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Fabiana Bacchini

Fabiana is the Executive Director of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation. She is a journalist and the published author of From Surviving to Thriving, a Mother’s Journey Through Infertility, Loss and Miracles.

After years struggling with infertility, she welcomed her first child in 2009. In 2012, pregnant with twin boys, she was introduced to the NICU world after delivering at 26 weeks gestation. Her surviving son was in the NICU for 5 months and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Fabiana’s family participated in the study of Family Integrated Care (FICare) while in the NICU, which led her to become a parent advisor at Mount Sinai Hospital, an ambassador for FICare having travelled across Canada and other countries to share her experience with this model of care. She has become a strong voice and advocate for premature babies and their families.

Currently, Fabiana serves as an advisor on the Steering Committee for FICare, on the Critical Care Services Ontario (ONICAC group), Child-Bright Network, EFCNI Parent-Patient Advisory Board. She’s been involved in several research projects worldwide and is a member of the CIHR-Institute Advisory Board for the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health.

Leonard Benoit

A member of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq (sounds like Holly Boo) First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador, Leonard Benoit serves as the Regional Indigenous Cancer Patient Navigator for Toronto Central (Toronto Regional Cancer Program) and the Indigenous Patient Navigator for University Health Network. Leonard marries his professional background, as a nurse and community service worker, and Indigenous lived experience, to bridge the gap between Western medicine and Indigenous spiritual practices.

He is a certified Death Doula, holds certification in Palliative Care and is studying Thanatology (Death Studies). He calls Toronto for the last 17 years.

Mariana Bueno

Mariana Bueno is a Registered Nurse; she completed her Masters' (2006) and PhD (2011) in Brazil, and completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children (2017-2021) focusing on neonatal ain infant pain and implementation science. She is currently a Knowledge Mobilization Specialist at Sick Kids

Dr. Paige Church

Dr. Church was first a graduate of the NICU at the University of Vermont and then a few years later, became a graduate of the University Of Vermont College Of Medicine. Her pediatrics training was completed at the University of Chicago, focusing on inner city medicine and complex care. She then completed a combined fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Developmental Behavioral Paediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. She is board certified through the American Board of Pediatrics in both Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics.

Dr. Church recently relocated to Boston from Toronto. She is now at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital, where she works as a neonatologist and developmental behavioral pediatrician in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and in the Growth and Development Support Program (GraDS clinic). Her academic interests include developmental care, long-term outcomes of babies who were cared for in the NICU, systems of care, spina bifida, and disability.

Dr. Church is married to Erik Church and they have a daughter, Izzy who is in high school.

Dr. Davy Evans

Dr Davy Evans works as a consultant clinical psychologist in neonatal care in England, UK. He splits his time between clinical work in the large neonatal intensive care unit at Birmingham Womens' Hospital, and as the Lead Neonatal Psychologist for the West Midlands Perinatal Network. As a co-founding member of NeoLeaP, the Neonatal Leads for Psychological Practice in England, Davy is helping to expand and develop the role of psychological professionals in neonatal care. Davy holds both research and clinical doctoral degrees and is an advocate for evidence-based psychological practice. He has published on a wide range of topics including adult mental health, psychophysiology, paediatric and neonatal psychology. Relationships are at the heart of Davy's approach to psychological practice, and his understanding of neonatal care.

Dr. Linda Franck

Professor Linda S. Franck holds the Jack and Elaine Koehn Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Nursing and co-directs the ACTIONS fellowship program in reproductive health and justice. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and is an affiliate member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. She serves as the founding director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Center at UCSF, established in 2022 with the aim of contributing new evidence and facilitating the implementation of pediatric family-centered care and family-centered services in all settings where children receive health care globally.

Dr. Zuzanna Kubicka

Zuzanna Kubicka, MD obtained her medical degree at the Medical University in Lodz, Poland and completed pediatric residency at St. Barnabas Hospital Bronx, New York Presbyterian Hospital Network, followed by neonatal-perinatal fellowship at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH. She joined Boston Children’s Hospital in 2007. She currently serves as clinical director at South Shore Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and neonatal network director at Boston Children’s Hospital. Since 2018 she is leading the project on Family Integrated Care (FICare) model, which allows parents to receive comprehensive education through “SSH NICU FICare” App created with her leadership by the multidisciplinary NICU team. The purpose of the program is to improve parental and newborn outcomes, with particular focus on parental stress and anxiety during a difficult NICU journey.

Dr. Debbie McNeil

Dr. Deb McNeil is the Scientific Director for the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network in Alberta Health Services and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Deb was a member of and led research departments in Alberta Health Services for 17 years using integrated knowledge translation to generate and mobilize scientific evidence for practice and decision making. Before that she worked for 27 years in Neonatal Intensive Care including as a staff nurse, educator, manager, and clinical nurse specialist. She has expertise in a variety of research approaches including epidemiology, qualitative research, syntheses, and systematic evidence reviews. She has supervised post doctoral fellows and has supervised or been a committee member for many graduate students. Her clinical and research interests focus on maternal child health. Deb is a board member of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.

Kevin and Shakina Nadarajah

Kevin and Shakina are parents to Adiah and Adrial Nadarajah, who were born at 22+0 weeks in Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto in March 2022 weighing 330g and 420g each. They are the Guinness World Records holders for the world's most premature twins and lightest twins at birth. Adiah and Adrial spent 161 and 167 days at the Mount Sinai Hospital NICU respectively and were discharged home in August 2022. Kevin and Shakina are strong advocates for FI Care, micro-preemies, and raising awareness about the viability of 21- and 22-weekers.

Eva-Marie Stern

Eva-Marie Stern is a Registered Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, and Specialist in Art-Based Medical Education in the Health, Arts and Humanities Program in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She is a co-founder of the Women Recovering from Abuse Program and the Trauma Therapy Program at Women’s College Hospital, where she practiced for over 20 years. She holds a Fellowship in Art Museum-Based Health Professions Education from Harvard University.

Event Date & Time

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Event Location:

Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning
686 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5G 0A4
Located beside The Hospital for Sick Children


See Venue and Accommodation page for details

Information & Assistance:

Conference Services

UHN Conference Services does not issue letters of invitation to international delegates. Administrative fees will apply to cancelled registrations.

FICare Website