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The International Stillbirth Alliance Annual Conference will be held in Cork, Ireland from 22-24th September 2017 at the University College Cork campus. The Conference will take place over two days, Saturday and Sunday, with a mixture of plenary and concurrent sessions from invited speakers and selected presentations from conference abstracts.

Pre- conference, an IMPROVE workshop will be held on Friday 22nd September (https://sanda.psanz.com.au/clinical-practice/improve/).

The call for abstract submissions abstract is live and the deadline for submissions is the 5th of May 2017. A lively social programme is planned to integrate with the Conference. For further information please see http://www.isacork2017.com/ and follow the Conference on Twitter @isacork2017.

We look forward to your continued support and hope you will be able to attend.

Dr Keelin O’Donoghue
Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Cork University Maternity Hospital
Cork, Ireland

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Keelin O’Donoghue is an honours medical graduate of University College Dublin (1995) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (2012). She received her PhD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the University of London in 2005, following studies at Imperial College London in 2001-4. She was awarded CSCST by the Irish Committee on Higher Training in 2006. She completed RCOG sub-speciality training in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital London, and was awarded RCOG sub-specialist accreditation in 2007. Keelin took up a post as Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Cork University Maternity Hospital and University College Cork in 2007. She both established and leads the multiple pregnancy, fetal medicine and pregnancy loss services at CUMH, and is part of the Perinatal Medicine team.  From 2009-2014, Keelin was Obstetric Lead on the Division of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology at CUMH and was Clinical Director for Women and Children at Cork University Hospital from 2013-2014.

Keelin’s work has resulted in >90 peer-reviewed original papers and >200 published conference proceedings. She established the first Irish Masters programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which commenced in 2008, and now runs successfully with a full annual intake. She remains the Director of this programme along with a leading role in postgraduate education at CUMH, while maintaining a teaching role on the medical undergraduate programme and has also developed an ABA-certified midwifery-based teaching programme in third trimester obstetric ultrasound. She is a national trainer for the RCPI in Basic and Higher specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Keelin is a member of the National Working Party for the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinical Programme, the Clinical Advisory Group of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Speciality Training Committee of the RCPI, the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre Perinatal Mortality Group and the HSE Bereavement Care Standards Development Group.

Keelin’s research interests include prenatal diagnosis and screening, miscarriage, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, perinatal palliative care, complicated multiple pregnancy, and qualitative research in Clinical Obstetrics. She heads the multi-disciplinary pregnancy loss research group at CUMH, combining supervising a large group of doctoral and masters students with collaborative clinical research in this area.  She was a co-applicant on the Irish Fetal and Neonatal (INFANT) Clinical Trial Network, funded by the Health Research Board in 2015, having worked with the Perinatal Ireland research consortium since 2010. Keelin joined the INFANT centre at UCC as an SFI-funded Principal Investigator in June 2016.

Ms Anna Maria Verling
Clinical Midwife Specialist in Bereavement and Loss, Cork University Maternity Hospital
Research Midwife, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork
Cork, Ireland

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Anna Maria Verling is a Clinical Midwife Specialist in Bereavement & Loss at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH). She has over 10 years experience in the specialist field of pregnancy loss focussing on clinical care including inpatient and clinic work which supports families who experience all aspects of pregnancy loss.  She also provides staff support and education while conducting audit and research within the service.

Anna Maria completed her General and Midwifery training at Cork University Hospital and Cork Unified Maternity Services respectively. Anna Maria has a Higher Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy from University College Cork.

Anna Maria also works as a Research Officer in the areas of pregnancy loss with University College Cork. She is a member of the Pregnancy Loss Research Group at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork.

Anna Maria is committed to and interested in all areas of pregnancy loss and has published abstracts on Registration of Stillbirth, Classification of Stillbirth, Perinatal Pathology and Perinatal Palliative.

