Dr Alexander Heazell
Dr Alexander HeazellBoard Chair, Former Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Heazell is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Clinical Director of the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester. After graduating from the University of Birmingham Medical School in 2000, he commenced clinical training in obstetrics and gynaecology. After completing his PhD thesis on placenta dysfunction in preeclampsia, he has focused his research interests on stillbirth and is particularly interested in the role of placental dysfunction. He has also led qualitative research projects to explore professionals’ and parents’ experiences after stillbirth, with a particular focus on investigations following a stillbirth. His research portfolio includes basic science, clinical and qualitative research studies. His passion for stillbirth research stems, in part, from his personal experience of stillbirth.
Ms Claire Storey
Ms Claire StoreyVice Chair, Board Member and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee
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.
Jillian Cassidy
Jillian CassidyBoard Member
Jillian is a full-time mother of two, part time English teacher and translator. 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 works supporting parents and working with health professionals. 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 implantation of a stillbirth register in Spain, implanting national stillbirth guidelines, training health professional in bereavement care, promoting empiric research and forming parent support networks and group meetings.
Dr Lynn Farrales
Dr Lynn FarralesBoard Member
Dr. Lynn Farrales is a family physician based in Vancouver, BC, who is committed to patient engagement through community-based participatory research with families whose babies were stillborn.
Professor Christine East
Professor Christine East Board Member
Professor East is a midwife with many years of clinical and research experience. Her research career has included many aspects of evaluating fetal wellbeing during pregnancy and labour. She has numerous publications and is an editor with the Pregnancy and Childbirth Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. She is currently the Principal Investigator on an Australian National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant on fetal monitoring in labour, is a co-investigator on a newly awarded NHMRC Project Grant on fetal movements during pregnancy, and holds an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship and an NHMRC partnership grant. Her experience provides a unique platform for merging academia and clinical leadership through her joint appointment with Monash University and Monash Health.
Associate Professor Leanne Raven
Associate Professor Leanne RavenBoard Member
Associate Professor Raven is CEO of Red Nose (formerly SIDS and KIDS) in Australia and a Director of ISPID, the International Society for the Study and Prevention of perinatal and Infant Death.
Susannah Hopkins Leisher
Susannah Hopkins LeisherBoard Vice Chair, Acting Treasurer and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee
Ms. Leisher spent over 20 years working on global poverty alleviation, including ten years in Vietnam, consulting for various multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and working as the Oxfam Hong Kong country representative. She was the director and then vice-president for programs of Trickle Up, an NGO that moves women out of extreme poverty in Asia, Africa and Central America. She is currently engaged in research on perinatal death classification systems for the Mater Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. Ms. Leisher holds an MA in international economics and social change & development from Johns Hopkins University, and is now studying for an MSc in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is the mother of stillborn son Wilder.
Dr Dimitrios Siassakos
Dr Dimitrios SiassakosDeputy Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Siassakos is a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics at the University of Bristol and an Executive Editor for BJOG, an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. He has a medical doctorate in obstetric team training and a postgraduate diploma in medical education with the University of Bristol, as well as a master’s in health systems management with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He holds grants for studies on bereavement care, gastric banding, teamwork, and evaluation of team training. Dr. Siassakos has developed and is now directing a national course for the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (ROBuST, or RCOG Operative Birth Simulation Training) and a regional course for the Severn Deanery (SMASH, or Saving Mothers with Advanced Simulation of High-risk situations). He is a member of two Department-of-Health Task Groups, the Executive Committee of the UK Stillbirth Clinical Study Group, and several other regional, national, and international initiatives to reduce stillbirths and improve bereavement care. He has authored several papers, invited editorials, national guidelines, and book chapters. He is a peer reviewer for Cochrane, most NIHR streams, and several journals, conferences, and publishing groups.
Dr Sanne Gordijn
Dr Sanne GordijnBoard member
Dr. Sanne Gordijn is an obstetrician in Groningen, The Netherlands. In 2009 she finished her PhD on perinatal mortality with a focus on classification of perinatal mortality and postmortem investigations.
Margaret Murphy
Margaret MurphyBoard Member and memnber of the Scientific Advisory Committee
Margaret Murphy is a midwife, researcher, and academic employed as a lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland. Her doctoral research explores perinatal loss and the pregnancy that follows.
Dr Katherine J. Gold
Dr Katherine J. GoldBoard Member and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee
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.
Jessica Ruidiaz
Jessica RuidiazBoard Member
Jessica Ruidiaz (Argentinian) is the founder and current president of the “Era en Abril” Foundation which is the first organization in Latin America that reaches out to parents who have lost a child. She founded the organization in 2007 after the first anniversary of her daughter’s loss, Sofia, who was 2 months old. She is a writer and a specialized counselor who provides support to parents who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death. She also provides help and support during subsequent pregnancies. She is the Director of the first specialized psychological support group in Argentina. She coordinates helping groups and also trains other group coordinators. At present, she works as a Counselor in the children’s hospital“Ana Goitía” (Buenos Aires) assisting parents at the moment of the loss. She was a guest speaker in the XI World Conference on Person Centered Therapy, Experiential Psychotherapy and Counseling (XI Conferencia Mundial del Enfoque Centrado en la Persona, Psicoterapias Experienciales y Counseling) and in the 2nd International Congress of Person Centered Medicine (2do Congreso Internacional de Medicina Centrada en la Persona). She is working on the development of Specialization on Grief Support for gestational, 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, created to health professionals. This program will be implemented nationwide. The organization is also supporting a bill for the identity of stillborn babies so that they can be given a first and last name on a special register. “Era en Abril” is the co-organizer, along with the Argentinian Pediatrics Association, of the ISA ISPID Biannual Conference that will take place in Buenos Aires in 2016.
Dr Glenn Gardener
Dr Glenn GardenerBoard Member
Dr. Glenn Gardener is an obstetrician and director of the Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals in South Brisbane, Australia.