Scientific committee

Lead by Prof. Alex Heazell, we are very lucky to have a scientific committee composed of parents, parents’ advocates and leading healthcare professionals, researchers and other experts from a wide range of disciplines. 18 countries are represented on the committee and about one-third of the members (both professionals and advocates) have personal experience of losing a baby during pregnancy or in the neonatal period. The committees main objective is to ensure an innovative programme that meets local, regional and global needs.

Click an image to see a committee member’s biography.

Alexander Haezell (Obstetrician, UK)

S.C. Chair, Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre, University of Manchester

Alexander Heazell is the Professor of Obstetrics and Director of the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK. Since completing his PhD in 2008 on the role of placental dysfunction in preeclampsia, his research has focused on stillbirth; his research portfolio includes a profile of basic science, clinical and qualitative research studies to give a better understanding leading to prevention of stillbirth and improving care for parents after stillbirth. He has received over £3.7M of grant income and has published over 140 research papers and received national and international awards for his work on stillbirth and placental dysfunction, and for improving care. He led the Stillbirth Priority Setting Partnership and was one of the team for the 2016 Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirth Series. He is currently the lead investigator for the national evaluation of the Saving Babies Lives programme.

Paul Cassidy (Researcher, Spain)

S.C. Coordinator, Umamanita

Paul Cassidy BBS MPhil is a Researcher at Umamanita (stillbirth charity) and a PhD student in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University Complutense of Madrid, where he completed a Master’s Degree in Research Methodology in Social Science (2014). He holds a degree in Business Studies from Waterford Institute of Technology (1995), where he lectured from 1995 to 1997, before working in private consulting on large-scale surveys, strategic development plans and community consultation processes. His research focuses on bereavement related healthcare and medical sociology, the social organisation of grief and teh materialities of bereavement. He is a published author and has contributed to the research work of the International Stillbirth Alliance and is the editor of the magazine Muerte y Duelo Perinatal.

Margaret Murphy (Midwife, Ireland)

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork

Dr Margaret Murphy is a Lecturer in Midwifery at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland. Her doctoral thesis explored the experiences of couples in pregnancy following stillbirth using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. She was elected to the Board of the International Stillbirth Alliance in September 2016 and elected Treasurer in September 2017. She is Co-Chair of the Communications Working Group of the International Stillbirth Alliance and is a Member of the Lancet Stillbirths in High-Income Countries Investigator Group and contributed Irish stillbirth data to The Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirth Series 2016. She is an International Collaborator with the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence, Mater Institute, Brisbane, Australia. She is a member of the Pregnancy Loss Research Group, INFANT Research Centre, Cork University Maternity Hospital. She is experienced in qualitative and qualitative research methodologies particularly Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.

Alison Kent (Neonatologist, Australia)

University of Rochester, Golisano Children's Hospital

Professor Alison Kent is the Director of Clinical Research at the University of Rochester, Golisano Children’s Hospital, NY, USA. She has been involved in Perinatal Mortality in her previous role as the Chair of the Australian Capital Territory Maternal and Neonatal Mortality Committee, teaching the IMPROVE course and involved in research assessing the investigations which are important for stillbirth diagnosis. She is an AI on the Stillbirth Clinical Research Excellence Group supported by funding from the NHMRC of Australia. She instigated and led the initial development of a Fetal Growth Restriction workshop designed to improve detection of fetal growth restriction and reducing stillbirth.

Lynn Farrales (Family Physician, Canada)

University of British Columbia

Dr. Lynn Farrales is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia on unceded Coast Salish Territories. Her areas of research interest include refugee health and stillbirth. As a Family Physician based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Farrales focusses her clinical work in refugee and migrant communities and is committed to addressing the social determinants of health of her patients. She holds a Master’s Degree which introduced her to qualitative health research with migrant women of colour.  Through the Clinician Scholar Program at UBC’s Department of Family Practice, Dr. Farrales conducted a community-based participatory research project with bereaved parents whose babies were stillborn.  She began her PhD studies in Family Medicine at Western University (Ontario, Canada) in 2016. Dr. Farrales is a Board Member of the International Stillbirth Alliance and Co-Chair of the Communications Working Group.

