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. 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 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 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. 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 (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 is an obstetrician and director of the Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals in South Brisbane, Australia.