Who We Are

Following the tragic deaths of four children in 1997 as a result of severe maltreatment and abuse, the Rowan County community decided that something had to be done.

The Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center, originally named Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, began as a grassroots organization following the first Child Abuse Prevention Walk held in late 1997.

Kimber Mork, a concerned and dedicated social worker, was responsible for organizing the walk. As a result of her efforts, and in collaboration with other concerned citizens, The CAC incorporated in May 2000, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In 2022, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and the Terrie Hess House became the Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center.

Rowan County Citizens Form a Network

This initial group of dedicated individuals from various disciplines sought to end child abuse in Rowan County by building a citizen-based network to organize child abuse prevention and education efforts and advocate on behalf of Rowan County’s children. Terrie Hess CAC continued this work for many years until several social workers and law enforcement officers in the county determined that more needed to be done to support the children who have already suffered from abuse.

We Become Nationally Recognized

The Terrie Hess House Child Advocacy Center (CAC) opened its doors in March 2005. The CAC is named in memory of Terrie Spencer Hess, who was a local guardian ad-litem instrumental in getting the CAC off the ground prior to her passing. The CAC is based upon a nationally recognized model for responding to allegations of child physical and sexual abuse. The CAC was accredited by National Children’s Alliance in 2012 as a best-practice model for child advocacy centers.

Stopping Abuse, Educating Caregivers

Terrie Hess CAC’s goal continues to be the prevention of child abuse, and two specific programs help achieve that. In 2014, the CAC started the Stop-Go-Tell program, which provides in-school, educational sessions for first- and fifth-graders to teach them how to avoid abuse. In 2016, the CAC began to provide parenting education to help caregivers be more calm, consistent, and supportive, and to learn ways to help keep their children safe. Terrie Hess CAC continues to work hard to support Rowan County children and their caregivers.

Please consider helping today

Board of Directors

Leaders, parents, and professionals of Rowan County dedicated to ending child abuse.

President
Dr. Julie Chamberlain
Director of Music & Director of Worship Art, Catawba College

Vice President
Kristen Trexler
Community Relations Specialist, Novant Health

Treasurer
Carol Ann Houpe
Administrator for Student & Family Health, Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Secretary
Melonie Thompson
Operations Division Captain, Salisbury Police Department

Directors

Valerie Rakes
Director of Nursing Program, Catawba College

Melissa Shue
Trauma Experienced, Parent

Matt Marsh
The Forum, Owner

Dr. Ozzie Reynolds
Ophthalmologist, Retired

Brandy Cook
District Attorney, Rowan County

Vincia Miller
Director of Alumni Affairs, Livingstone College

Gemale Black
President, NAACP

Cybil Jones
Physician Assistant, Salisbury Pediatrics

Yvonne Dixon
Director of Health Equity, Novant Health

Staff & Contractors

Our staff is dedicated to building a citizen-based network to organize child abuse prevention and education efforts and advocate on behalf of the children of Rowan County.

Shawn Edman
Shawn Edman

Executive Director

Meet Shawn

Shawn is a native of West Virginia. He has spent the last 25 years working in healthcare and brings a wealth of leadership experience to Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center. He is very active in the community and works with several organizations in Rowan County. Through his experience as a foster parent, he developed a passion for working with abused and neglected children and joined the Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center team in May 2021. Shawn and his family live in Mooresville.

Board Member, Community Care Clinic of Rowan County
Member, Leadership Rowan Steering Committee
Member, Civitan Club of Salisbury, NC
Member, Community Child Protection Team
Member, Rowan Crisis Response Collaborative

LaSonya Brown, LCMHCS
LaSonya Brown, LCMHCS

Director of Clinical Service

Meet LaSonya

LaSonya has more than 25 years of counseling experience working with children and their families by providing therapy, education, advocacy and leadership. She has an M.Ed in Counseling & Development from Winthrop University. She has worked within the school system, community agencies, and private agencies to serve children exposed to trauma. She is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor-Supervisor in North Carolina. She joined the Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center team in 2018.

Member, Rowan County System of Care Collaborative

Mandy Blake, RN, MSN, CPNP
Mandy Blake, RN, MSN, CPNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Meet Mandy

Mandy was born and raised in Rowan County. She attended nursing school at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences. She has almost 20 years of pediatric experience as a nurse. She decided to further her education while living in Raleigh and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 with a Master’s of Nursing and is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She came to Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center in 2019.

Member, Community Child Protection Team
Member, Ray E. Helfer Society
National Affiliate Member, American Academy of Pediatrics

Sarah Horne
Sarah Horne

Forensic Interviewer

Meet Sarah

Sarah is a Rowan County native. Born and raised here, Sarah chose to pursue higher education at Catawba College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science, and picked up a minor in sociology. Through her college internships, and given her passion for working with folks in her own community, she decided that non-profit work was the route for her. In her free time, you can find her in the gym, reading a good book, or cuddling with her sweet rescue pup. Sarah is a certified Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. In addition, she has completed RADAR and RADAR Jr. Child Forensic Interview Training.

