I was excited to hear that the keynote speakers for the Lamaze International/DONA International 2014 Confluence were announced yesterday. I am very much looking forward to this conference and love the idea of Lamaze and DONA sharing energy, resources and learning opportunities. I think that both organizations and all the men and women in attendance at the conference will benefit from this joint venture. The conference takes place on September 18-21, 2014 in Kansas City, MO at the Kansas City Marriot Downtown.
Keynotes for this year’s event include:
Michele Deck, RN, BSN, MEd, LCCE, FACCE
An internationally renowned presenter, author, and educator, Michele Deck is the co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of G.A.M.E.S. and Tool Thyme for Trainers . She has won the prestigious “Excellence in Nursing” award, has been selected as a “Great 100 Nurses in Louisiana” and was elected to Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honor Society. In 2000, she received the sought-after Belinda Puetz award and in 2004 was the recipient of the Margaret L. Messore Lectureship award. I have had the honor of bringing Michele to Seattle for a presentation given to our regional childbirth education conference and she brought down the house! Her interactive and engaging activities left us all energized and excited.
Eugene R. Declercq, PhD
A professor of Community Health Sciences, assistant dean for DrPH Education at the Boston University School of Public Health and professor on the faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Eugene R. Declercq has served as lead author of national reports on women’s experiences in childbirth. He was a technical advisor to the film documentary, The Business of Being Born, and developed and presented the short film, Birth by the Numbers. He is one of the Principal Investigators for the Massachusetts Outcomes Study of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (MOSART), a NIH funded study of infant and maternal outcomes associated with assisted reproductive technologies. I have heard Dr. Declercq speak several times and always leave his presentations amazed at the skill he has in presenting data effectively and with humor. I have great respect for his work and appreciate all he does to promote maternal infant health improvements. Did you know that Dr. Declercq is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator?
Katharine D. Wenstrom, MD
Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and director of the Prenatal Diagnosis Centers in Providence, RI, New Bedford, MA and Foxboro, MA. Katharine D. Wenstrom is also professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. A geneticist and nationally recognized leader in the field of maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. Wenstrom works to set the standard for the best care of high-risk pregnant women. What a unique perspective this perinatologist must have. I look forward to hearing her speak and sharing her views on pregnancy and birth.
Ngozi Tibbs, CD(DONA), LCCE, IBCLC
The founder and owner of Sankofa Childbirth Education and Lactation Services, in Pittsburgh, PA, Ngozi Tibbs holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Maternal Child Health and is a candidate for a Master of Public Health in – 2014. She has served as a doula, childbirth educator and lactation consultant primarily serving at risk communities including: African American, Latino, immigrant and low- income women from more than 10 counties in the United States. She is a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International, a Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) through Lamaze International, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a La Leche League Leader through La Leche League International. What a powerful combination of talents! I am confident that Ngozi will share information that will help everyone to better meet the needs of underserved populations who are often lacking in birth services promoting safe and healthy birth.
Penny Simkin, PT
A physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968, Penny Simkin has prepared over 11,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth. She has produced several birth-related films and is the author of many books and articles on birth for parents and professionals. Currently, she serves on several boards of consultants and on the senior faculty at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor. Penny has such wisdom and experience in helping families to have a better birth experience, and her work has had such an impact on birth professionals and families all around the world. As one of the founding members of DONA International, it is very fitting that she is speaking at this joint conference.
This conference will be very rich in experience and expertise and I am definitely planning on attending. It is also a great way to meet my continuing education requirements. I am looking forward to hearing who will be presenting concurrent sessions, finding out what preconference sessions are scheduled and making plans to connect with colleagues from all over the world. Is your calendar marked for this conference? Registration opens April 15th, 2014! Register early to take advantage of early bird prices, once it opens. To learn more about the conference and stay up to date on important information, check back to the conference site regularly.