Dr Brendan Fitzgerald
Consultant Histopathologist and Specialist in Perinatal Pathology
Cork University Hospital
Cork, Ireland

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Dr. Brendan Fitzgerald is a consultant histopathologist at Cork University Hospital. Obtaining an honours medical degree from University College Cork he subsequently obtained an MSc in pathology from Universtiy College Dublin and a post-graduate diploma in medical informatics from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. Brendan pursued his histopathology training within the Irish National Histopathology Training Program, obtaining his FRCPath in 2007 and completing the training program in 2009.

Between 2008 and 2011 Brendan undertook subspecialty fellowship training in perinatal pathology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada before being appointed as the first consultant pathologist to have a subspecialty interest in perinatal pathology at Cork University Hospital. In 2016 he became a Fellow of the Faculty of Pathology of Ireland.

Brendan’s areas of interest include anomalous placental development in pregnancy loss, multifactorial causation in stillbirth and correlation of specific placental pathologies with antenatal markers of abnormal placentation.

Ms Claire Everard
Evidence Based Clinical Care Co-Ordinator, Clinical Midwife Manager in Pregnancy Loss
Cork University Maternity Hospital
Cork, Ireland

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Claire Everard is currently Acting Evidence Based Clinical Care Co-Ordinator in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH). After graduating with a diploma in general nursing studies, she completed a degree in nursing studies and a higher diploma in midwifery. Between 2007-2009 Claire completed a Master’s through Research while working on the international SCOPE study.

Claire work worked as the Clinical Midwife Manager in the Pregnancy Loss Ward of CUMH for three years before she took up her current role. Claire has continued her pregnancy loss work through the hospital committee and pregnancy loss research group.

Claire’s research interests are miscarriage, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, pregnancy after stillbirth, pregnancy’s loss impact on staff and delivery of care to bereaved patients and families.

Claire’s poster with her co-authors entitled “Parent’s Concerns for pregnancy after Stillbirth” won the ISA Best Poster Award at the 2014 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Baby Survival in Amsterdam.

Dr. Daniel Nuzum
Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork
Healthcare Chaplain, Cork University Hospital and Marymount University Hospital and Hospice
Cork, Ireland

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Daniel Nuzum is a healthcare chaplain and practical theologian specialising in perinatal and palliative care ministry at Cork University Maternity Hospital and Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, Ireland. Daniel received his PhD from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College Cork in 2016 where his thesis was ‘The spiritual and professional impact of stillbirth’. Daniel is an active member of the Pregnancy Loss Research Group at University College Cork. Daniel was a member of the HSE Bereavement Care Standards Development Group and is a member of the HSE Maternal Death Guideline Development Group.

Daniel is the Co-Chair of the Spirituality Interest Group of the Irish Association of Palliative Care and an Associate Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor.

Daniel’s research interests are in the area of ministry following stillbirth and neonatal bereavement, spirituality in specialist palliative care and practical theology. Daniel has published in the area of the impact of stillbirth on obstetricians and chaplains, the place of faith for obstetricians, the spiritual and theological dimensions of stillbirth for maternity healthcare chaplains and communication with bereaved parents following stillbirth. Daniel has presented his research at national and international level. Daniel was awarded best oral presentation for stillbirth research at the ISA International Conference 2012.

Dr Karen McNamara
Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cork University Maternity Hospital
PhD Student, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork

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Dr Karen McNamara is a specialist registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a clinical research fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork. She graduated with honours from University College Dublin, Ireland in 2007. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (awarded 2010) and was one of the first graduates of the Irish master’s degree programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology based in University College Cork (awarded 2010).  She is currently undertaking a PhD in UCC focusing on the impact of intrapartum fetal death on healthcare professionals. Karen is currently involved in the introduction of a package of support tools for healthcare professionals in a large tertiary maternity hospital in Cork and her main research interests include intrapartum fetal death, staff burnout, resilience and support.

