Speakers

Click an image to see each speaker’s biography.

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Alexander Heazell (Obstetrician, UK)

C.S. Presidente, Tommy’s, 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.

Jillian Cassidy (Umamanita, Spain)

Presidenta Comité Organizador, Umamanita, ISA

After the stillbirth of her first child Uma in 2007 she co-founded Umamanita with her partner Juan Castro. Umamanita was the first Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity in Spain. Through the association she supports parents and works with health professionals to improve care. She is has been a board member of the International Stillbirth alliance since 2013.  Jillian has been giving talks and seminars since 2009 and has been giving specific bereavement training to nurses and midwives since 2011. Umamanita works towards the implementation of a stillbirth register in Spain, implementing national stillbirth guidelines, training health professional in bereavement care, promoting empiric research and forming parent support networks.

Prof. Gordon Smith (Obstetrician, UK)

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge

Gordon Smith is Professor and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge, UK. He has five degrees from Glasgow University: BSc (1st class honours) 1987, MB ChB 1990, MD 1995, PhD 2001, and DSc 2012. His clinical training was in Glasgow, including sub-specialist training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He had Wellcome Trust clinical research training fellowships based in Glasgow University (1992-1993) and Cornell University, USA (1996-1999). His clinically orientated research focuses on using maternal, ultrasonic and biochemical data to predict adverse pregnancy outcome. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science in 2010.

Dr. Samantha Murphy (Medical Sociologist, U.K.)

The Open University

Dr Sam Murphy is Head of the Health and Social Care curriculum area at The Open University in the United Kingdom. She is a medical sociologist by background who specialises in death, dying and bereavement and, in particular, the experiences of parents whose baby is stillborn or dies soon after birth. Her particular interest in this subject is located in her own experience as mother to a stillborn daughter who was born in 1994. Parental experiences of stillbirth was the subject of her PhD and she has since published in this area looking specifically at parental identity, stigma and continuing bonds. Sam’s work in this area has extended beyond research and she spent several years as Chair and then treasurer of a local Sands group in Hertfordshire.

Dr. Francesc Figueras (Obstetrician, Spain)

Hospital Clinic, Universidad de 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.

Dr. Jane Warland (Midwife, Australia)

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia

Dr. Jane Warland is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of South Australia. Her PhD was awarded by Adelaide University. She has a background in midwifery. Since suffering the unexplained full term stillbirth of her daughter Emma in 1993, she has been a passionate researcher into preventative and modifiable risk factors for stillbirth. Her research interests include population health (epidemiology and health promotion), mental health (maternal and child mental health), and maternal health (midwifery). She has authored several book chapters and over forty journal articles. Dr. Warland has published three books to date, including Our Baby Died, Midwife and the Bereaved Family, and Pregnancy After Loss. Her research has been presented at numerous national (Australian) and international conferences and she has been given numerous teaching, researching and professional awards and distinctions. In addition to her substantial research record, she is a passionate advocate for pregnancy awareness and the prevention of stillbirth.

Sue Steen (Perinatal Nurse Navigator, USA)

Maple Grove Hospital, Bethel University

Sue’s nursing and teaching career spans over 30 years. Sue has done research in the area of perinatal bereavement and works as a Perinatal Nurse Navigator at Maple Grove Hospital, with families who have suffered the early or late loss of a baby. She is also an adjunct nursing professor at Bethel University and has practiced maternal child nursing in a variety of settings. Sue, along with her co-founder, Lynn Zdechlik, is currently developing a high-risk perinatal program (www.birthwithdignity.org) at a hospital in Mbale, Uganda. They are teaching nurses how to prevent maternal and newborn death and how to care for families who suffer a stillbirth. Sue has published a number of articles related to faith development in children, nursing education, and perinatal bereavement. She has also led many nursing workshops in the US and Spain! Sue has two grown daughters and lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Ted.

Claire Storey (Researcher, parents advocate, U.K.)

International Stillbirth Alliance

Claire began volunteering for Sands UK following the early neonatal death of her first baby in 2004. She served as Chair of Bristol Sands for six years and has been a member of the West of England Child Death Overview Panel advising on bereavement issues since 2009. During this time she has been privileged to work with many bereaved parents individually and via bereavement support groups, which then led to the development of the UK’s first structured programme of dedicated antenatal classes for women and their partners in pregnancy following stillbirth or neonatal death. This hands on experience has been vital in helping to develop and deliver regular training to healthcare professionals across the UK. More recently she has applied this knowledge in a patient/public advisory capacity with the University of Manchester, the University of Bristol and Southmead Hospital, consulting on a number of studies aimed at reducing stillbirths and improving bereavement and neonatal care.

Dr. Marta C. Cohen (Perinatal Pathologist, U.K.)

