Nursing Hero Cathie Cullen

Cathie Cullen, Senior Forensic Nurse, Waterloo Region Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre


I would like to nominate Cathie Cullen as a “Nursing Hero”.

Cathie is a Senior Forensic Nurse with the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre.  Cathie has been a forensic nurse with our center for approximately 15 years.

Cathie demonstrates care and compassion with every client she sees but her recent interest in human trafficking has allowed her to connect with victims in a way that many people can’t.

During one call, the victim’s trafficker attended the hospital and physically removed the victim from the emergency department.  When Cathie attended the hospital, she found the couple sitting in the Tim Horton’s which is in the lobby of the hospital.  Cathie walked over to the victim and introduced herself and stated that she was ready to see client at which point the client complied.  Cathie and the on-call Social Worker were able to provide support and treatment, allowing the victim to have a shower, a nap, some food and drink and a change of clothes.  Safety planning was also done.  The victim connected to Cathie and at one point asked if she could go home with her.

Cathie is eager to assist other nurses and passes her knowledge onto them with no hesitation. In our region, Cathie is considered an expert in “strangulation” and eagerly shares this information with Crown Attorneys and the Waterloo Regional Police Service.  In partnership with police, she has assisted in the development of on-line training for all Waterloo Regional Officers on signs and symptoms of strangulation and what questions that should be asked.  Cathie also provides training to all new police recruits, EMS staff, nursing staff, students and other professionals.



In addition to being part of the on-call team, Cathie also assumes the following responsibilities:

  • training and education
  • ensures that supplies are maintained at the two hospital we provide service to
  • assists in interviewing, orientation and training of new nurses
  • provides leadership and mentoring to other nurses on the team
  • assists with day to day activities with the program
  • assists in the development of standard work and processes

Cathie is a Nursing Hero in many ways and the above just outlines a few.  I hope that you too will consider her a Nursing Hero.

Nominated by: Julia Manuel, MSW, RSW

Manager, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre