Annual Child Maltreatment Symposium 2018

Thursday and Friday, October 11 - 12, 2018

Thank you for your interest in the Annual Child Maltreatment Symposium 2018. The conference occurred on October 11-12, 2018.

The symposium presentations are now available for free, on-demand viewing. View the presentations.

Select presentation materials are also available for download below.

Attendees interested in accessing the psychosocial assessment used by the Protective Services Team should contact Margaret Conway at to schedule a training. Training on use of the tool is required before distribution. Trainings are 60 minutes long and can be done via web conference.


Continuing Education

This is a continuing education event designed to educate physicians and professionals from all disciplines who care for children. Presented by internationally and nationally known experts in the area of child maltreatment and sponsored by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, this symposium aims to help medical and other professionals expand their knowledge about child maltreatment.


  • Identify how abusive head trauma (AHT) has been gradually recognized as an entity affecting infants and young children.
  • Recognize the social media outlets children are using most.
  • Recognize the basic admissibility rules courts employ to evaluate expert evidence.
  • Recognize a family's hospital experience- what you say and how you say it can make a difference.
  • Understand imaging work-up and protocols to detect child abuse.
  • Analyze how the burden of violence in Chicago disproportionately impacts youth of color.
  • Identify the range of physical, psychological and behavioral consequences of childhood abuse.
  • Differentiate between adult and juvenile sexual offender behavioral characteristics.
  • Recognize the changes in health care which are driving telemedicine innovations.
  • Review how psychological trauma impacts child development and behavior to develop a “trauma lens."
  • Describe a family's hospital experience- what you say and how you say it can make a difference.
  • Recall a definition of Medical Child Abuse that simplifies understanding of this form of child maltreatment.

Accreditation Statement: The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement: The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 11.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Registration is now closed. Please check back in spring of 2019 for details about next year’s symposium.

More Information

Please contact with any questions.

Speaker Topics & Biographies

Matthew Cox, MD

Presentation: The Effects of Child Maltreatment: On the Child, the Family, and the Professional 

Description: Child maltreatment effects all people involved in a variety of ways. Adverse childhood experiences and the toxic stress they induce have been shown to have profound effects on the physical, behavioral, and emotional well-being of victimized young children. The families involved in cases of suspected abuse also have a multitude of effects including family members caring for the abused child after the event. Additionally, child abuse has on the professionals involved in the cases. 

Biography: Matthew Cox, MD’s, primary practice involves the medical evaluation of children suspected of being victims of possible physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. He currently serves as the medical director of the Children At-Risk Evaluation Services (CARES) Program at St Luke’s Medical Center in Boise. He is a certified Child Abuse Pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Cox did his pediatrics residency training at Vanderbilt Children’s hospital where he served an additional year as Pediatric Chief Resident. Dr. Cox pursued fellowship training in Child Abuse at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He practiced in Dallas, Texas as faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in the Department of Pediatrics and served as the medical director of the child abuse program at Children’s Medical Center Dallas from 2004 – 2016.

Deborah Spellman Eappen, MD, MBA

Presentation:  Building Resilient Families After Abuse:  The Stories of The Sabir and Eappen Families

Description: In the late 1990’s, Dr. Eappen lost her child, Matthew, to abusive head trauma at the hands of his au pair. The criminal trial of that au pair gained significant national and international notoriety. It resulted in a jury conviction of Murder 2 for the au pair, but the judge reduced the verdict to manslaughter and freed the perpetrator on time-served. 

Biography: Deborah Spellman Eappen, MD, MBA, is the mother of Matthew Eappen, a victim of Abusive Head Trauma at the age of 8 months at the hands of his au pair. She is a comprehensive ophthalmologist who examined Matthew's eyes in Boston Children's Hospital ER prior to heroic but unsuccessful efforts to save his life.  

The internationally watched "Nanny Trial" resulted in a jury conviction of Murder 2: life in prison with possible parole in 15 years. The judge reduced the verdict to manslaughter and freed the perpetrator on time-served, 279 days. The death of Matthew Eappen was accompanied by public debate about working mothers, childcare, and additional race/class gender issues.  The highly-paid defense had no limits, even blaming Matty's two year old brother and Matty, himself, for the injuries.  

