Keynote speakers

Bianca Buurman
– University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bianca Buurman is a Professor of Acute Geriatric Care at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA).

Bianca Buurman began her career as a nurse at the AMC in 2000. She obtained her doctorate degree at the UvA in 2011 with her PhD thesis Screening, Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Strategies to Prevent Functional Decline in Hospitalized Older Patients. She has also served as AMC Principal Investigator since 2016. Buurman has additionally been a professor of Transmural Geriatric Care at the AUAS since 2015. She continues to work as a nurse one day every two weeks.
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research awarded Buurman a Veni grant in 2014, and she received a Rubicon grant in 2013 to conduct research at Yale University. In 2014, she won the American Geriatrics Society New Investigator Award for her promising research in the field of geriatrics. She has in recent years secured funding for her research from the ZonMW programmes ‘From Knowledge to Action’, ‘The National Care Programme for the Elderly’, ‘Quality in Health Care’ and ‘Palliative Care’, and from the NutsOhra fund.
Besides her work at the AMC and the AUAS, Buurman is currently a member of the Amsterdam Public Health programme council on Ageing & Later Life, the Ben Sajet Training Centre and the Amsterdam Centre on Ageing. She has a seat on the Health Council of the Dutch Committee on Self-Sufficiency of Elderly Persons as well.

The aim of her research line is to develop and implement person-centered transitional care models for older persons.

David Richards
– Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen Norway & University of Exeter, United Kingdom

David Richards is Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter UK.

He has been a registered nurse for 38 years and is at the forefront of international efforts to improve the evidence base for depression management, psychological therapies, and fundamental nursing care. He integrates experimental and observational research on complex interventions, to improve the usefulness of research for patients, informal carers, policy makers, and clinicians.

David has published over 280 journal articles, edited two clinical and research text books including the best-selling research methods textbook ‘Complex Interventions in Health’, and has led more than £14m ($21.8m) of externally funded research in the UK and Europe. He was chief investigator of the COBRA and CADET trials of psychological therapies and the ‘COVID-NURSE’ clinical trial, evaluating a pandemic-specific fundamental nursing care protocol used by nurses caring for patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

He was the President of the European Academy of Nursing Science (2012-18) and inaugural Head of Nursing at the University of Exeter (2017-20).

Greta Cummings
University of Alberta, Canada

Greta G. Cummings, RN, PhD, FCAHS, FAAN, was appointed founding College Dean of the College of Health Sciences for a two-year term, effective July 1, 2021. Prior to becoming College Dean, Dr. Cummings served as the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing for four years.
Passionate about relational nursing leadership that empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to achieve shared goals, Dr. Cummings aims the faculty to be among the top academic and research-intensive nursing faculties internationally, with strength and expertise in aging and chronicity, health equity, health systems and global health.

Dr. Cummings also leads the CLEAR Outcomes (Connecting Leadership Education & Research) research program in leadership science in health systems, which focuses on the leadership practices of health-care decision-makers to achieve better outcomes for providers and patients. Dr. Cummings has systematically documented both positive and negative effects of specific leadership practices on outcomes for the health system, the health-care workforce and for patients. Dr. Cummings also leads the Older Persons’ Transitions in Care (OPTIC) research program which examines the quality of transitions of frail elderly clients across three care settings: residential care facilities, Emergency Medical Services, and Emergency Departments. OPTIC aims to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to avoid unnecessary transitions for frail seniors and to improve those that must occur.

Dr. Cummings has published over 200 papers and is a 2014 Highly Cited Researcher in Social Sciences (Thomson Reuters). Dr. Cummings’ has received the Canadian Nurses Association Order of Merit for Research, and in 2015 was inaugurated into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Lia Brigante
– World Health Organization, United Kingdom

Lia Brigante is a midwife with a decade of experience, she has been working in a series of roles including clinical leadership, research, policy and advisory. Lia joined the Royal College of Midwives in 2017, contributing to improvement of maternity policy and midwifery practice across the UK and internationally, working with the European Midwifery Association (EMA) and the European Forum for Nursing and Midwifery (EFFNMA) and representing ICM on WHO Guidance Development Groups.

In her development role as Consultant Midwife in Public Health at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, Lia led the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) maternity portfolio and developed an innovative social prescribing service for the perinatal period. Lia is part of the RCM Expert Clinical Advisory Group and led on a number of resources to support the pandemic response, including authoring the joint RCM/RCOG guidance on provision of midwifery-led settings during the pandemic. Lia has conducted research on midwife-led settings provision, the role of consultant midwives and ‘higher risk’ women’s experiences of midwifery continuity of care, as co-investigator of the POPPIE trial at King’ College London as part of her MSc in Implementation Science. Lia holds an affiliate research contract with King’s College London and is a guest lecturer for MSc programmes in global and public health at King’s College London and City University of London.

