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Keynote Speakers

Wednesday 6 March 2024: 09.00-09.05


Prof Fintan Sheerin
Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery,Trinity College Dublin

Prof Fintan Sheerin biography

Professor Fintan Sheerin - PhD MA BSc PgDipEd RNID RGN RNT FEANS FNI MRSB is Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin, where he has taught for 16 years. He is registered in both intellectual disability and general nursing, and his research has largely focused on engagement, mental health and well-being, seeking to address the issues which impact both. He has explored intellectual disability across the areas of health, social care and rights and has worked with communities in various parts of the world. He has published widely, spoken at many international conferences, has edited one book and contributed several others. He is a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and of NANDA International.

Wednesday 6 March 2024: 09.05-9.15

Opening address

Prof Brian O Connell
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin

Prof Brian O Connell biography

Wednesday 6 March 2024: 09.15-10.00

Our vision for partnership across "our HSE"

Laura Kavanagh
Research and Advocacy Manager, IPPOSI

Anne Lawlor
Chairperson, 22q11 Ireland Support Group

Synopsis of keynote session

Laura and Anne will share the patient and service user vision for embedding a partnership approach to health and social care across our health system. Drawing on their experience as co-chairs of the HSE National Patient and Service User Forum (NPF), they will highlight the key challenges and opportunities for partnership in relation to individual care, as well as service design and delivery; policy development and implementation; and organisational change and governance. Laura and Anne will take questions from the audience.

Laura Kavanagh biography

Laura Kavanagh is the Research & Advocacy Manager in IPPOSI. Preparing events, consultation submissions, position papers and joint advocacy activities, she encourages others to consider the patient perspective in preparing new policies, designing new programmes, and planning for new research and innovation. Before taking up the role in 2017, Laura worked for three years as the National Coordinator for EUPATI, building multi-stakeholder platforms (like IPPOSI) in other countries across Europe. Prior to this, Laura worked in local government politics in the UK, and in international organisations (UN, OSCE, Council of Europe) in Uganda, Kosovo, Strasbourg and Geneva. She believes everyone has the right to enjoy good health and quality care, and she believes we all have a role in building a better health future for ourselves and for generations to come. When not at work, Laura is a busy mum to two (energetic) little humans.

Anne Lawlor biography

Anne Lawlor is Chairperson of 22q11 Ireland which she co-founded after her daughter Áine was diagnosed at age 15 with 22qDS. Passionate about patient partnership, Anne joined the HSE Patient Forum in 2015 and is the current chairperson. She is also a board member of Rare Diseases Ireland. In recognition of their work the 22q 'team' received a Health Service Excellence award in 2023. Anne is passionate about putting the lived experience voice at the center of healthcare. Having recently moved from Dublin Anne now lives with Áine in Waterford City.

Wednesday 6 March 2024: 14.00-14.45

'Fireside chat' with Prof Ian Norman
Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Emeritus Executive Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care at King’s College London

Synopsis of keynote session

Prof Amanda Phelan will chat with Prof Norman about his career to date as a healthcare professional, author and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nursing Studies (IJNS).

Conference delegates may submit questions in advance for Prof Norman through the conference registration module.

Prof Ian Norman biography

Ian Norman is Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Emeritus Executive Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care at King’s College London, which is ranked first in the UK and second in the world for Nursing in the 2023 QS world university league tables.

Ian holds degrees from the British universities of Keele, Edinburgh and London. He is a qualified mental health nurse, general nurse, learning disability nurse and cognitive behavioural psychotherapist. He works currently as a psychotherapist with people suffering from anxiety, depression and other common mental health difficulties.

Ian’s funded research programme has led to over 150 conference papers, over 300 publications in academic and clinical journals, and several books. His latest book (co-edited with Iain Ryrie) The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing, published by McGraw Hill, now in its 4th edition (2018), is a core text for mental health nurse education in the UK.

Since 2005, Ian has been the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nursing Studies (IJNS) which is now firmly established as the most influential academic nursing journal in the world, ranked number one in Clarivate’s impact factor list of 130 academic nursing journals since 2016. He is also the editor-in-chief of the IJNS’ open-access sister journal, the International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, first published in 2019.

Ian was elected to a Fellowship of the British Royal College of Nursing in 2009, an International Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing in 2012 and a Fellowship of King’s College London in 2015.

Thursday 7 March 2024: 09.00-09.45

The challenges of childbirth: advancing the profession of midwifery

Prof Tracy Humphrey
Executive Dean, Clinical & Health Sciences, University of South Australia (UniSA)

Synopsis of keynote session

Professor Tracy Humphrey will speak about the ‘challenges of childbirth’ and the need to advance the Profession of Midwifery to address these, whilst continuing to enhance women and families experiences and outcomes of care. Examples of education, research and practice opportunities and innovations will be given that have local and global relevance.

Prof Tracy Humphrey biography

Professor Tracy Humphrey is the Executive Dean: Clinical and Health Sciences, at the University of South Australia (UniSA). Prof Humphrey joined UniSA from the University of Queensland, where she was Head of School: Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. Prior to that, Prof Humphrey was Dean of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University.

Prof Humphrey has had a long clinical academic career devoted to improving health outcomes and experiences through leadership, education, research and practice. In her role at UQ, she led the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work to a five-star ERA rating for all disciplines.

Tracy studied for her undergraduate degree in midwifery at the University of Stirling and has had a successful clinical academic career working in a range of settings and in a variety of senior clinical, management, educational and research roles across the North of Scotland.

After completing her MSc in Midwifery at the University of Aberdeen in 2003, she applied for a PhD studentship with the Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professionals Research Training Scheme. This was a flagship Scottish Government initiative to increase the research capacity amongst these professional groups. After a competitive process, she was the only midwife to be awarded a funded studentship and she went onto successfully complete her PhD in 2007, whilst continuing to work in clinical practice.

As a Professor of Midwifery, she has influenced and implemented national maternal and neonatal policies in Scotland through her research, practice and role as a government advisor. Her areas of research and publications are on reducing unnecessary interventions during childbirth and improving outcomes for women and families in remote and rural areas through educational and service improvement initiatives.

Internationally, Tracy is known for her work with Ministries of Health in low and middle income countries where there are high rates of maternal and new-born mortality. This has led to the introduction of accelerated direct entry midwifery programmes of education and midwife led pathways of care, with a demonstrable impact on skilled birth attendance rates and quality of care.

Thursday 7 March 2024: 13.00-13.30

Closing Keynote Address

Áine Lynch
Director of Nursing and Integrated Care, Tallaght University Hospital

Áine Lynch biography

Áine has worked as a Registered General Nurse predominantly in the acute hospital setting in Dublin, following several years practising in the UK and the Middle East. Since 1998 she enjoyed a number of nurse leadership roles in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) including ward manager, Clinical Facilitator, Nurse Practice Development Advisor and Coordinator. She is currently Director of Nursing and Integrated Care in TUH since 2017.

She has also worked as a Project Officer and Interim Director at the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit at Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, HSE 2016-2017. In 2022/2023 she was on secondment for 12 months as interim Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.

Áine is a Board member of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) since 2021 and was elected Vice President in 2023.

Further education includes an MSc in Education and Training Management (Dublin City University), a Diploma in Leadership Development (Smurfit Graduate Business School) and a Certificate in Principles of Integrated Care 2022 (Munster Technological University). She was awarded Fellow by Examination, Nursing and Midwifery, RSCI in 2023.