Caroline Wanjiru Kihusa (Advocate, parent, Kenya)

Still A Mum

Wanjiru Kihusa is the Founder and CEO of Still A Mum, an organization whose mission is to provide psychosocial support to parents who have suffered child loss and mitigate child mortality in Africa. Having lost her daughter in 2013, she encountered first hand the gaps in how bereaved parents are treated after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death – specifically in Kenya and Africa in general. Wanjiru, formerly a Client Service Manager in an IT firm, is now a maternal and newborn health champion. Still A Mum has supported over 1,000 moms and dads from Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. Using her organization, Wanjiru runs child loss awareness campaigns on radio, TV and social media platforms. She also conducts trainings in hospitals on Respectful Bereavement Care. Through her, Kenya marked Pregnancy and Infant Loss Week for the first time ever in 2015 – now an annual event. She has a Master’s degree in Communication and PR and a Bachelor’s degree in IT.

Claudia Ravaldi (Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist, Italy)


Claudia Ravaldi, Medical Doctor, specialized in Psychiatry (Florence University, IT), Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (Studi Cognitivi, Milan, IT), Psychotraumatologist andEMDR practitioner (Eyes Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Mindfulness practitioner (Beck Institute, Rome IT; Florence University, IT); Master in Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders (Florence University, IT), Master in Affective Neuroscience (Maastricht University, NL), advanced training in Perinatal Clinical Psychology (Brescia University, IT), advanced training in Children’s and Adolescent Literature (Florence University, IT). Author of more than 50 scientific publications in journals and books in Italian and English language and of more than 200 communications in national and international meetings in the fields of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, Stillbirth, Perinatal Psychology and Bereavement care. Authorof 5 books on perinatal loss for parents and professionals and 3 illustrated children books on the subject of loss and bereavement care. Founder and President of CiaoLapo Charity for High-Risk Pregnanciesand Perinatal Grief Support. CiaoLapo, a non-profit organization, was the first Italian association created to fill a large and important gap: the assistance to women, couples and families affected by high-risk pregnancy, foetal pathology and perinatal death. Born on April 11th, 2006, CiaoLapo is a scientific and charitable association, composed by physicians, psychologists, midwives and parents who have dealt with the experience of illness and loss during pregnancy or after birth; the association offers its support and professionalism to disseminate the most advanced expertise and offer a real psychological and psychosocial support to grieving parents and families.

Abdul-Razak S. Abdul-Mumin (Obstetrician, Ghana)

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology

Dr. Abdul-Razak S. Abdul-Mumin is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist who graduated from the University of Ghana Medical School in 1987 with an MB and ChB. In 2004 he became a Fellow of West Africa College of Surgeons (FWACS). He is a faculty member of department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the School of Medical Sciences of College of Health at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology.

Cheli Blasco (Mother, advocate, Spain)

Circle of Families in Grief

Cheli Blasco is a mother and activist. She is the coordinator of Circle of Families in Grief that provides support to families and advocates for improvements to care during labour and the birth. She is the author of book “To Luna, from Mum”, a collection of poems and stories about her grief for her daughter Luna.

Fátima Cambra (Neonatologist, Spain)

Vall d’Hebron University Hospital

Neonatologist in Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona. NIDCAP (The Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) Trainer and Master Degree in Pediatric Palliative Care. She is interested in Perinatal Palliative Care and the impact of Perinatal loss in parents and professionals.

Manuela Contreras (Midwife, Spain)

Manuela Contreras (Midwife, Spain)

Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla

Manuela Contreras is a Midwife at University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla in Santander, Spain and is a co-founder of the support association Red El Hueco de mi Vientre. She graduated from the University of Murcia with a Diploma in Nursing (1996), before going on to specialise in midwifery (2002) at the General Hospital of Elche, Alicante, Spain. She holds a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences Research (2014) from the University of Cantabria. She has undertaken specialist training in perinatal bereavement and care and in resilience and crisis. She has organised and given numerous courses on perinatal grief and care for health professionals and spoken at a number of conferences. She has collaborated on two books on perinatal grief.

Rocío Gema Cuéllar Moreno (Mother, lawyer, activist)

Madres Libelula, Asociación Cometa

Rocio Gema Cuéllar Moreno is a lawyer in private practice. As a member of the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid I secured the first asylums granted by the Ministry of the Interior to an African albino and a hermaphrodite. She is a perinatal grief activist and a co-founder of Madres Libelula, a platform that advocates for a dignified legal framework for stillbirths in Spain, in particular the recognition of personhood (stillbirth register) and for improvements to the processes of disposition and burial of stillborns as well as the identification of historic burial locations. Rocio Gema is also the vice-President of Cometa, an association that supports families who have lost a child during pregnancy or in the neonatal period and that also advocates for social change. She is the mother of Isabel, who was stillborn in 2011 following fetal hydrops due to Down syndrome. She fought for Isabel until the very end and still is.

