MICHELLE ULRICH, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC
Michelle graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Occupational Therapy in 1992. She began her OT career in Acute Rehab with a focus on traumatic brain injury. Michelle currently works at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Initially Michelle treated patients all over the hospital, from 0-18 years of age. For the past 24 years, Michelle has worked specifically in the Level IV NICU. She received her designation as a Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist from NANN in 2013 and became a Certified Neonatal Therapist in 2017. She was certified in Neonatal Touch and Massage in 2019.
MARY COUGHLIN, MS, NNP, RNC-E
Mary Coughlin, MS, NNP, RNC-E is the Founder and President of Caring Essentials Collaborative, LLC and a graduate of Northeastern University where she received her baccalaureate and master’s degrees in nursing. Ms. Coughlin has assumed roles as staff nurse, charge nurse and neonatal nurse practitioner culminating in her current position with Caring Essentials Collaborative. With a clinical background that spans over 30 years, Ms. Coughlin is the internationally recognized expert in the field of trauma-informed, age-appropriate care in the NICU. A leader in the field of neonatal nursing and international key-note speaker Ms. Coughlin is a published author of multiple publications including Clinical Practice Guidelines for Age-Appropriate Care of the Premature and Critically Ill Hospitalized Infant for the National Association for Neonatal Nursing (NANN), Transformative Nursing in the NICU: Trauma-Informed, Age-Appropriate Care and her latest book entitled: Trauma-informed Care in the NICU: Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for Transdisciplinary Neonatal Clinicians. Ms. Coughlin lives in Boston Massachusetts with her husband Dan and their dog George.
*AUNE HJARTARSON, OT Reg. (Ont), CNT, NTMTC
Aune is an Occupational Therapist in the NICU at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She received her undergraduate degree and Occupational Therapy Degree from McMaster University. She is part of McMaster NICU’s small baby team and the VON collaborative. Aune is a certified neonatal therapist, and has been privileged to call the NICU home for over 20 years. Aune is a sought after international speaker, educator, and consultant. She lectures in the McMaster University Masters OT Programme, has published in the area of clinical and videofluoroscopic assessment of aspiration in high risk infants. She was awarded the OT Practice Excellence Award at Hamilton Health Sciences. Aune is a dedicated life-long learner, and passionate about education to empower clinicians, teams, and families in the NICU.
ELIZABETH JEANSON, PT, DPT, CNT, NTMTC
Dr. Elizabeth Jeanson currently serves as the Developmental Specialist in Neonatal Intensive Care at Sanford/USD Medical Center. Dr Jeanson was NIDCAP trained, Infant Behavioral Assessment and Neonatal Network Neurobehavioral Scale certified. She is also a certified infant massage instructor and a certified child passenger safety technician (car seat). Recently Dr Jeanson completed her Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapy certification. She is a certified neonatal therapist. In her current position Dr. Jeanson is responsible for direct and indirect implementation of developmental family centered care in a large level 3 neonatal intensive care unit. Dr. Jeanson has spoken regionally on topics including sensory development of preterm infants, positioning of infants in NICU, non-pharmacologic pain management for preterm infants, supporting the development of post term infants in the NICU, as well as team building and strategic planning for multidisciplinary teams. She published, One to One Bedside Nurse Education as a Means to Improve Positioning Consistency in 2013. Dr Jeanson’s passion is improving the outcomes of premature infants through cautious/thoughtful intervention, family support and staff education.
ANGELA LINDBLOOM, MSN, RNC-NIC, NTMNC, RN
Angela Lindbloom is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan. She worked in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan for 12 years as a Staff Nurse, Charge Nurse, Preceptor, and was highly engaged in Primary Nursing. Angela received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Detroit-Mercy as a Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nursing Education. She is certified in Neonatal Intensive Care, an instructor for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, and in 2021 became certified as a S.T.A.B.L.E instructor. Since leaving Henry Ford, she has worked in a Level III NICU as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Detroit and moved to California in 2018 to further her CNS practice. She is currently the Clinical Nurse Specialist/Assistant Department Administrator in a Level III NICU in Los Angeles, California.
KATHERINE BELL, MD
Dr. Katherine Bell graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Biophysical Chemistry. She obtained her MD from the University of California, San Diego, during which time she conducted research on pediatric neuromonitoring strategies. Dr. Bell completed her clinical training in pediatrics at UC San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland where she also served as Chief Resident, and was subsequently recruited into the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program, where she served as Chief Fellow. She is currently an attending neonatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Her clinical research investigates the associations of infant nutrition and body composition – the relative contribution of fat and lean mass to body weight – with long-term outcomes such as brain growth and risk of obesity. Her work has been supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Gerber Foundation. Her current research interests include novel assessments of nutritional status for preterm infants, including body composition measurement, and their influence on brain growth, neurodevelopment, and cardiometabolic health.
*ERIN SPRINGER, MOTR/L, CNT, NTMTC
Erin has practiced as a pediatric and neonatal occupational therapist for 18 years. She received her Master of Science from University of Puget Sound and currently works at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. She works in the Main Campus level 4 NICU as well as the off-site level 2 nurseries. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, and obtained certifications in lactation education, and Neonatal Touch & Massage. Erin has presented nationally and locally on developmental care and support for infants in the NICU. She also participates in the Vermont Oxford Network Quality Improvement initiatives focused on enhancing the care of micro-preemies. Erin also has experience in NICU follow-up for developmental and feeding support.
