The 20th Biennial International Perinatal Bereavement Conference offers such an incredible opportunity to network with some of the most experienced and compassionate perinatal bereavement professionals. We are proud to announce the following Plenary Speakers for the 2016 Conference!


Plenary Speakers: 

Kathie Kobler, MS, APN, PCNS-BC, CHPPN, FHPN 

Kobler, Kathie_2016 IPBC Picture_5820Advanced Practice Nurse, Pediatric Palliative CareAdvocate Children’s Hospital, Park Ridge, IL

Plenary Session #1: Telling Our Stories: The Art and Science of Narrative Medicine in Perinatal Settings
Narrative medicine provides an opportunity for patients and healthcare professionals to mindfully reflect on their experiences. This interactive keynote session will review the evidence of incorporating narrative medicine into practice, while also engaging participants in the art of telling their own stories.


Bob Silver, MD
Silver, Robert_2016 IPBC_PictureProfessor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine University of Utah Health Sciences Center

Plenary #2:
State of the Science in Stillbirth Research
After a dramatic decrease 50 years ago, stillbirth rates in the US have been stable for decades. This workshop will explore why this is, as well as identify causes (such as infections, genetic abnormalities and placenta problems). Dr. Silver will also focus on the optimal timing of delivery and modifiable risk factors such as stress and obesity.

Beth Perry Black, PhD, RN

Black, Beth_2016IPBC_Picture_BBLACK AO3C4916-Edit

Associate ProfessorUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing

Plenary Session #3:
Conceptions and Mis-Conceptions: The Loss-lined Path to Parenthood of Lesbian Couples
Living in a heteronormative world, lesbian couples encounter biological and social constraints. In this session, that includes a bereaved couple, Dr. Black will explore various trajectories that describe efforts by lesbian couples to become parents, and participants will leave with an understanding of the specific challenges that lesbian couples face on their journey to parenthood.


Alyssa Luksa, BS, CCLS and Meghaan Jarrell, MSW, CCLS
(Luksa): Manager of Childlike and Expressive Therapies – Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital; (Jarrell): Certified Child Life Specialist, Intership Coordinator – Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital


Plenary Session #4:  I wish…”: Shedding Light on the Shadowed Sibling

thumbnail_Meghaan Jarrell
Often, siblings become the forgotten grievers when families experience the death of a baby, and it is important to understand how siblings play a role in the grieving and healing process. Participants will leave this presentation with information on how to have conversations with families and concrete examples of legacy-making activities. Luksa and Ryall will also review testimonials from families that have created memories and mementos for the baby’s past, present, and future siblings.


Charlotte Wool, PhD, RN
Wool, Chalotte_2016 IPBC_Picture 112x149Assistant Professor of NursingYork College of Pennsylvania

Plenary Session #5: The Quality Imperative – What Parents Want
Palliative care in the perinatal period is a family-centered approach to care that harmonizes medical care with emotional, social, spiritual and cultural needs and wishes. In this plenary session, Dr. Wool define recommendations for creating transformational change in perinatal palliative care models by examining what matters most to parents. Participants will learn about current developments and future trends as they consider quality care delivery in the context of a multidisciplinary team.

Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, MSW
Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.52.16 PMAssociate Professor, Arizona State University

Plenary Session #6: I, Thou, and We: What the Research Tells Providers About Presence with Grievers
Dr. Cacciatore will discuss the ATTEND model of full provider presence and identify current scientific evidence on attunement, trust, touch, egalitarianism and death/grief education. She will also examine recent evidence-based practices for provider self-care and compassion. Finally, there will be a discussion concerning what current research suggests about fostering Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) in clients.