Adrienne Gordon (Neonatologist, Australia)

University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Dr Gordon is a Senior Staff Specialist Neonatologist in the RPA Centre for Newborn Care and NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Sydney. She has a Masters of Public Health and a PhD in stillbirth causes, risk and recurrence and is particularly interested in perinatal topics with a public health impact. Keys areas of research include stillbirth, adverse pregnancy outcome and preconception health. She is an avid supporter of evidence based policy and practice and is passionate about translating research into clinical care. She is a chief investigator on the Australian Stillbirth CRE and founded the Sydney local health district iSAIL ( integrated support after infant loss) service.

Jane Dahlstrom (Perinatal Pathologist, Australia)

Australian National University

Jane Dahlstrom is the Interim Dean of the College of Health and Medicine at the Australian National University (ANU) and also Professor of Pathology at ANU Medical School. She is a Senior Staff Specialist at ACT Pathology where she is responsible for the perinatal service. She is current president of the International Pediatric Pathology Association (IPPA). She enjoys teaching and is an active researcher with particular interests in perinatal and placental pathology.

Dang Thi Nhgia (Midwife, Vietnam)

RAFH, VINMEC hospital

Nhgia Dang Ti has worked as a midwife since 1981, at the Hanoi Obstetric and Gynecology hospital until 2012 and at Reproductive and Family Health since 2013 (part-time) and Vinmec International General hospital – Obstetric Department, where she has been in-charge of midwifery clinical training since 2014. She is international trained in strengthening midwifery capacity at the Faculty of Nursing, Chiangmai University (1996), Women and Children National hospital Singapore (2001), Karolinska International Health Institute Sweden (2007), and Capacity of clinical teaching at the Faculty of Nursing, Sydney University (2011). She has been involved in community activities such as The Father’s Involved in Breastfeeding Project with Hanoi Public Health University and the Cervical oncology screening programe with RAFH. She carried out a small survey about the emotions of mothers and families who had a stillbirth at the Hanoi Obstetric and Gynecology hospital. She was on the organising committee of the International Stillbirth Alliance annual conference in Hanoi (2015).

Natia Sharabidze (Gynecologist, Georgia)

Clinic "Venus Georgia", Women’s Rehabilitation Association

Dr. Natia Sharabidze is an Obstetrician, Gynecologist and a fertility doctor at “Venus Georgia” obstertric-gynecological rehabilitation center, which she founded in 2005. She studied medicine, obstetrics and gynecology at Tbilisi State Medical University (1989-1996) and received her PhD in 2003 from the Zhordania Institue of Human Reproduction. She also studied at the Tbilisi I. Javakhishvili State University Faculty of Languages (1996-1999). She has conducted various research projects in Georgia on the causes of stillbirth, as well as the physical and psychological care of women after miscarriage and the late reproductive outcomes of surgical treatment of ovarian hyperthecosis. Natia is a board member of the Women’s Rehabilitation Association (since 2008) and the International Stillbirth Alliance (since 2017).

Jan Jaap Erwich (Obstetrician, Holand)

University Medical Center Groningen

Professor Erwich is head of obstetrics at the University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. An expert obstetrician with a focus on background and prevention of perinatal mortality and parent care. He was the first director of a program for nationwide implementation of perinatal audits in all obstetric units in the Netherlands, is a member of several national committees for improvement of obstetric care, and was as (past-chair) of the International Stillbirth Alliance the co-organizer of the biannual ISA-ISPID conference in Amsterdam in 2014. His PhD research was on placental arachidonic acid metabolism and he conducted a postdoctoral project on embryonic and fetal growth in Adelaide, Australia. Since 2000, he has participated in large projects on stillbirth, diagnostic work-up, placental pathology and methodological development of perinatal audit and quality of obstetric care. He is still active in clinical obstetric care and chairs the hospital’s serious adverse events committee. He is very fortunate to be the father of two healthy boys, which continuously motivates him to take care of parents who have lost a child.

