Our Mission

To End Child Abuse and Neglect in
our lifetime

We Are All Survivors

We’ll never shy away from this fight. Where we invest our energy, we invest in well-being—so we’re tackling child abuse and neglect head-on, undaunted and unapologetic.

Our board

We lead through the lived experience of survivors, thrivers, and transcenders.

Donald Bross, PhD, JD

Board Member

Donald Bross is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and its Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. He is published on the reporting of child abuse, termination of the parent-child legal relationship, neglect of children before birth, medical and mental health care neglect, and reporting of sexually transmitted infections. He has served as Co-Editor in Chief of Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, Executive Director of the National Association of Counsel for Children, and Legal Advisor for ISPCAN. In 2018 he helped establish the Lea for Justice Chair in Pediatric Law, Ethics, and Policy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, within the Kempe Center and the program for Bioethics and Humanities and continues to teach medical students and pediatric residents.

Richard Krugman, M.D.

Board Member

Dr. Richard Krugman is one of the preeminent experts and scholars in the field of child abuse and neglect in this country and a protégé of Dr. Kempe himself.  Dr. Krugman, Dick as many know him, is a pediatrician and Distinguished University Professor at The Kempe Center. He is the former Director of The Kempe Center and served as both Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In the 1970’s, he also served an appointment with the Public Health Service at the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in Washington D.C. Most notably, Krugman headed the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect from 1988-1991. Throughout his career he has authored over 100 original papers, chapters, editorials, and six books. Dr. Krugman co-founded EndCAN, a long time dream of his with Lori Poland after retiring as Dean so to help move child abuse from being seen solely as a social and legal issue, to also a health, public and mental health issue.

Dr. Des Runyan

Board Member

Dr. Desmond Runyan is the Jack and Viki Thompson Professor of Pediatrics and in 2018 retired as Executive Director of the Kempe Center. Des completed the MD degree and pediatrics training at the University of Minnesota and added a doctorate in public health and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Des has researched child abuse for over 30 years while maintaining a clinical practice evaluating possible child abuse victims and serving as a general pediatrician.  Des has published over 170 articles, book chapters and books. His research has addressed the identification and consequences of child abuse and neglect in the United States and in other countries. He designed the longest multi-site prospective study of the consequences of child abuse; LONGSCAN, which is now more than 28 years in duration. Runyan also helped design and conduct the first US study examining the incidence and consequences of “shaken baby syndrome.” His other work has included examining the rates of harsh or abusive discipline around the world.

Candace Sanchez

Board Member

Candace Sanchez credits her Racine, WI roots to providing a foundation for her success as a strong Latina woman. Mother to two college graduates, Candace is a firm believer in higher education, having completed her own B.S. in Information Technology and M.A. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in June 2008 and 2014, respectively. Candace prides herself on giving back to her community through service. She is a board member of the nonprofit Por La Gente (PLG) Association, where she has served as the Executive Board Secretary, Treasurer, President, and currently as Vice President. Candace has dedicated countless hours to helping establish this organization, which currently provides two, $3000 scholarships to local Latino youth. In addition, Candace helped found the Milwaukee Chapter for the University of Phoenix Alumni Association and served as their Vice President of Operations. She is a proud sister of Gamma Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, through which she has volunteered for numerous philanthropic initiatives including the annual “Make A Difference Day” and “Hunger Cleanup” events, her local food bank, the Milwaukee AIDS walk, and more. During the pandemic, Candance stepped into the new role of Director of Health Informatics Technology, Strategic Partnerships with Advocate Aurora Health, reflective of her desire to continually grow and develop both personally and professionally. A survivor herself, Candace shares her story of transformation and resilience, and continues to find deep and personal meaning in helping youth succeed.

Cathy Studer

Board Member

Cathy Studer is sexual abuse survivor, award winning author, and certified speaker who is passionate about guiding others that have experienced trauma or brokenness, rejuvenate to wholeness, discover their purpose, and empower their potential. She is also a Darkness to Light facilitator and guides parents, groups, and organizations to raise their awareness about how we, as a community, can defeat child sexual abuse by learning strategies and actionable steps to prevent and respond appropriately. Cathy served as the volunteer lead for the Columbus, Ohio, event of EndCAN’s 2021 Walk Together to End Child Abuse and Neglect series. Learn more about Cathy at https://cathystuder.com/.

Kristina Swain-Spaete

Board Member

Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science with a focus on Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in nursing, Kristina Spaete brings a diverse and unique background to EndCAN. A teacher of 11 years, Kristina nurtured her love for children and creativity. She currently works as a float nurse at a local hospital, caring for all types of patients. In 2013, Kristina launched Dream and Believe, a non-profit organization that challenges today’s youth to see how their actions can make a difference in the world around them. Kristina’s devotion to mental health and children is the driving force behind her personal mission to bring compassion and empathy to all areas. When she’s not working, Kristina is hanging out with her four boys, getting messy, making art, or exploring outside. She believes that change is created through knowledge and passion and can break the stigma of abuse.

Tom Wolf

Board Member

Tom Wolf is the former Chief Financial Officer of Shield Security Systems. Having joined the company in December 1998, Tom served as its CEO from April 2003 to May 2012. Tom has served on Shield’s Board since 1995. He presently serves as a director, and chairman of the audit committee of Birner Dental Management Services, a public company, and a Denver-based private company in the restaurant business; and has previously served on the Boards of two private companies, a sporting goods manufacturer and a restaurant chain. Tom also serves as Board Chair of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and on one other Board for a non-profit entity in Colorado. Prior to joining Shield, he was Chief Investment Officer of Western Growth Capital, a private investment company, Vice President of Hanifen, Imhoff Inc., a regional investment bank, and a Director of Corporate Finance for Prudential Insurance Company. In these capacities, he assisted numerous companies in raising the financing needed to expand their business. Tom holds an MBA degree from Pennsylvania State University and a BA degree from Bucknell University.

Our history

When she was three years old, EndCAN CEO Lori Poland was abducted from her front yard by a stranger who sexually abused her in the mountains before leaving her in an outhouse toilet. She remained there for three and a half days before being discovered by traveling bird watchers.

Lori has dedicated her life to healing and helping others who have been affected by abuse.

In collaboration with co-founder and field research expert Dr. Richard Krugman of the Kempe Medical Center—who was Lori’s own treating doctor in 1983—EndCAN was born.

EndCAN was founded with the belief that we deserve a future free from child abuse and neglect—and the knowledge that the stigma, shame, and insufficient systems currently surrounding it prevent us from achieving that future.

Child abuse and neglect is being overlooked as an issue of public health, but when we raise our voices—together—we bring the future we envision within our reach.