News and Announcements

Forensic nurses recognize Dartmouth doctor with Patron Award

July 1, 2009

Media Contact: Timothy Elliott (818) 919-5430

Joseph V. Henderson, MD, professor of Community and Family Medicine at the Dartmouth Medical School and director of the Interactive Media Laboratory, has been selected as the 2009 Patron Award honoree by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). The award is presented to only one person or organization per year, and it is the IAFN’s sole award for non-members.

The IAFN represents more than 3,000 clinicians in 24 countries who practice forensic nursing, which is the application of nursing and forensic science to public or legal proceedings. Members include sexual assault nurse examiners, who provide intervention to patients following violent crimes. IAFN members also include death investigators, correctional nurse specialists, forensic psychiatric nurses, legal nurse consultants, forensic geriatric specialists, nurse attorneys, forensic clinical nurse specialists, and forensic gynecology nurses, among others.

The IAFN selects Patron Award recipients for promoting and supporting the IAFN's efforts. Dr. Henderson wrote, directed, and produced the groundbreaking Sexual Assault: Forensic and Clinical Management, a Virtual Practicum® Program based on the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations. As director of the Interactive Media Laboratory (IML), Dr. Henderson led the team that created the interactive program. Released in April 2008 to wide acclaim, the program provides expert instruction for health care professionals who may care for sexual assault patients – and may be called to testify about that care. The training’s designed for registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, physicians, midwives, physician assistants, and students in these professions. IML created the program for the Office on Violence Against Women and the National Institute of Justice, U. S. Department of Justice. The IAFN offers the software to its members and coordinates continuing nursing education credits for its completion.

For more information about the Sexual Assault: Forensic and Clinical Management program, please visit

The IAFN plans to present this year's awards during its 17th Annual Scientific Assembly in Atlanta on October 23, 2009. For more information about the IAFN, please visit

Dr. Henderson Bio

Dr. Henderson has 30 years experience as an educator, multimedia developer, and information scientist. During a 23-year Navy career he served as an operator in Naval Special Warfare (UDT/SEAL) and later as a member of the Navy Medical Corps. At the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences he founded and directed both the Casualty Care Research Center and the Center for Interactive Media in Medicine. There he conducted research into casualty care and terrorism, studying the epidemiology of injuries sustained during terrorist-like attacks documented during the Vietnam War. As part of that research he created a prototype system for the Army Medical Department called TraumaBase. TraumaBase is a multimedia database that provides a unique, interactive graphic interface to text, images, video, and audio oral histories related to combat casualties. He also developed ground-breaking multimedia applications for professional education that are still considered prime examples of exciting and effective uses of these technologies. Prior to that he developed systems for computer-aided medical decision support aboard patrolling nuclear submarines.

For the past 20 years Dr. Henderson has directed the Interactive Media Laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School, where he has been developing interactive multimedia programs for health professionals, patients, first responders (fire, police, EMS). Dr. Henderson has consulted extensively for industry in the areas of technology-based training, medical informatics, multimedia production, and networked multimedia services. As part of DARPA-funded research, he and his colleagues assisted the development of a global distance learning system for the U. S. Army by developing advanced applications and tools better to anticipate the arrival of ubiquitous, broadband networks (work conducted before wide use of the Web). IML also completed a collaborative effort with CDC to develop a next-generation distance learning system for public health; this effort included specification and demonstration of communications and media infrastructure for training delivery using the Health Alert Network, a national initiative to counter biological and chemical terrorism. In 2007, Dr. Henderson and IML released the Virtual Terrorism Response Academy, an infrastructure for advanced distance learning that can be re-used to provide multimodal training experiences, including complex simulations. An expanded version of the well-received first “course” for the Academy, "Ops-Plus for WMD-Hazmat," is being tested for release in late 2009.

Sexual Assault: Virtual Training Takes Responders From Exam Room to Courtroom

October 10, 2007

Sexual Assault: Forensic and Clinical Management —for health professionals, law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, and lab personnel— offers training in a "virtual sexual assault forensic facility." In the virtual facility, students can participate in interactive training sessions on all aspects of the sexual assault forensic examination —from interviewing the survivor through courtroom testimony— with master practitioners and trainers, including Karen Carroll…

Read the full press release here.