Karina Romo-Medrano M., (Medical Anthropologist & Physician)

Karina Romo-Medrano M., (Medical Anthropologist & Physician)

Innovia Foundation

Dr. Karina Romo-Medrano is a Medical Doctor with an MSc in Medical Anthropology (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. She has worked for the Public Health Department of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the School of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. She currently works as a researcher for Innovia, a non-profit foundation registered in the Netherlands and provides private comprehensive care for families experiencing the death of a baby in Mexico City. Her research interests include biomedical knowledge, practice and medical technologies related to perinatal death, sexual and reproductive rights and obstetric violence. Her approach focuses on the ways in which the local sociocultural, politic and economic factors shape women’s experiences, with a particular emphasis on gender. For the past eight years, Dr. Romo-Medrano has been researching women’s experiences of pregnancy loss and perinatal death in the Mexican context.

Manuel Fernández-Alcántara (Psychologist, Spain)

University of Alicante

Manuel Fernández holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Granada and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Psychology at the University of Alicante (Spain). He also holds a Masters in Healthcare for the promotion of the autonomy of people and care during end-of-life processes from the University of Granada. He is a member of the research groups CTS-436 “Transcultural and psychosocial aspects of health and disease” and Applied Psychology to Health and Human Behaviour at the University of Alicante. His main lines of research are the processes of grief and loss, neurodevelopment and child neuropsychology and the processes of chronicity. He is an author of various national and international articles published in JCR indexed journals.

Joan Carles Ferreres (Perinatal Pathologist, Spain)

Parc Taulí University Hospital

Joan Carles has a Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Universitat de Barcelona (1987) and is a Doctor in Medicine and Surgery (University of Cantabria, 1993). He completed the speciality in Pathology in Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Santander (1988-1991). He has specialised exclusively in Pediatric Pathology since 2004. He is currently Head of Pathology at the Parc Taulí Health Corporation. Graduate from the IPPA Courses (2017). He is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona since 2006.

Francesc Figueras (Obstetrician, Spain)

Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona

Head of the Department of Fetal-Maternal Medicine at Hospital Clinic (Barcelona) and Associate Professor of the University of Barcelona. Research interest in Fetal Growth Restriction and Preeclampsia: Author of ~215 articles in indexed journals (~700 Impact Factor). Factor-h 44. Author of 15 chapters in books and Editor of 6 books.Associate Editor of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISI JCR  7/80 Obstetrics & Gynecology) and Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy (ISI JCR  13/80 Obstetrics & Gynecology). Principal Investigator of 9 public-funded competitive research projects. Master Degree in Health Methodology by the University Autonomous of Barcelona. Invited speaker in more than 200 international congresses and conferences.

Vicki Flenady (Perinatal Epidemiologist, Australia)

Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence

Professor Vicki Flenady leads the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence which aims to reduce stillbirths and improve care for families when a child is stillborn through high quality research and raising community awareness.  Vicki was lead author on The Lancet’s stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016. Vicki’s research currently focused on stillbirth prevention through better understanding of causal pathways and risk factors and is currently leading a large-scale trial on a mobile phone app for women on fetal movements to reduce stillbirth rates. With a clinical background in midwifery and neonatal nursing and masters and PhD in perinatal epidemiology, Vicki has a keen interest in addressing evidence practice gaps in maternity care. Vicki is an active member of the International Stillbirth Alliance.

Laureano Folgar Erades (Gynaecologist, Spain)

Hospital de Sureste (SERMAS)

Laureano Folgar Erades is a gynaecologist that is committed to patient focused medicine, in particular through dialogue with patient advocates and support associations. He studied medicine at the University of Granada and specialised in MIR at the Hospital del Mar, Cádiz, and Mastology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Following 10 years in the Provincial Hospital of Melilla he has been the Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Hospital de Sureste (SERMAS) in Madrid since 2010.

Nadia Raquel García Lara (Pediatrician, Spain)

Hospital 12 de Octubre, Spanish Association of Human Milk Banks

Nadia is a Pediatrician who has worked in the neonatal unit of the Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, since 2007. She has been the coordinator of Regional Maternal Milk Bank since 2011 and the President of the Spanish Association of Human Milk Banks (AEBLH) since 2016 – previously the vice-present between 2011 and 2016. She hold s a doctoral degree from the University Complutense Madrid since 2015, where she completed a thesis on the impact of conservation and pasteurisation on the composition of breast milk and received a Cum Laude grade. She is an experienced professor on the themes of maternal breast milk, milk banks and palliative care in neonatology.

