Sarah graduated from California State University Bakersfield with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2003. She began working in the CCU (cardiac critical care unit) and ICU. She soon transferred to the ED and was exposed to forensic patients. In 2003, Sarah attended her first CCFMTC adolescent/adult training to begin examining sexual assault victims for her hospital. The hospital-based program launched her forensic nursing career. Then, in 2009, Sarah returned to school and obtained her Clear School Nursing Credential from California State University Fresno. She transitioned from working in the ED full-time to being a full-time school nurse. At the same time, she remained the team leader of their hospital-based SART program and focused on improving their forensic nursing program in Kern County. She was able to start a collaborative team, Kern SART, and they began monthly meetings with county law enforcement and advocacy collaborators to improve their team approach and response to victims. In 2012, Sarah also was one of the founding members of the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Through this coalition, they were able to improve their response to sexually trafficked victims.
While still heading up SART at the hospital program, Sarah obtained certification as a SANE-A in 2012. She continued networking with other forensic medical examiners across the state and met many privately-run SART program owners and directors. She invited a private company to her county to take victims out of the hospital environment for examination and formed an improved response to victims. In 2014, when the private company officially launched, she expanded her skills beyond adolescent/adult to include pediatric examination, domestic violence and child physical abuse examination, and postmortem/autopsy forensic examinations. This new company exceeded the expectations of law enforcement and the district attorney’s office.
In 2019, the private company switched hands and Sarah began her own company. Her current forensic company, Kern County Forensic Services, LLC, is made up of five found members/partners. They offer many types of forensic examinations to law enforcement, including sexual assault exams (all ages), physical assault/abuse exams, postmortem exams, and domestic violence exams.
Sarah Cooper, RN, PHN, CSN, SANE-A, SANE-P