Building Strong NICU Families Symposium 2017

To Register for the symposium, click HERE.

Conference Date & Time
Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Registration Time: 8:00 AM
Time: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Conference Location
Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5
Room: Auditorium (18th Floor)

Directions and Parking
Please click HERE for details.

Schedule of Events

7:30 to 8:00 am: Registration

8:00 to 8:30 am: Opening Remarks by Dr. Jennifer Young

8:30 to 9:00 am: Welcome Message by Claire Kerr-Zlobin 

9:00 to 10:00 am: Morning Keynote Speaker: Dr. Myroslava K. Romach
Topic: Psychological distress in parents of preterm infants

10:00 to 10:15 am: Break

10:15 to 10:45 am: Speaker: Nathalee Ewers
Topic: Growing up Preemie

10:45 to 11:45 am: Parent Panel Speakers: Kimberley and Christina Foreman, Alyssa Keel, Zahir Keshavjee
Topic: Building Your Village

11:45 am to 12:45 pm: Lunch

12:45  to 1:45 pm: Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Dr. Paige Church
Topic: New recommendations for early identification of CP

1:45 to 2:00 pm: Break

2:00 to 3:00 pm: Speaker: Marilyn Ballantyne
Topic: A Helping Hand: Supporting vulnerable NICU families post-discharge

3:00 to 3:15 pm: Closing Remarks by Dr. Jennifer Young 


Dr. Myroslava K. Romach (Morning Keynote)

Dr. Myroslava K. Romach is an authority on clinical psychopharmacology, a physician and industry executive, with more than 25 years experience in drug development in academic and industry settings. Presently the focus of her work is in maternal-child health, specifically maternal perinatal mental health and infant neurodevelopment.

Dr. Paige Terrien Church (Afternoon Keynote)

Dr. Paige Terrien Church is an Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is the director of the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Developmental Behavioral Physician Lead in the Spina Bifida clinic at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Church is board certified through the American Board of Pediatrics in Neonatology, and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics and is interested in long-term functional outcomes of infants with neurologic conditions.

Marilyn Ballantyne (Speaker) 

Marilyn Ballantyne, PhD, RN (EC) is Chief Nurse Executive and Clinician Investigator at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Adjunct Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. Marilyn has extensive experience as a nurse practitioner in Neonatal Intensive Care, Neonatal Developmental Follow-Up and Complex Care Child Development settings. Her research is focused on improving health services and transitions for NICU families as they move from hospital to community.

Nathalee Ewers (Speaker)

Nathalee is currently 21 years old and in her final year of Honours Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour at McMaster University. Though she spent the majority of her life in Pickering, Hamilton has been her home for the past 4 years. Passionate about the human body, and the brain in particular, Nathalee hopes to pursue a career in Neurology or Rehabilitation Science. She has been a volunteer at the Sunnybrook NICU picnic for several years now, and this past year was the recipient of the CPBF Bursary. In her spare time, Nathalee can often be found climbing some rocks or jamming to jazz music with her friends. Nathalee is proud to say that she grew up preemie and is excited to share what that means to her.

Kimberley and Christina Foreman (Parent Panel Speakers)

Kim is Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and is currently on leave to be a full-time mom. Christina works in the mortgage industry and is completing her Masters in Management Analytics at Queen’s. When they are not spending their time obsessing about their former 29 weeker, Oscar, they are watching football or tending to their five fur babies.

Alyssa Keel (Parent Panel Speaker)

Alyssa is a single mum to a son born full term and identical mono mono twin girls, born at 29 weeks, one of whom has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus as a result of a brain bleed at birth. Alyssa holds her Master’s of Social Work and works as a consultant in children’s mental health in Toronto. Alyssa and her kids love minions, traveling on subways and streetcars, and visiting the pandas at the zoo.

Zahir Keshavjee (Parent Panel Speaker)

Zahir Keshavjee and his wife Rishma spent many months in the NICU at Sunnybrook after their twins were born at 24 weeks gestation. Their son Khalil passed away after a short time, and their daughter Meera is now a happy and healthy girl who loves school and has become a big sister. Zahir volunteers as part of the Family Advisory Committee at Sunnybrook, hosts regular Dad Nights at the unit, and organizes many events for NICU parents and staff. His goal is to offer support to other fathers during and after their stay in the NICU. 

To Register for the symposium, click HERE.

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