Traumatized by the loss and re-victimization she experienced, she and friends created The Matty Eappen Foundation 501(c)3 for prevention of AHT and support of victims and their families.  Debbie has spoken at child maltreatment conferences and to media, as well as to legislators, resulting in a law that all new parents receive information on the dangers of shaking a baby at MA birthing hospitals.  

David L. Faigman

Presentation: Muddling Through: The Perils and Pitfalls Surrounding Science in the Courtroom 

Description: The systemic challenges associated with integrating scientific research into legal decision making; the systematic misunderstandings associated with that use. 

Biography: David L. Faigman is the Chancellor & Dean and the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He also holds an appointment as professor in the School of Medicine (Dept. of Psychiatry) at the University of California San Francisco. He received both his MA (Psychology) and JD from the University of Virginia. Chancellor Faigman clerked for the Honorable Thomas Reavley of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 

Chancellor Faigman is the author of numerous articles and essays, published in a wide assortment of journals, including leading law reviews (Chicago, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Northwestern) and science journals (Science, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Current Biology, and Sociological Methods and Research).  He is also the author of three books, Constitutional Fictions: A Unified Theory of Constitutional Facts (Oxford, 2008), Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court’s 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and the Law (Henry Holt & Co. 2004) and Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law (W.H. Freeman,1999). In addition, Professor Faigman is a co-author/co-editor of the five-volume treatise Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (with Cheng, Mnookin, Murphy, Sanders & Slobogin). The treatise has been cited widely by courts, including several times by the US Supreme Court. 

Rebecca Ford-Paz, PhD

Presentation: Trauma-Informed Care for Refugee/Immigrant Populations 

Description: Trauma-informed practices for children provide a foundation on which providers specializing in serving refugee/immigrant children and families have built culturally relevant strategies to manage chronic stress brought on by the unpredictable changes in federal immigration policies. 

Biography: Rebecca Ford-Paz joined the Center for Childhood Resilience in 2014. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in community/school mental health. Her work focuses on reducing health disparities by increasing access to evidence-based and culturally competent prevention/treatment interventions, building the capacity of community-based providers, and conducting community-based participatory research.  

Dr. Ford-Paz has a longstanding interest in Latinx mental health, and engages in clinical work, research, and advocacy with Latinx and immigrant/refugee populations. Dr. Ford-Paz is the Coordinating Psychologist of the Mood & Anxiety Program at Lurie Children’s, and specializes in culturally responsive cognitive behavioral therapy. She is the founding co-chair of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition’s Ad-Hoc Committee for Refugee and Immigrant Children and Trauma as well as the Mental Health and Wellness Subcommittee of the Chicago is With You Task Force in the Mayor’s Office of New Americans. Dr. Ford-Paz is also an Attending Clinical Child Psychologist within Lurie Children’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and serves as Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. 

She holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees from Northwestern University; a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Child Track) from DePaul University. 

Nate Galbreath, PhD, MFS

Presentation: Juvenile Child Molesters

Description: Adolescent males perpetrate approximately 20% of rapes and between 30% and 50% of child molestations. Juvenile sex offenders occupy the middle ground between childhood and adulthood. Despite the many limitations of studies in this area, a number of studies have shown sufficient evidence for the efficacy of treatment intervention for juvenile sex offenders.  This session will discuss the relevant literature on the prevalence of juvenile sex offending, the types of sexual crimes most commonly perpetrated, select treatment approaches, and outcome/recidivism data.

Biography: Dr. Nate Galbreath is the Deputy Director for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) in the Department of Defense. In this position, he serves as both the deputy to the SAPRO director and as the Department’s expert for prevention and response programs as they relate to behavioral health, forensic science, criminal investigation, and sex offender assessment and treatment.

He initially entered the Air Force as a Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). He served a total of 11 years with AFOSI as an agent, a forensic science specialist, and a Detachment Commander (Special Agent in Charge) at Air Force base offices in New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.

His clinical experience focused on treating and researching sexual dysfunction and sexual disorders. He also evaluated and treated sex offenders with Dr. Fred S. Berlin at the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma, which is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, MD. He also served as the Behavioral Health Clinic director at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, where he supervised mental health, family advocacy, and alcohol/drug treatment programs from 2004 to 2007. He is currently a licensed psychologist in the state of Maryland.

