began functioning as a certified SANE at UTMB in 2003/2004 when the forensic program began.  She also is currently employed with the Harris Health system as a Forensic Nurse Examiner performing medical forensic exams for victims of physical and sexual violence. She also assists with data collection, precepting, and other aspects of the position.

Stephanie is also a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), the American Nurses Association (ANA), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the Multi-county Interagency Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MICSA).



Nurse Practioner, Medical Advisor

Katie Daniels  

Katie Daniels is a Clinical Nurse Specialist for HCFNE. Katie has been a nurse for 8 years with experience in Forensic and Emergency nursing. She received her BSN, MSN from UT Health Science Center at Houston. Katie started her nursing career at St Luke's Episcopal Hospital as an Emergency Room nurse. A year into her nursing career she became a forensic nurse at Harris Health systems. She then moved to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center Emergency room. Katie was a Nurse in the Memorial Hermann ER for a year and a half before getting a promotion to Clinical Coordinator. Katie recently finished her MSN at UT Houston with a focus in Family Nurse Practitioner and has successfully passed her AANP board exam.



Program manager

Monica Clark  

Monica Clark, BSN, RN, completed her Associate of Arts at Houston Community College in 2012. Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas in December 2014. Her nursing experience includes medical-surgical, orthopedics, home health, and forensic nursing. Monica started working at Memorial Hermann as a Forensic Nurse Examiner in 2015. Prior to nursing, Monica was a controller for a Norwegian based oil and gas services company, owner of a retail-based hobby store, a controller for the largest independently owned land surveying company in Texas and a human resource paralegal. Monica currently enjoys creative projects, spending time with her husband and daughter who attends Blinn Community College in College Station, Texas. Additionally, Monica runs a small business Etsy personalization store. 



Vanessa Barriera

Vanessa Barriera, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, completed her Master’s of Science in Nursing degree from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA, in May 2017. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree from Prairie View A&M University in Houston, TX, in December 2008. Her nursing career includes experience in Intermediate care/critical care, medical surgical, 24 hour observation, and most recently, forensic nursing.

Vanessa began her forensic nursing career at Harris Health System in June 2013. Beginning on only a supplemental/as needed basis, she quickly realized that forensic nursing was her true passion. In April 2014, she began working as a forensic nurse on a full time basis. Vanessa soon began to assist with day to day managerial duties, as well as orienting all new staff to the forensic unit. Vanessa also has experience as a charge nurse and preceptor for nursing students and new graduate nurses.  Assisting with these behind the scenes managerial duties is what prompted her to pursue her Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, with a focus on nursing executive/leadership.

Vanessa is currently an active member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), and the American Nurses Association (ANA). She has used her skills as a bilingual nurse to assist with the development of a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program in Costa Rica. Additionally, she often assists and cares for Spanish speaking patients at Harris Health System.