Hannah Blencowe (Assistant Professor, Researcher)

Hannah Blencowe (Assistant Professor, Researcher)

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Hannah Blencowe is a clinician and perinatal epidemiologist, and currently an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with over a decade’s experience in global health. Her research is focused on maternal, perinatal and child health and she has published over 70 papers. Hannah’s specific skills are regarding improving national and global measurement and estimation of perinatal outcomes. She was a leading author on Lancet papers regarding national and global rates of preterm birth (2012) and stillbirths (2011 and 2016). She has played a central role in the Lancet Every Newborn series, Every Newborn Action Plan (2014) and Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirths series (2016). She has also coordinated novel estimates on congenital conditions and disability after neonatal complications. In addition to improving data, she works on how data can be used in policy and programmes. She is part of the UN-led Every Newborn Action Plan metrics group working on research with INDEPTH network sites and also providing country technical support on perinatal data. She is co-chair of the Global Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group.

Trine Giving Kalstad (Social Antropologist, Norway)

The Norwegian SIDS and Stillbirth Society, National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention

Trine Giving Kalstad is an MSc in Social Anthropology from University of Bergen, Norway, and has worked as Director of bereavement support and public health Norwegian SIDS and Stillbirth Society since 2001. LUB’s care and support work is characterized by voluntary peer to peer support, and Kalstad is responsible for the coordination and quality assurance of this work. She has extensive experience in following up grieving families, and has led many seminars for bereaved parents and families. She has also devoloped training programmes for volunteers and contributed to different advocacy materials about grief. She is also an educated cognitive therapist and has her own practice, as well as an educated Complicated Grief Treatment Therapist (CGT) at the National Center for Suicide Research and Prevention (NSSF) at UiO. From 2017 she is also employed by NSSF at UiO as a CGT teacher.

Lindsey Wimmer (Nurse practicioner, parent, U.S.A)

Star Legacy Foundation

Lindsey Wimmer RN, MSN, PHN, CPNP, CPLC, is the Founder and Executive Director of Star Legacy Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and a Master of Science degree in pediatric nursing from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner and recently taught pediatrics, public health, obstetrics, and leadership in the nursing department at St. Catherine University. Her clinical experience includes over 11 years practice in a primary care setting and 5 years in an emergency care setting. Ms. Wimmer serves on the advisory panel for the Fetal Infant Mortality Review under the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and is certified in Perinatal Loss Care (CPLC). Ms. Wimmer and her husband, Trent, are the parents of Garrett, their first son who was stillborn at term in 2004, Grant, Bennett, and Austyn.

Faridah Mwanje Luyiga (Advocate, Uganda)

White Ribbon Alliance

Faridah Luyiga Mwanje is the Regional Communications Advisor at White Ribbon Alliance, based in Kampala – Uganda. She has an extensive background in journalism and mass communications that helps her hone the organization’s messages on women, children and adolescent health. Ms. Luyiga has coordinated and organized Citizens’ Hearings on accountability for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) at various levels, under the theme: Citizen-led Accountability is Key in the Post 2015 Health Agenda. She handed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a letter of recommendations from citizens around the world for the updated Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s & Adolescent’s Health. Prior to her current role, Ms Luyiga was Communications Manager – White Ribbon Alliance and Communications Officer – White Ribbon Alliance Uganda. Prior to White Ribbon Alliance, Ms. Luyiga was an independent media consultant where she managed media and public relations for various organizations and companies. She also spent time as a journalist with the Daily Monitor where she was a reporter and later editor. Faridah has a Bachelor of Mass Communication degree and a Master of Business of Administration from Makerere University, where she also served as Fellow with the MakSPH-CDC HIV/AIDS Fellowship Programme at the School of Public Health. As a fellow, Faridah was hosted by Communication for Development Foundation Uganda where she was the to-go-to person on communication-related matters.

Paloma Martínez Serrano (Midwife, Spain)

Midwifery Teaching Centre of the Autonomous Community of Madrid

Paloma Martinez Serrano is a midwife and Head of Studies at the Midwifery Teaching Centre of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (Spain). Financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, she is a doctoral candidate in Nursing at the Universidad Jaime I de Castillón where she is completing a thesis on pregnancy loss. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Research and Citizenship from the University Complutense Madrid and is a specialist in Sexual Orientation and Therapy from the Sexpol Foundation. She is a member of the Nursing and Healthcare Research Group IDIPHIM (Institute of Healthcare Research Puerta de Hierro).