Sheffield Children’s Hospital, University of Sheffield

Dr. Marta C. Cohen is a Consultant Paediatric and Perinatal Pathologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital (NHS FT) and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield. She is an MD, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, and holds a Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (Pathology) and a Diploma in Medical Education. She is a member and Past President of the International Association of Paediatric Pathology, which is affiliated to the IAP, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a member of the Paediatric Pathology Society (former committee member), European Society of Pathology (former Chair), ESCMID: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and  ISPID: International Society for the  Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death (Chair of the Scientific Committee of the recent world congress and former board member).

   

   

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Plenary Session Speakers

Dr. Claudia Ravaldi (Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist, Italy)

Ciaolapo

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. Author of 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.

Dr. Cecilia Mota González (Psychologist, Mexico)

Instituto Nacional de Perinatología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Cecilia Mota González was born and lives in Mexico City. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Health Psychology and a PhD in Psychology. She works as a researcher in the Department of Psychology of the National Institute of Perinatology. For the last 9 years she has been doing research on perinatal bereavement and pregnancy with congenital defects. She also works in group psychotherapy with mothers and fathers who have suffered perinatal loss as a result of congenital defects. She has been a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico for 25 years. She is currently working on the construction of a structural model to explain perinatal grief.

Dr. Hannah Blencowe (Epidemiologist, U.K.)

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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Prof. Jan Jaap Erwich (Obstetrician, the Netherlands)

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.

Dr. Jane Warland (Midwife, Australia)

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia

Dr. Jane Warland is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of South Australia. Her PhD was awarded by Adelaide University. She has a background in midwifery. Since suffering the unexplained full term stillbirth of her daughter Emma in 1993, she has been a passionate researcher into preventative and modifiable risk factors for stillbirth. Her research interests include population health (epidemiology and health promotion), mental health (maternal and child mental health), and maternal health (midwifery). She has authored several book chapters and over forty journal articles. Dr. Warland has published three books to date, including Our Baby Died, Midwife and the Bereaved Family, and Pregnancy After Loss. Her research has been presented at numerous national (Australian) and international conferences and she has been given numerous teaching, researching and professional awards and distinctions. In addition to her substantial research record, she is a passionate advocate for pregnancy awareness and the prevention of stillbirth.

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Breakout Session Speakers

Prof. Alexander Heazell (Obstetrician, UK)

C.S. Presidente, Tommy’s, 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)

Coordinador del Comité Científico, Umamanita, UCM

Paul Cassidy BBS MPhil is a Researcher at Umamanita (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) and a PhD student in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University Complutense of Madrid, where he also 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 (NGM, 1996-2003). He is the lead researcher in the first ever national study of perinatal bereavement care in Spain “Informe Umamanita”. His other interests include medical sociology, the social organisation of grief and the 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. He is a member of the organising and scientific committees for the International Stillbirth Alliance’s annual conference in Madrid in 2019.

Dr. 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.

http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/C014/mgtmurphy

Dr. 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.

Prof. 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.

Prof. Ingela Rådestad (Midwife, Sweden)

Sophiahemmet University

Ingela Rådestad is a professor at Sophiahemmet University; her research has focused on stillbirths for over 20 years. She defended her thesis at Karolinska Institutet in 1998: To give birth to a stillborn baby and the woman’s situation three years after the baby´s death. Ingela Rådestad is the innovator behind Cubitus baby; a tool that prevent unnecessary separation of parents from their stillborn baby after birth. She has had several assignments as expert for the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. Ingela Rådestad is the author of more than 90 scientific articles and several books. She has a background as a midwife and in addition to doing research, she teaches in the midwifery program. During five years, Ingela Rådestad was the president of the Swedish National Infant Foundation. Her first-born daughter was stillborn 38 years ago. Ingela Rådestad is responsible for two websites: www.stillbirth.se and www.mindfetalness.com

Dr. Cecilia Mota González (Psychologist, Mexico)

Instituto Nacional de Perinatología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Cecilia Mota González was born and lives in Mexico City. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Health Psychology and a PhD in Psychology. She works as a researcher in the Department of Psychology of the National Institute of Perinatology. For the last 9 years she has been doing research on perinatal bereavement and pregnancy with congenital defects. She also works in group psychotherapy with mothers and fathers who have suffered perinatal loss as a result of congenital defects. She has been a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico for 25 years. She is currently working on the construction of a structural model to explain perinatal grief.

Dr Elizabeth McCarthy (Obstetrician, Australia)

Mercy Hospital for Women and Northern Hospital, University of Melbourne

Dr Elizabeth Anne McCarthy is an obstetrician /maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialist at Mercy Hospital for Women and Northern Hospital, Australia and Senior Lecturer in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne. Her clinical interests include pregnancy loss and perinatal palliative care. She has led outpatient care of women and families who experience Stillbirth and Reproductive Loss (STAR) since before 2010. Beginning as an MFM led clinic, it is now multi-disciplinary with midwives and liaison psychiatry, led by Dr Gaynor Blankley since September 2016. Dr. McCarthy has worked in Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic (EPAC) since 2014. Her work includes developing inter-hospital education, peer-support and research in EPAC, particularly with an education day in 2018. She is also an assessment lead for the Women’s Health component of University of Melbourne Doctor of Medicine. She enjoys tutoring, lecturing and facilitating clinician educator peer review and recognition. Her research includes two randomised controlled trials of behavioural interventions for women who enter pregnancy overweight or obese, a prospective cohort study maternal visceral fat and fetal growth, epidemiology of perinatal mortality with maternal pre-pregnancy diabetes and surveys of maternal influenza vaccination during pregnancy and ultrasound chart choice.

