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Premier Speakers & Sessions

Premier sessions address topics of broad significance and feature nationally-recognized advocates for maternal health. Stay tuned for more information!

  • Opening General Session: Lenora Billings-Harris

    The Diversity Advantage: The Oz Perspective
    Wednesday, May 14, 2:00-3:30 PM

    As a diversity strategist, Lenora partners with organizations to help them make diversity a competitive advantage. She has been included as one of 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and was named by Diversity Woman Magazine as one of the twenty top influential diversity leaders in the US. Her award winning diversity leadership research is recognized in journals internationally. Lenora's ability to transform multifaceted diversity and inclusion concepts into immediately applicable "how to's" have enabled her to help Fortune 500 companies, professional associations, government agencies and educational institutions facilitate change to attract and retain top talent, expand multicultural markets, and heighten the number of engaged employees.

  • Premier Session: Mary Renfrew
    Midwifery and Quality Care: The story of the Lancet series on midwifery
    Friday, May 16, 8:30 - 9:30 AM

    Mary Renfrew, BSc, RN, DN, RM, PhD, is a health researcher with a clinical background in
    midwifery and nursing. She has conducted research in policy and practice in
    maternity care and in infant feeding for over 30 years, and has worked in the
    universities of Edinburgh, Oxford, Leeds, York, and Dundee in the UK and in
    Alberta, Canada.
    She was appointed an inaugural Senior Investigator
    with the UK National Institute for Health Research, has been Chair of the WHO
    Strategic Committee for Maternal and Newborn Health, and was a founding
    co-editor of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. She is a member of
    the ICM Research Standing Committee and the WHO working group on quality of
    care in midwifery, and is currently leading a global alliance to write a
    Special Series on Midwifery for the Lancet, funded by the Bill and Melinda
    Gates Foundation.

  • Therese Dondero Lecturer: Sonia Hassan, MD

    Saturday, May 17, 8:45-9:45 AM

    Progesterone and Preterm Birth Prevention: Which Agent, Which Patient?

  • Closing Premier Session: Dawn Thompson

    Coming Together and Moving the Mainstream
    Saturday, May 17, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

    Dawn Thompson is the founder of ImprovingBirth.org. She has been in the birth industry since 2003, supporting hundreds of families as a labor & postpartum doula. Because of her own personal struggle through 3 preventable cesareans before a healing normal birth, her passion for birth has become her life mission.