Mirjam Lukasse
– University of South-Eastern Norway & Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Caring for pregnant women has a long history of promoting health and identifying threats to the health of the mother and her offspring. Traditionally the focus was limited to physical risk factors such as high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes and similar. More recently other risk factors have been given attention including mental health issues, drug and alcohol dependency, a history of violence, poverty, single parenthood, and recent immigration. As most women attend antenatal care midwives have a unique opportunity to identify women with such vulnerabilities and provide appropriate individualized woman-centered respectful care. Continuity of care with the same midwife or small team of midwives offers an opportunity for building a trustful relationship, a requirement for women to disclose some of the less visible struggles they may have. Midwives actively working with vulnerable women experience challenges with interprofessional and intersectoral collaboration.

Mirjam Lukasse became a nurse in Sittard (1982), the Netherlands and a midwife in Belfast (1984), Northern-Ireland. She has worked as a midwife in Pakistan, the Netherlands, the UK and Norway. She completed her Master of Science in Midwifery at Surrey University, Guildford (UK) in 1998. Lukasse moved to Norway in 1998. In Oslo she worked for several years at a midwifery led unit (ABC) followed by employment at a highly specialized obstetric unit (Rikshospitalet). Lukasse completed her PhD in Health Science at the University of Tromsø (Northern Norway) in 2011. The theme for her thesis was childhood abuse and pregnancy and childbirth. Lukasse continued with the theme of violence against women and pregnancy and childbirth as a post doctor, three years financed by the Norwegian Research Council. Since then, Lukasse has been involved in and led research projects on identification and support of vulnerable women, gestational diabetes, prolonged labor, pain relief in labor, latent phase of labor, cross-cultural doula support, labor induction at home, continuity of care and midwives working conditions. Lukasse has experience with quantitative and qualitative study designs, including cohort studies, randomized controlled studies, mixed methods and systematic text analysis. Lukasse teaches at the master in midwifery education in Vestfold at the University of South-Eastern Norway and is supervisor for master and PhD students for their research and thesis.

Mirko Prosen
University of Primorska, Slovenia

The professionalisation process is a collective strategy used by an occupational group to achieve the recognized status of a profession. More specifically, it can be defined as a process in which occupations become, or seek to become, publicly recognized as a profession or aspire to be so, depending on the extent to which they meet predetermined criteria. Traditionally, professionalisation has been associated with expert knowledge and skills, autonomy and jurisdiction over practice, and ethical behaviour, but in postmodern society the elements of professionalisation have changed to focus more on the user’s perspective and less on the profession itself. This includes the ability of nurses to participate effectively in interprofessional collaboration to plan and implement evidence-based nursing care and ensure optimal outcomes for patients. Evidence suggests that interprofessional collaboration among health care professionals enhances their collective awareness of each profession’s role and the knowledge and skills that each professional group possesses. The question arises, however, whether true interprofessional collaboration, in which the nursing profession is seen as equal partner, really exists (and/or is encouraged) in the clinical setting, and if so, to what end.

Mirko Prosen is currently Associated Professor of Nursing and Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Primorska (Slovenia).

He received his BSc from the University of Ljubljana and his MSc from the University of Primorska (2002 and 2011, respectively) and received his PhD in Sociology from the Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor in 2016. Before entering academia, he worked in clinical practise in the field of women’s health and obstetrics. Professor Prosen’s research interests include transcultural nursing, sociology of health and illness, professionalisation of nursing, and nursing education. As a researcher, he has been involved in many national and international projects in nursing and interdisciplinary health issues. He has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and conference papers, and serves as an editor, editorial board member, and reviewer for several scholarly national and international journals.

Prof. Prosen’s research has led to his being invited to speak at a variety of scientific events. Since 2018, he has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Rijeka (Croatia) (Department of Nursing, Department of Midwifery). He is actively involved in several international nursing and other associations and societies, including Sigma, European Transcultural Nursing Association, European Society for Health and Medical Sociology, NuPhaC, etc. He has received several important national and international recognitions for his research/education career, including the highest national award “Republic of Slovenia ward for outstanding achievements in higher education for 2022”.

Mirjam Lukasse

– University of South-Eastern Norway, Borre, Norway

– Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway

LectureAn app for everything! Experiences from a randomised controlled trial testing an app for women with gestational diabetes

Mirjam Lukasse is a professor in midwifery at the University of South-Eastern Norway and Oslo Metropolitan University. Lukasse completed her nursing education (1982) in the Netherlands and midwifery (1984) and MSc in advanced clinical practice (1998) in the United Kingdom. She has practised midwifery in England, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Norway. Lukasse defended her PhD thesis on Childhood abuse and pregnancy and childbirth in 2011 at the University of Tromsø, Norway. Since then she has continued her research within the field of violence against women and in the general field of midwifery. Topic of research include, slow progress in labour, induction of labour, information (web-site) for women at home in the latent fase, an app for women with gestational diabetes, a video promoting safety behaviours for pregnant women, the use of pudendal pain relief, a model of continuity of care in Palestine and interventions for women experiencing domestic violence in Nepal.