Erin Moody, MS
Erin Moody, MS

Prevention & Education Coordinator, Forensic Interviewer, Certified Therapy Dog Handler

Meet Erin

Erin is a native of Vermont. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Erin is a former social worker with county Child Protective Services, where she was an investigator and later worked with children in the Foster Care Program. Erin is a certified Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. Erin and Murphy the chocolate lab are a certified therapy team with Canine Caregivers Therapy Dogs, NC.

Board Member, Rowan County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
Member, Rotary Club of Rowan County
Member, Canine Caregivers Therapy Dogs

Cassandra Rankin
Cassandra Rankin

Family Services Coordinator Family Advocate

Meet Cassandra

Cassandra was born in Salisbury, NC, and now lives in Woodleaf. She worked for seven years in the Public Safety Department with Piedmont Correctional Institution as a correctional officer until 2006. While working there, she realized her passion and goal was to become a police officer. In 2006, she attended Basic Law Enforcement Training and received her certification though the state of North Carolina. While working in law enforcement, she realized she wanted to switch gears and her new passion was to become a voice for children. She began working at Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center in January 2013. Cassandra received her certification as a Victim Advocate through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. Cassandra has had much experience with children’s cases, gained during her time with local law enforcement.

Jesse McCorkle
Jesse McCorkle

Family Advocate

Meet Jesse

Jesse attended Western Carolina University and has her Bachelor of Social Work Degree. She has spent her entire adult career serving children and families. Jesse has worked as an educator, child protective services investigator, and foster care social worker. Her passion is ensuring that children have a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment to help them flourish.  Jesse became a Family Advocate with Terrie Hess CAC in 2022 and is excited to continue serving families.

Ariella Sanchez
Ariella Sanchez

Operations Coordinator

Meet Ariella

Ariella is originally from Miami but has lived in Salisbury for many years. She is fluent in Spanish and loves helping families have a voice throughout their time at the center, ensuring that they fully understand every step of the process.

Ariella plays an active role in the community in addition to being a kind, caring presence for the families and children who begin their healing journey with us at The Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center.

Board Member, Rowan County Social Services Board

Margaret Stridick, MS CFLE
Margaret Stridick, MS CFLE

Parenting Programs Coordinator

Meet Margaret

Margaret has many years of administrative experience and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors from Rutgers University while working full time as administrator for its Camden Campus Police Department. She then earned a Master of Science degree from East Carolina University in Human Development and Family Science in order to pursue her passion to help children through strengthening the skills of their caregivers. In addition to developing education programs for expectant parents and caregivers of newborns, Margaret is accredited to facilitate multiple versions of the world-renowned Triple P — Positive Parenting Program and is a Certified Family Life Educator. Margaret and her husband live in Salisbury; they have two fine adult sons.

Board Member, YSUP Rowan
Board Member, Rowan County Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC)
Member, Mecklenburg Triple P Cluster Advisory Council
Member, Rowan Business Advisory Council
Member, National Parenting Educator’s Network
Member, National Council on Family Relations
Member, NAACP

E. Amy Suttle, MD
E. Amy Suttle, MD

Medical Director

Meet Amy

Amy has more than 30 years of experience in pediatric care, specializing in the unique physical response children have to abuse. Amy’s expertise in this area allows her to provide the best treatment our children deserve. Along with Rowan County, Amy also serves the children of Davidson, Davie, and Yadkin Counties at our sister facility, The Dragonfly House in Mocksville.

Staff & Contractors

Our staff is dedicated to building a citizen-based network to organize child abuse prevention and education efforts and advocate on behalf of the children of Rowan County.

Shawn Edman
Shawn Edman

Executive Director

Meet Shawn

Shawn is a native of West Virginia. He has spent the last 25 years working in healthcare and brings a wealth of leadership experience to Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center. He is very active in the community and works with several organizations in Rowan County. Through his experience as a foster parent, he developed a passion for working with abused and neglected children and joined the Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center team in May 2021. Shawn and his family live in Mooresville.

Board Member, Community Care Clinic of Rowan County
Member, Leadership Rowan Steering Committee
Member, Civitan Club of Salisbury, NC
Member, Community Child Protection Team
Member, Rowan Crisis Response Collaborative

LaSonya Brown, LCMHCS
LaSonya Brown, LCMHCS

Director of Clinical Service

Meet LaSonya

LaSonya has more than 25 years of counseling experience working with children and their families by providing therapy, education, advocacy and leadership. She has an M.Ed in Counseling & Development from Winthrop University. She has worked within the school system, community agencies, and private agencies to serve children exposed to trauma. She is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor-Supervisor in North Carolina. She joined the Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center team in 2018.

Member, Rowan County System of Care Collaborative

Mandy Blake, RN, MSN, CPNP
Mandy Blake, RN, MSN, CPNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Meet Mandy

Mandy was born and raised in Rowan County. She attended nursing school at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences. She has almost 20 years of pediatric experience as a nurse. She decided to further her education while living in Raleigh and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 with a Master’s of Nursing and is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She came to Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center in 2019.