Frances Boyle (Social Science Researcher, Australia)

University of Queensland Institute for Social Science Research

Associate Professor Fran Boyle is a social scientist and health services researcher at the University of Queensland Institute for Social Science Research. Fran’s background is in psychology and public health and her research focuses on people’s lived experiences of health, health services and the health system. Fran is a Principal Investigator with the Australian Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth (Stillbirth CRE) where she co-leads the Care after Stillbirth program. She is committed to improving outcomes for women and families following the death of a baby through the implementation and evaluation of best practice parent-centred perinatal bereavement care in hospital and community settings. Her longstanding involvement in this area began following the death of her first daughter soon after birth. Fran has been closely involved in developing the newly released update of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Guideline for Respectful and Supportive Perinatal Bereavement Care.

Dr. Danya Bakhbakhi (Researcher, UK)

NIHR, University of Bristol

Dr Danya Bakhbakhi is an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. Having cared for parents who have experienced pregnancy loss as an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar, she has been motivated to take time out from clinical training to undertake a PhD. Her three-year project aims to help us understand more about the health impact of stillbirth on parents and develop a core outcome set to improve care after stillbirth (The iCHOOSE study). Dr Bakhbakhi has been a research fellow in the PARENTS Study portfolio which aimed to develop and evaluate parental engagement in the perinatal mortality review process. Her most recent publication includes presenting the findings from the national PARENTS consensus study which developed recommendations for parental engagement in reviews and has informed the development of the UK national Perinatal Mortality Review Tool – PMRT.

Francisca Fernández Guillén (Lawyer, Spain)

Dr. Samantha Murphy (Medical Sociologist, U.K.)

The Open University

Dr Sam Murphy is Head of the Health and Social Care curriculum area at The Open University in the United Kingdom. She is a medical sociologist by background who specialises in death, dying and bereavement and, in particular, the experiences of parents whose baby is stillborn or dies soon after birth. Her particular interest in this subject is located in her own experience as mother to a stillborn daughter who was born in 1994. Parental experiences of stillbirth was the subject of her PhD and she has since published in this area looking specifically at parental identity, stigma and continuing bonds. Sam’s work in this area has extended beyond research and she spent several years as Chair and then treasurer of a local Sands group in Hertfordshire.

Dr. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Nadia Raquel García Lara (Pediatrician, Spain)

Hospital 12 de Octubre, Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana

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.

Paloma Martínez Serrano (Midwife, Spain)

Unidad Docente de Matronas de la Comunidad de 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).

Dr. 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.

Dr. Manuel Fernández-Alcántara (Psychologist, Spain)

Universidad de 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Sonia Pastor Montero (Pediatric Nurse, Spain)

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.

Prof. 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.

Prof. Jan Jaap Erwich (Obstetrician, the Netherlands)

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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. Katherine Gold (Family Physician, U.S.A.)

University of Michigan, ISA

Dr. Gold is a board-certified family physician with a dual appointment at the University of Michigan in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She has completed two fellowships in research training: the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) K-12: Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health. She holds a master’s degree in social work and has completed another master’s in health and health services research. Dr. Gold has a particular interest in mental and physical health outcomes for parents after stillbirth and infant death, stillbirth prevention, bereavement training for health professionals, and perinatal mental health. She currently has an NIH K-23 grant to evaluate maternal outcomes after perinatal loss in the U.S. and also has multiple ongoing studies of adverse perinatal outcomes in Ghana, West Africa, including stillbirth prevention, maternal postpartum depression, and maternal bereavement after infant death.

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In-Conference Workshop Trainers

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Sue Steen (Perinatal Nurse Navigator, USA)

Maple Grove Hospital, Bethel University

Sue’s nursing and teaching career spans over 30 years. Sue has done research in the area of perinatal bereavement and works as a Perinatal Nurse Navigator at Maple Grove Hospital, with families who have suffered the early or late loss of a baby. She is also an adjunct nursing professor at Bethel University and has practiced maternal child nursing in a variety of settings. Sue, along with her co-founder, Lynn Zdechlik, is currently developing a high-risk perinatal program (www.birthwithdignity.org) at a hospital in Mbale, Uganda. They are teaching nurses how to prevent maternal and newborn death and how to care for families who suffer a stillbirth. Sue has published a number of articles related to faith development in children, nursing education, and perinatal bereavement. She has also led many nursing workshops in the US and Spain! Sue has two grown daughters and lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Ted.

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