Susannah Hopkins Leisher
Susannah Hopkins LeisherISA Board Chair
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.
Prof Vicki Flenady
Prof Vicki FlenadyISA Board Vice Chair
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 in stillbirth prevention, Vicki has a keen interest in addressing evidence practice gaps in maternity care. Vicki is an active member of the International Stillbirth Alliance.
Dr Katherine J. Gold
Dr Katherine J. GoldISA Ex-Officio Chair
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.
Margaret Murphy
Margaret MurphyISA Board Treasurer
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 Glenn Gardener
Dr Glenn GardenerISA Board Member
Dr. Glenn Gardener is an obstetrician and director of the Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals in South Brisbane, Australia.
Ms Claire Storey
Ms Claire StoreyISA Board Member
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 CassidyISA Board 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 Sanne Gordijn
Dr Sanne GordijnISA Board 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.
Dr Dimitrios Siassakos
Dr Dimitrios SiassakosISA Board Member, Deputy Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Siassakos is a Reader (Associate Professor) of Obstetrics at University College London and University College Hospital 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 Adrienne Gordon
Dr Adrienne GordonISA Board Member
Adrienne is a Neonatal Staff Specialist in the RPA centre for newborn care and an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. She has a Masters of Public Health and a PhD on risk factors for stillbirth. She is particularly interested in perinatal topics with a public health impact that have the potential to improve pregnancy and newborn outcomes.
Adrienne is Deputy Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Group of SIDSandKIDS to increase their stillbirth advocacy, a member of the IMPACT network for improving health through perinatal clinical trials, represents NSW on the National Perinatal Mortality Report project and has close links with perinatal consumer groups such as Miracle babies and the Stillbirth Foundation Australia. She is an avid supporter of evidence based policy and practice and is passionate about translating research into clinical care. Adrienne is Project Lead for the Charles Perkins Centre’s BABY1000 Cohort Study. BABY1000 will provide a major contribution to knowledge regarding early life predictors of health and disease and the interventions that will ultimately improve health for our future generations
Senior Lecturer Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology Central Clinical School NHMRC Early Career Fellow Charles Perkins Centre
Dr Natia Sharabidze
Dr Natia SharabidzeISA Board Member
Dr. Natia Sharabidze is a gynecologist and fertility specialist. She is one of the founding members of Women’s Rehabilitation Association, which works on improving the quality of reproductive healthcare for women in Georgia. Since the founding of the association in 2008, she has been organizing training sessions and conferences on prevention of stillbirths and miscarriages, as well as other important issues of reproductive health. After completing her PhD thesis on ovarian hyperthocosis and infertility, she continued researching the causes of early miscarriages in Georgia. In 2012-2014, she worked on a research “Stillbirth: reality and challenges in Georgia,” which focused on identifying main causes of stillbirth throughout the country. She is a co-author of a national guideline for post-abortion care. The main aim of Dr. Sharabidze’s practical and scientific work is to reduce the number of cases of perinatal loss in Georgia and implement a program of bereavement care.
Dr Paula Quigly
Dr Paula QuiglyISA Board Member
Dr. Paula Quigley is a medical doctor from Ireland, with an MSc in Maternal and Child Health. She has lived and worked overseas for the past 30 years, spanning a wide range of countries in Asia and Africa. She has helped to design, implement and evaluate health programs globally, particularly focusing on women’s health and health systems strengthening. She is currently the Technical Lead for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH-N) for DAI Global Health and provides technical support to a variety of DAI’s programs. Her particular focus of work is on quality of care in maternal and newborn health.
Dr Francine de Montigny
Dr Francine de MontignyISA Board Member