Surendra Kumar Mishra (Public Health Specialist, India)


Dr. Surendra Kumar Mishra, a double post-graduate in social sciences and doctorate in culture studies has more than 40 years of field experience in social and behavioral sciences research and communication. He served for nearly twenty years in academic institutions and 6 years in Europe as a senior fellow of UNESCO. He has led several civil society initiatives in health Innovation, research and evaluation, funded by major national and international donor agencies for more than two decades in three continents viz. Asia, Africa and Europe. He has authored 3 books and published more than 65 research articles in national and international journals. Until 2009, he was teaching and training the Post-graduate students of the Public Health Faculty at Jimma University, Ethiopia. Since 2010, he has been mentoring many Civil Society Organizations and Academic Institutes in South Asia & East Africa on social determinants of health in achieving the set targets of sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. Besides all these, he is engaged in several advocacy activities and policy initiatives at both local and regional levels as well as teaching in Indian universities as a visiting professor.

KeelIn O’Donoghue, (Obstetrician, Ireland)

University College Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, HSE

Conference Chair for ISA 2017 Cork, Keelin O’Donoghue is a medical graduate of University College Dublin and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists. She received her PhD in Obstetrics/Gynaecology from the University of London in 2005 and completed RCOG sub-speciality training in Maternal/Fetal Medicine at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital London in 2007. Keelin has worked as a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Cork University Maternity Hospital and University College Cork since 2007, where she established and leads the pregnancy loss services. Keelin’s research interests include prenatal diagnosis, miscarriage, stillbirth, perinatal palliative care and multiple pregnancy. She heads the multi-disciplinary pregnancy loss research group at CUMH. Her work has resulted in >110 peer-reviewed original papers and >280 published conference proceedings. Keelin joined the INFANT centre at UCC as an SFI-funded Principal Investigator in June 2016. In March 2017, she took up the role of National Implementation Lead for the Bereavements Standards in Pregnancy loss and Perinatal Death, within the HSE National Women and Infants’ Health Programme.

Sonia Pastor Montero (Pediatric Nurse, Spain)

Pediatric Clinical Management Unit - Juan Ramón Jiménez Hospital in Huelva

Sonia is a Pediatric Nurse Specialist with a PhD from the University of Alicante. She is currently working in the Headquarters of the Pediatric Clinical Management Unit of the Juan Ramón Jiménez Hospital in Huelva, Spain. She is a member of the Methodological Research Group Nursing and Standardized Nursing Languages at the University of Cádiz. Previously she worked as a nurse in the Maternal-Infant Unit of Montilla Hospital, Córdoba, Spain and in the Palliative Care Unit of the San Juan de Dios Hospital, Córdoba, Spain. Her main line of research is perinatal loss and bereavment care. She has directed two research projects funded by the Andalusian Government’s Ministry of Health and has collaborated on another project to validate the NANDA diagnosis of grief in cases of perinatal loss. In addition, she has collaborated in the transcultural adaptation and psychometric validation of the Perinatal Grief Scale in the Spanish context. She is responsible for the elaboration of the Perinatal Loss Best Practices Protocol in Montilla Hospital, Córdoba. She has also participated in congresses and has published in international journals related to the care provided to parents who have suffered a perinatal loss. She collaborates as a teacher on accredited courses and seminars in Health Science Faculties.

Mary Lynch (Midwife, U.K.)

Southmead Hospital, Bristol; University of Bristol

Mary Lynch, RGN, RM, BSc (Hons), is a Delivery Suite Midwife at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK and a Research Midwife affiliated with the University of Bristol & Southmead Hospital. She has worked with the Bristol team in stillbirth research for the last three years. Most recently she has been involved in assessing the feasibility of integrating parental input into the perinatal mortality review process (PARENTS study – funded by the Health Foundation). This research will inform a new national bereavement care pathway and Perinatal Mortality Review Tool (PMRT). As an output of this research, she is currently working with the Health Safety investigative Branch (HSiB)- a national government initiative to externally investigate all intrapartum stillbirths. Mary is also a collaborator in a National Institute for Health Research project to develop a Core Outcome Set (COS) for interventions after stillbirth (iCHOOSE Study). She has also been closely involved in developing a set of Global Principles for Stillbirth in Low and Middle-income countries – A project ongoing from the Cork and Glasgow International Stillbirth Alliance Conferences. She is the Lead Midwife supporting Philippines PROMPT (Practical Obstetrics Multi-Professional Training) since 2015. PROMPT is an evidence based multi-professional training package for obstetric emergencies. It is associated with direct improvements in perinatal outcome and has been proven to improve knowledge, clinical skills and team working. Mary is also involved in reviewing cases for the RCOG Each Baby Counts Programme.