Ms Margaret Murphy
Lecturer in Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork

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Margaret Murphy is a Lecturer in Midwifery at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork and a Registered Midwife and Registered General Nurse with over 20 years extensive clinical experience and credibility in all aspects of senior midwifery, neonatal and adult intensive care.

Her doctoral thesis qualitatively investigated couples experiences of pregnancy following perinatal loss utilising an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology. Research interests include pregnancy after loss, pregnancy loss, teaching and learning in higher education, lactation education and support, TEL for Health and preparation for parenthood education.

  • Board of the International Stillbirth Alliance
  • Scientific Advisory Committee Member, International Stillbirth Alliance
  • Member of The Lancet Stillbirths in High-Income Countries Investigator Group
  • National Institute for Health Research (UK) Peer Reviewer
  • Management Committee Member (Ireland) COST Action IS1405 Building Intrapartum Research Through Health (BIRTH)
  • Past President of the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland 2012-2014. Sat on several national breastfeeding policy boards. Contributed to the development of national breastfeeding policy documents.
  • Involved with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland in curriculum development for undergraduate and postgraduate midwifery education.
  • Member of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT).

Teaches across undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development multidisciplinary programmes including: midwifery, public health nursing, PROMPT Obstetric Emergency Programmes and Neonatal Resuscitation Programmes.

Awards include: MSc in Nursing; PG Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She facilitates antenatal and postnatal breastfeeding education sessions for mothers and families. Margaret has published her research widely in peer review journals and at international conferences.

Dr Noirin Russell
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist,
Cork University Maternity Hospital
Cork, Ireland

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Nóirín Russell is a medical graduate of University College Cork(2000) and a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (2005) and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (2011). She received her MD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the University College Dublin in 2010, following studies on fetal cardiac function in pregestational type 1 diabetic pregnancy.

She completed the RCOG/RCR Diploma in advanced Obstetric Ultrasound in 2007 and pursued further speciality training in early pregnancy ultrasound, fetal cardiology and fetal surgery at Necker Enfants Malades Hôpital and Descartes University in Paris during 2011-2012.

At CUMH, she is the lead clinician for early pregnancy care and a member of the pregnancy loss clinical and research teams as well as the Perinatal Medicine team. Nóirín’s research has resulted in >20 peer-reviewed original papers and >80 published conference proceedings. Nóirín’s research interests include high risk obstetric care, prenatal diagnosis and screening, recurrent miscarriage and obstetric ultrasound including the effect of maternal diabetes on fetal cardiology.

Ms. Orla O’Connell
Clinical Midwife Specialist in Bereavement and Loss
Cork University Maternity Hospital
Cork, Ireland

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Orla currently works as a clinical midwife specialist in bereavement. She completed a BA degree in counselling, followed by an MA in psychotherapy in 2013. Orla’s MA research focused on the experiences of women who choose to continue pregnancies, which are diagnosed with anencephaly. As a member of The Pregnancy Loss Research Group in University Collage Cork she has presented on aspects of this work, which highlight the value of perinatal palliative care, both nationally and overseas. Orla’s poster presentation on this topic won best poster award at the Irish Association Palliative Care Education and Research Conference in 2015.

Orla has also presented on her other particular interests including the impact of perinatal death on midwives and bereavement care for miscarriage and stillbirth.

Dr Sarah Meaney
Research Officer
National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, University College Cork
Cork, Ireland

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Sarah Meaney graduated from the University of Limerick, with a Masters in Sociology (Applied Social Research) in 2005. Sarah has a particular interest in the patient perspective of health care, as well as in the development of effective health information systems to improve and promote better health. Since then Sarah has had great opportunities working on various local, national and internationally funded research projects in a number of academic settings.

In 2011 Sarah Meaney took up a research officer post in the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, UCC (NPEC).  The overall objective of the Centre, under the directorship of Prof Richard Greene, is to collaborate with Irish maternity hospitals to translate research into improved maternity services for families in Ireland.  In order to achieve this objective the NPEC undertakes a number of national clinical audits and research projects.  Since taking up her post in the NPEC Sarah has played a key role in both the audits and research projects.