VIRGINIA MCGILL, PT, DPT, PCS, CLWT, NTMTC
Virginia McGill or Ginny received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Creighton University in 2001. She then practiced in Phoenix, Arizona in home care for developmentally delayed children and adults before transitioning in to the inpatient setting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She began neonatal practice in 2003. Neonatal therapy has been her practice focus from since then and has continued in Anchorage, Alaska where she moved in 2008. Ginny is now the Neonatal Therapy Supervisor for The Children’s Hospital at Providence Alaska Medical Center. She has developed competencies for therapy practice and nursing education programs for developmental care quality improvement. She has participated in VON work and the development of practice for micro preemie care and kangaroo care. She has aspecial interest in skin care and is part of the NICU wound care team after receiving certification in wound and lymphedema treatment. Ginny enjoys living in Alaska and all it has to offer with frequent time spent kayaking, hiking, camping and kiteboarding.
*KARA ANN WAITZMAN, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC
Kara Ann has been a neonatal therapist for over 25 years in a level III NICU and serves as the nursery’s developmental specialist. Kara Ann is president of Creative Therapy Consultants, Founder of the Neonatal Touch & Massage Certification (NTMC), and Co-Founder of Infant-Driven Feeding®. She is certified in NTMC, is Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT) trained, certified in NIDCAP, and earned the Neonatal Developmental Care Specialist Designation through NANN. She served on AWHONN’s Continuum of Care Advisory Board, and currently serves on National Association of Neonatal Therapists’ Professional Collaborative as well as the Marchof Dimes Program Services board. Kara Ann has been a nationally sought after speaker, educator, and consultant for over a decade and has published articles on positioning and feeding, and written a chapter on Neuromotor Development and Massage. She developed and sells DVDs on Massage, Skin-to-Skin, and Swaddled Bathing. Kara Ann has received professional awards including the Ohio Occupational Therapy Pediatric Model Practice Award, the March of Dimes Healthcare Worker of the Year Award, the MVH Excellence in Service Award and the 2015 Inaugural Pioneer in Neonatal Therapy Award from the National Association of Neonatal Therapists.
KEIRA SORRELLS, BSFCS
Keira Sorrells is the mother of triplets born at 25 weeks, 5 days gestation. Ms. Sorrells spent nine and a half months in the NICU with her girls and experienced every parent’s greatest fear when one of her daughters died at 14 months old. In 2008, these traumas led Ms. Sorrells to launch the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation, a non-profit that supports NICU families. She soon became aware that the voice of the NICU parent was underrepresented in Maternal and Infant Health community. In response, Ms. Sorrells helped launch and now serves as President of the Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA). PPA a network of over 30 NICU parent support organizations that is dedicated to representing the needs and best interests of NICU families in all facets of healthcare policy, care guidelines, advocacy, education, and family support. Ms. Sorrells strongly believes that no single organization or provider can serve all the needs of all NICU families, only through collaboration can the true voice of the NICU parent be represented appropriately.
RACHEL HARRIS, OTD, OTR/L, NTMTC
Rachel received her clinical doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine. During her time at Washington University, she was actively involved in research related to maternal mental health and neonatal feeding outcomes. Rachel currently works in a level IV NICU at Medical City Dallas Children’s Hospital. She also works in home health with infants focusing on torticollis, plagiocephaly, and developmental delays. Rachel maintains her neonatal touch and massage certification and is passionate about improving outcomes for neonates and their families.
HOLLY SCHIFSKY, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS
Holly is an Occupational Therapist who has worked in pediatrics for the past 24 years with the past 16 years in a level IV NICU. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, Certified Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapist, Certified Brain Injury therapist, an active member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and has completed 6-month mentorship in infant/child NDT. She has worked within the NICU and NICU follow-up clinic to maximize patient and family outcomes for the most complex premature and medically- fragile term infants. Holly received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational therapy from the University of North Dakota in 1997. She has dedicated her career to clinical care and advancing developmental care practice patterns for all multidisciplinary team members. She is a faculty member for the Neonatal Touch and Massage certification and for Education Resources Incorporate. She provides educational courses to NICU clinicians across the world and has presented at many regional and national conferences. She provides Developmental Care, Feeding Intervention, and NICU education throughout the country. She is the recipient of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Clinical Excellence award in 2018, due to her clinical expertise and dedication to advancing the therapeutic interventions for NICU infants with cardiopulmonary conditions.
ANN DAVIS, BS, RRT-NPS
Ann is a licensed respiratory therapy practitioner and neonatal pediatric specialist who has cared for neonatal patients for over 30 years. She works in a 60 bed, single family room, level 3 NICU as an educator for NICU staff and also provides instruction to area respiratory therapists training in newborn stabilization. As adjunct faculty at a local community college, Ann developed and facilitates a short term certificate program focusing on respiratory care of the newborn. In her role as an infant monitoring specialist, Ann was a co-author for a white paper detailing the use of documented event monitoring for pre-discharge screening. Her committee work includes providing education for the small baby team initiative and she recently worked with Kara Ann Waitzman and other NICU Professionals to develop the best practice for skin-to-skin transfer of the intubated infant.
*SHANNON USHER, MSOT, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC
Shannon received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from Washington University School of Medicine. She has been working in the NICU since she started her processional career and currently works in a large Level III NICU in Colorado Springs, CO. She also participates in the Infant Developmental Assessment Clinic in Colorado Springs. Shannon has presented many times on the local and national level both in live and pre-recorded formats. She is a clinical consultant and CE Administrator with Creative Therapy Consultants. Shannon has completed developmental assessments with a Nationwide National Institute of Health research study and she also volunteers with the Junior League of Colorado Springs.
*Denotes NTMC Phase III Hands-On Training Speakers
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