Member, Community Child Protection Team
Member, Ray E. Helfer Society
National Affiliate Member, American Academy of Pediatrics

Sarah Horne
Sarah Horne

Forensic Interviewer

Meet Sarah

Sarah is a Rowan County native. Born and raised here, Sarah chose to pursue higher education at Catawba College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science, and picked up a minor in sociology. Through her college internships, and given her passion for working with folks in her own community, she decided that non-profit work was the route for her. In her free time, you can find her in the gym, reading a good book, or cuddling with her sweet rescue pup. Sarah is a certified Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. In addition, she has completed RADAR and RADAR Jr. Child Forensic Interview Training.

Erin Moody, MS
Erin Moody, MS

Prevention & Education Coordinator, Forensic Interviewer, Certified Therapy Dog Handler

Meet Erin

Erin is a native of Vermont. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Erin is a former social worker with county Child Protective Services, where she was an investigator and later worked with children in the Foster Care Program. Erin is a certified Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. Erin and Murphy the chocolate lab are a certified therapy team with Canine Caregivers Therapy Dogs, NC.

Board Member, Rowan County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
Member, Rotary Club of Rowan County
Member, Canine Caregivers Therapy Dogs

Cassandra Rankin
Cassandra Rankin

Family Services Coordinator Family Advocate

Meet Cassandra

Cassandra was born in Salisbury, NC, and now lives in Woodleaf. She worked for seven years in the Public Safety Department with Piedmont Correctional Institution as a correctional officer until 2006. While working there, she realized her passion and goal was to become a police officer. In 2006, she attended Basic Law Enforcement Training and received her certification though the state of North Carolina. While working in law enforcement, she realized she wanted to switch gears and her new passion was to become a voice for children. She began working at Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center in January 2013. Cassandra received her certification as a Victim Advocate through the National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, Ala. Cassandra has had much experience with children’s cases, gained during her time with local law enforcement.

Ariella Sanchez
Ariella Sanchez

Operations Coordinator

Meet Ariella

Ariella is originally from Miami but has lived in Salisbury for many years. She is fluent in Spanish and loves helping families have a voice throughout their time at the center, ensuring that they fully understand every step of the process.

Ariella plays an active role in the community in addition to being a kind, caring presence for the families and children who begin their healing journey with us at The Terrie Hess Child Advocacy Center.

Board Member, Rowan County Social Services Board

Margaret Stridick, MS CFLE
Margaret Stridick, MS CFLE

Parenting Programs Coordinator

Meet Margaret

Margaret has many years of administrative experience and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors from Rutgers University while working full time as administrator for its Camden Campus Police Department. She then earned a Master of Science degree from East Carolina University in Human Development and Family Science in order to pursue her passion to help children through strengthening the skills of their caregivers. In addition to developing education programs for expectant parents and caregivers of newborns, Margaret is accredited to facilitate multiple versions of the world-renowned Triple P — Positive Parenting Program and is a Certified Family Life Educator. Margaret and her husband live in Salisbury; they have two fine adult sons.

Board Member, YSUP Rowan
Board Member, Rowan County Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC)
Member, Mecklenburg Triple P Cluster Advisory Council
Member, Rowan Business Advisory Council
Member, National Parenting Educator’s Network
Member, National Council on Family Relations
Member, NAACP

E. Amy Suttle, MD
E. Amy Suttle, MD

Medical Director

Meet Amy

Amy has more than 30 years of experience in pediatric care, specializing in the unique physical response children have to abuse. Amy’s expertise in this area allows her to provide the best treatment our children deserve. Along with Rowan County, Amy also serves the children of Davidson, Davie, and Yadkin Counties at our sister facility, The Dragonfly House in Mocksville.

Jesse McCorkle
Jesse McCorkle

Family Advocate

Meet Jesse

Jesse attended Western Carolina University and has her Bachelor of Social Work Degree. She has spent her entire adult career serving children and families. Jesse has worked as an educator, child protective services investigator, and foster care social worker. Her passion is ensuring that children have a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment to help them flourish.  Jesse became a Family Advocate with Terrie Hess CAC in 2022 and is excited to continue serving families.

How and Where to Report Abuse

Please do not send emails or leave voicemails with reports of child abuse. Immediately contact the Rowan County Department of Social Services at 704-216-8499 or call 911 afterhours. Thank you.

If you suspect a child is being abused, it is vital that you make a report to the Department of Social Services immediately. It is not important that you have absolute proof. Make the call, express your concerns, and let the professionals ensure the safety of that child.

Make a report by calling Rowan County Department of Social Services at 704-216-8499. Press 1 to connect with intake.

General Contact Information

Hours of Operation

  • Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: Closed

These messages are not checked daily. A phone call to 704-639-1700 is the best way to contact us.

Careers

Career Opportunities
We are not currently accepting applications