Within her role in the NPEC Sarah began her collaboration with the Pregnancy Loss Research Group.  Under the supervision of Dr Keelin O’ Donoghue and Dr Paul Corcoran, Sarah undertook her PhD which was concerned with the causes and consequences of pregnancy loss and perinatal death.  Sarah’s work has resulted in the publication of both peer-reviewed papers and published abstracts.

Dr Paul Corcoran
Senior Lecturer
National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University College Cork
Cork, Ireland

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Paul Corcoran is an epidemiologist with the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre in University College Cork (UCC). Paul is a senior lecturer the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCC. Paul has approximately 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has contributed chapters to international texts.

Ms Niamh Spillane
Staff Midwife, Cork University Maternity Hospital
Research Midwife, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork
Cork, Ireland

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Niamh has been involved in various projects as a research support officer based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Cork University Maternity Hospital since 2008. Niamh also has been an active member of the Pregnancy Loss Research Group since its inception in 2012. Niamh has an interest in qualitative research and her current work as a master’s student explores Irish women’s experience of Ectopic pregnancy. Niamh Spillane also holds a clinical role in the CUMH as a midwife with over 26 years’ experience.

Ms Rachel Rice
Lecturer,
School of Applied Social Studies
University College Cork
Cork, Ireland

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Rachel Rice has been a lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies in UCC since 2004, teaching on the Masters of Social Work professional training programme. Prior to taking up her teaching post, Rachel worked as a social work practitioner in the areas of child protection and medical social work both in Ireland and abroad.

Having herself been a patient of the pregnancy loss service in CUMH on a number of occasions between 2010-2012, Rachel was a parent advocate on the CUMH Emergency Room Restructuring Project in 2014/2015. She has a keen interest in the development of services for parents who experience pregnancy loss and became a member of the UCC pregnancy loss research group in September 2015. She is currently working on a project in relation to the provision of information and care for parents who experience pregnancy loss, and has contributed to other research projects undertaken and published by the group over the last two years.

Maire Cregan
A/Team Leader,
Social Work Team,
National Adoption Services
Ireland

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Maire Cregan is an A/Team Leader on the social work team of the national adoption services.  She also works as a lecturer in University College Cork, where she teaches Groupwork, Fostering and Adoption, Suicide Intervention/Prevention and Social Work in Health Care on the Masters of Social Work professional programme.

Prior to the loss of her daughter, Liliana, to stillbirth in 2006 Mairie (who is also an experienced foster carer and adoptive parent) worked with an international team in the development of indigenous foster care and national adoption services in Romania, and piloted a scheme through the Aurelia Trust (of which she is founder)  of therapeutic fostering for children who were institutionalised since birth.  She is also a trainer and advocate for parents in intercountry adoption and was an active member of the Parent Network for the Post Institutionalised Child.  She is currently completing a longitudinal PhD study in the area of foster care to adoption.  Mairie was raised as a birth child in a fostering family and along with her daughter, Siobhan is working on a study of the impact of fostering on the birth children of foster carers.

In 2008 Mairie, along with six other bereaved parents formed Feileacain (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland).  Feileacain supports anyone affected by the death of a baby around the time of birth.  The organisation is dynamic, responsive and inclusive and all services are provided to families and professionals free of charge.  Currently Feileacain is developing an information service for parents and professionals working with bereaved siblings of the baby who has died, as well as support programmes for parents considering  adoption after loss.

Other research interests include trauma informed practice, and therapeutic interventions in complicated grief reactions.

Maire is a member of the Patient for Patient Safety Champions Team, the National Patient’s Forum, Open Disclosure Training Team, RCQPS Decision Making Panel 1, and is a regular speaker on the HSE Diplomas in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare.

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