International Stillbirth Alliance Conference Comes to Ireland

22 Sep 2017
Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Chair ISA Cork, Ms Claire Storey, Co-Chair ISA Board and Prof Vicky Flenady, Co-Chair ISA Scientific Advisory Committee (Photo: Gerard McCarthy)

The International Stillbirth Alliance Conference 2017 (ISA 2017) will for the first time ever be held in Ireland.

Organised in University College Cork (UCC), the conference will take place over two days from 22nd to 24th September, and will see around 380 delegates coming from all corners of the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America and South America. The organising committee consists of members from the Pregnancy Loss Research Group based within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, UCC and Cork University Maternity Hospital.

The aim of the conference is to challenge healthcare professionals to constantly strive for excellence in stillbirth awareness, research and bereavement care. The conference programme includes a mixture of plenary and concurrent sessions from invited speakers and selected presentations from conference abstracts. The programme is designed to meet the individual and professional needs of every delegate, and to form strong ties between the international stillbirth alliance community. The conference will also be attended by bereaved parents, some of whom will share their experience of stillbirth care.

The organising committee for ISA 2017 is a multi-disciplinary team involving obstetricians, midwives, social scientists, epidemiologists, services users, perinatal pathologists, chaplains, educators and researchers. The committee has worked alongside their partners, including Féileacáin (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland), the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre and the INFANT Centre at UCC to host ISA 2017 and bring this conference to Ireland.

Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Chair of the organising committee said “The International Stillbirth Alliance’s (ISA) mission is to raise awareness of stillbirth and to promote global collaboration in the effective prevention of stillbirth and provision of appropriate care for parents whose baby is stillborn.  As our own National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death are implemented this year, it is significant that this conference is being held in Ireland as it demonstrates a significant step forward in our commitment to compassionate care for parents and the impact that bereavement brings”.

The ISA is a diverse alliance of international organizations, ranging from parental groups and educational institutions to research groups who work together to support the goals of the organisation.

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