Charles F. Hollendoner

Presentation: Social Media Use to Exploit Children 

Description: Social Media use is growing at an exponential rate amongst children.  Because of the accessibility of internet and social media, children are at risk.  The goal of this presentation is to understand what children are doing, as well as ways to protect them and report those who try to exploit them. 

Biography: Detective Charles F. Hollendoner is a twenty-six year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He has been assigned for the past sixteen years as a Detective in the Special Investigations Unit. He has investigated hundreds of cases involving sexual crimes and/or abuse of children in Chicago and Cook County.  He has acted as a consultant for other local law enforcement agencies and the FBI in matters involving sex crimes against minors.  He is a member of Cook County’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Chicago Police Department’s Internet Child Exploitation Team.  He has trained Detectives at the Chicago Police Academy on tactics employed by pedophiles and sexual predators in their exploitation and predation of children on the Internet and how to preserve evidence necessary for the successful prosecution of such individuals.  He has been qualified as an expert witness in the use of Social Media to exploit children. He has conducted numerous Internet Safety Presentations to Elementary and High Schools students as well as community leaders and parents throughout Chicago. 

Carole Jenny, MD, MBA, FAAP

Presentation: The Evolution of our Understanding of Abusive Head Trauma 

Description: This lecture will track the development of knowledge from the early recognition of the devastating effects of shaking on infants to the sophisticated appreciation of the biomechanics and pathophysiology of abusive head trauma.  

Biography: Dr. Carole Jenny is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Director of the Fellowship Program in Child Abuse Pediatrics at UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She is on the Medical Staffs of Seattle Children’s Hospital and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. 

Dr. Jenny graduated from the University of Missouri, Dartmouth Medical School, and the University of Washington School of Medicine. She also hold an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She did an internship at University of Colorado Affiliated Hospitals and a residency at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Jenny is board certified in Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. She has been Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. She has also served on the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-Board on Child Abuse Pediatrics. 

She has written many research articles in medical journals and authored or co-authored eight books. Her most recent book was Child Abuse and Neglect:  Diagnosis and Treatment published by Elsivier-Saunders. Her current research interests are abusive head trauma and medical child abuse. 

Jeannette M. Perez-Rossello, MD

Presentation: Imaging of Child Abuse 

Description: The purpose of this lecture is to provide an update on imaging protocols in cases of suspected child abuse. The detection of skeletal injuries depends on the technical quality and thoroughness of the skeletal survey. Failure to perform an adequate skeletal survey may result in the return of a child to a potentially dangerous environment. 

Biography: As a pediatric radiologist specializing in musculoskeletal imaging at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Perez-Rossello performs and interprets radiographic studies in all key modalities. This work is primarily centered on the diagnosis and treatment complex sport injuries, skeletal tumors and dysplasias, maltreatment injuries, bone loss and associated fractures arising from rickets and other nutritional disorders. She also contributes to the development of MR imaging protocols for musculoskeletal imaging throughout the Children’s enterprise. 

As a clinician known for expertise in the imaging characteristics of child abuse, Dr. Perez-Rosello actively reviews cases with the child abuse team, working collaboratively in making diagnoses and in coordinating patient care with the entire treatment team. 

At a national level, Dr. Perez-Rosello has served as Chair of the Child Abuse Committee of the Society for Pediatric Radiology, which shapes imaging policies and standards for the evaluation of these children in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Radiology and the Helfer Society. 

Thomas A. Roesler, MD

Presentation: Medical Child Abuse: Evaluation and treatment 

Description: Children abused in the medical environment are those receiving unnecessary and harmful or potentially harmful medical care at the instigation of a caretaker. Because medical personnel are unwittingly complicit in the unnecessary care, confusion has obscured the steps needed to evaluate and treat this form of child maltreatment. Treatment involves helping families reestablish healthy rules of interaction with the medical care delivery system and in some cases recognizing that some families will not be able to make the necessary transition to complete reunification. 

