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Keynote speakers:

Fran McConville is a Midwifery Adviser at the World Health Organisation (WHO) HQ since 2013. She is a nurse, midwife, BSc in Life Science and has a Master’s Degree in Economics and Social Welfare. Fran supports Member States to improve evidence–based quality midwifery education and care for all women, newborns and their families everywhere. Prior to WHO, Fran has worked as a Health Adviser to the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) based in the London HQ, as well as in Bangladesh and Somalia. She has development and humanitarian experience in sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health with UNICEF, IFRC, and a range of NGOs through living and working in Bangladesh India, Burma, Malawi, Kenya, Somalia and Iraq. She has also worked as a lecturer in maternal and newborn health/ gender and reproductive health, at the University of Wales, Swansea. In 2020, Fran was awarded the title Honorary Professor of Practice at Queen’s University, Belfast. As a keynote speaker of our Congress, Fran will speak about midwifery – a vision for 2022-2030.

PhD Leena Hannula works as a principal lecturer at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. She is the responsible director and lecturer for the Finnish Trainers of breastfeeding counselling course as well the international Breastfeeding and Early Interaction course in collaboration with Tallinn Health Care College. Leena has collaborated as a researcher in several research projects in Finland and internationally. Her PhD study was about breastfeeding perceptions and the outcomes of breastfeeding in Finland. She has carried out research about parenting, infant feeding, social support, attitudes and cultural comparisons. Her recent research is about touch-based treatments for infants suffering from colic symptoms. As our Congress keynote speaker, Leena will speak about cultural and societal aspects of breastfeeding.

Mika Gissler is a Research Professor at THL (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) and affiliated with several universities around the Nordic countries. Professor Gissler has worked with the Finnish Medical Birth Register for more than 30 years. His main research focus has been in utilization of routinely collected health and welfare registers and more precisely perinatal and infant health, childhood and adolescent health, and sexual and reproductive health. Increasingly, his research has a longitudinal component, usually from the prenatal period until adulthood. Mika Gissler is a proud honorary member of the Federation of Finnish Midwives. In our Congress, Mika’s keynote lecture will deal with the Nordic registers for sexual and reproductive health and the significance of close cooperation concerning them.

Sari Räisänen is a researcher, research project leader, trainer, and lecturer with clinical and scientific background in health sciences with more than fifteen years of clinical experience in maternity care and international experience. Sari has a doctorate in nursing science and docentship in perinatal and obstetric epidemiology. Currently, Sari is working at Tampere University of Applied Sciences as a principal lecturer in sexual and reproductive health. Sari has authored more than 70 scientific articles and books with domestic and international collaborators. Most of the studies were based on the analysis of registry data. The international experience comes from the work at the Emory University (Atlanta, GA, USA) in the department of epidemiology in 2013-2014 and being a member of several international research groups. The topic of Sari’s keynote lecture in the Congress is related to the opportunity to gain evidence on midwifery through birth register research.

Hannakaisa Niela-Vilen, PhD, Docent, RM, works as a Senior researcher at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland. Her main research interests are using digital solutions to support the care of pregnant and postpartum women, and breastfeeding support including early physical contact between a mother and her newborn infant. Before her academic career, Dr. Niela-Vilen has worked seven years as a midwife at the birthing unit. In our Congress, Hannakaisas topic as a keynote speaker is digitalisation and midwifery.