Jessica Ruidiaz (Perinatal Bereavement Counselor, Argentina)

Fundación Era en Abril

Clr. Jessica Ruidiaz (Argentina) is the founder and president of the “Era en Abril” Foundation (the first organization in Latin America that provides support out to parents who have lost a child). She is a writer and a specialized bereavement counselor who provides support to the family. International speaker. Ex Board Member of ISA (International Stillbirth Alliance). Member of Advisory Group of The Lancet Stillbirth Series: ending preventable deaths by 2030. Investigator Group The Lancet Stillbirth in High-Income Countries. Director of the research team of the Foundation “Era en Abril”. Member of PMNCH. Member of SAWG, Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group of World Health Organization. She coordinates helping groups and also trains other group coordinators in Argentina and other countries in Latin America. She is working on the development of Specialization on Grief Support for perinatal and infant death for mental health professionals. She is also working on creating the Integral Program of Professional Development that deals with perinatal death. She is representative and promoter a law for the identity of stillbirth babies. Sofia’s mother, who died at 2 months and Victoria who was born after the loss.

Robert Silver (Obstetrician, U.S.A.)

University of Utah Health Sciences Center

Dr. Silver is the John A. Dixon endowed professor and chairman of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.  His research has focused on recurrent pregnancy loss including stillbirth, complications of cesarean delivery including placenta accreta spectrum, maternal medical disorders in pregnancy and reproductive immunology. He is the principal investigator for the Utah site of the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network, the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction (EAGeR) trial, the Nuliparous Pregnancy and Preterm Birth Network, and the Heart health Network, sponsored by the NICHD.  He also is a co-principle investigator for the Maternal Fetal Medicine Units network of the NICHD, a project to use MRI to assess placental function funded by the Human Placenta Project, and an AHA funded investigation to assess the relationship of placental function and congenital heart disease.  He is active in the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine and the International Stillbirth Alliance.

Alfredo Vannacci (Pharmacologist & Toxicologist, Italy)

Ciaolapo, Department of Neurosciences Florence University

Alfredo Vannacci, Medical Doctor, specialized in Medical Toxicology, PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology, currently Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Florence University, Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health; national scientific qualification as Full Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Responsible of the unit of Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring and Pharmacoepidemiology, member of the unit of Paediatric Pharmacology. Author of more than 130 scientific publications in journals and books in Italian and English language and of more than 150 communications in national and international meetings in the fields of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Toxicology, Pharmacovigilance, Integrative Medicine, Perinatal Epidemiology, Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. Founder and Vice-President of CiaoLapo Charity for High-Risk Pregnanciesand Perinatal Grief Support. CiaoLapo, a non-profit organization, was the first Italian association created to fill a large and important gap: the assistance to women, couples and families affected by high-risk pregnancy, foetal pathology and perinatal death. Born on April 11th, 2006, CiaoLapo is a scientific and charitable association, composed by physicians, psychologists, midwives and parents who have dealt with the experience of illness and loss during pregnancy or after birth; the association offers its support and professionalism to disseminate the most advanced expertise and offer a real psychological and psychosocial support to grieving parents and families.

Aleena Wojcieszek (Research Associate, Australia)

Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth

Aleena is an Associate Investigator on Australia’s Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth (Stillbirth CRE) and Early Career Researcher (ECR) lead for its Care After Stillbirth program. Her research background in health psychology and clinical perinatal epidemiology specific to reproductive health and decision-making. Her research is focused on implementation science in the context of perinatal health, particularly improving mothers’ and babies’ health and preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes such as stillbirth. Aleena is completing a PhD on informing clinical practice for care during subsequent pregnancies following a stillbirth and co-leads the Stillbirth CRE’s subsequent pregnancy research stream. She worked on the Lancet series on Ending Preventable Stillbirths, where she co-authored two series papers and the series executive summary. She has also collaborated with the World Health Organization and Norwegian Institute of Public Health to develop global frameworks and customisable technical tools for electronic health registries for maternal and child health – coined eRegistries. Aleena is a Cochrane systematic reviewer and member of the Australasian node of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. She also works closely with ISA and is a member of its scientific network and working groups.