Biography: Thomas A. Roesler, MD, is a family systems oriented child psychiatrist who has spent a career helping families with chronically ill children.  He co-authored (along with Carole Jenny, MD) Medical Child Abuse: Beyond Munchausen syndrome by proxy. He created and directed the Hasbro Children's Partial Hospital Program, in Providence, RI, a psychiatrically oriented day treatment environment for medically ill children with emotional and family issues affecting treatment.  Over the past 20 years, he has been involved in the evaluation and treatment of more than 500 children who were possible victims of medical child abuse.  Currently he is Professor Emeritus at Seattle Children's Hospital where he teaches family therapy and supervises child and adolescent psychiatry fellows.  

Sameer Sabir

Presentation:  Building Resilient Families After Abuse:  The Stories of The Sabir and Eappen Families

Description: In 2013, Mr. Sabir lost his daughter, Rehma, to probable abusive head trauma while in the hands of a babysitter. Although initially ruled by the state medical examiner as a homicide, a change in the medical examiner opinion resulted in no further legal prosecution of that babysitter. Mr. Sameer Sabir will share their personal stories of children lost to abusive head trauma and their journeys for rebuilding their families. 

Biography: Sameer Sabir, MBA, is a healthcare entrepreneur currently working in Boston, MA. In addition to being an advocate for families of victims of child abuse, Mr. Sabir is co-founder and CEO of SevenOaks Biosystems, LLC, in Cambridge. Mr. Sabir earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE

Presentation: Telemedicine and the Child Sexual Abuse Patient: Review of the Literature and Practical Applications 

Description: The standard of care for child sexual abuse (CSA) includes a comprehensive medical evaluation by a trained clinician for medical diagnosis and forensic significance, treatment and support within the multidisciplinary team model.  However, nationally, there exists challenges to accessible, qualified healthcare providers trained to complete these comprehensive examinations.  One solution includes adoption of telemedicine technology to extend the access to the expertise of Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) specialists.  

Biography: Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE, is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Director of Safe Place: Center for Child Protection and Health, and Program Director for the Child Abuse Pediatrics fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He also currently serves as a Physician Clinical Advisor for the CHOP Information Services Digital Health.  

Dr. Scribano obtained his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ- School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Master of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.  He completed his residency in Pediatrics at the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  He is board certified in General Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. 

Dr. Scribano has devoted his scholarly efforts in the areas of epidemiology and prevention of child maltreatment and intimate partner violence, technology use in healthcare, and health services to children in foster care.  He has published over 80 original articles and book chapters, and has been funded for multiple program and research grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Administration on Children and Families, and U.S. Department of Justice, as well as generous private foundations for this work. He has served in various roles on multiple national and international committees and organizations, and is currently serving on the board of directors of Prevent Child Abuse America. 

Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH

Presentation: Promote Equity, Prevent Violence 

Description: While New York City and Los Angeles have seen significant reductions in violence, Chicago has not. The precise reason for this is not entirely clear. However, it is not a stretch to appreciate that a refresh of violence prevention strategies is needed. This talk will describe how addressing violence as an equity issue, in addition to using traditional injury prevention strategies, may be one approach to impacting this deadly epidemic.  

Biography: Karen Sheehan, MD, MPH is a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is a founding volunteer of the Chicago Youth Programs, a community-based organization that works to improve the health and life opportunities of at-risk youth. She divides her clinical time between directing the Chicago Youth Programs Clinic at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and attending in the Pediatric Emergency Department. She is also Associate Chair of Advocacy for the Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of Lurie Children’s Injury Prevention and Research Center and the Lurie Children’s Healthy Communities initiative. 

Tierney Stutz, LCSW

Biography: Tierney Stutz has an extensive background in clinical work and management in various child welfare settings, including the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Tierney began her career at DCFS in 1995 where served as a DCFS Child Protection Investigator and later as a supervisor of Child Protection Investigations. Tierney worked in the Lurie Children’s Emergency Department and Protective Services Team in the assessment and intervention of our child maltreatment cases. She became the Clinical Coordinator of the Protective Services Team, and after over a decade at Lurie returned to DCFS where she is now an Administrator for the Division of Child Protection. Her many contributions have led to the development of a formal, research-based, standardized psychosocial assessment tool. She has conducted various trainings for staff and community agencies on our protective services protocols. In addition, she has spoken at medical conferences in Costa Rica and Cuba on the multidisciplinary approach to the assessment of child maltreatment in the medical setting.