SPEAKERS: Paediatric Nursing Practice and Education Conference

Our speakers for the Paediatric Nursing Practice and Education Conference taking place from today are:

Dr Jennifer Arnold

Jennifer Arnold, MD, MSc, FAAP, Center for Medical Simulation and Innovative Education at Johns Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital.

Dr Jennifer Arnold, MD, MSc is currently an attending neonatologist and Medical Director of the Center for Medical Simulation and Innovative Education at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.  She is an experienced neonatologist, medical educator, healthcare advocate and simulation researcher with a passion for delivering high-quality patient care through innovation, technology and effective debriefing.  

She completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Psychology at the University of Miami in Florida. She then completed her medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD and graduated in 2000. She attended a Paediatric Residency Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. During her fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, she obtained a Master of Science in Medical Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She is Board Certified in Neonatal Medicine and is currently the Medical Director of the Centre for Medical Simulation and Innovative Education at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Dr Arnold has been involved in simulation education, patient safety, and research endeavours for the last 10 years.

Dr Cherilyn Ashlock

Dr Cherilyn Ashlock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, is the Director of Professional Practice at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. In her current role as Director for Professional Practice, Dr Ashlock oversees the clinical and unit-based onboarding, development and education, nursing research, regulatory readiness and nursing quality outcomes.

She is also responsible for the organizational pursuit of ANCC Magnet designation. Under her leadership, Johns Hopkins All Children’s continues to develop their transition to practice programs, as well as build upon the preceptor role for nursing and patient care services.  Dr. Ashlock completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice-Executive Leadership at Old Dominion University in May of 2017 and focused her capstone work on an intervention to prevent missed nursing care in the paediatric acute care environment. Her most recent publication includes a chapter in the newly released book: “Mastering Precepting.”

Click HERE to view Dr Ashlock’s presentation about Improving Retention Competency and Confidence of Nurses. Click HERE to view the presentation on Leadership is a team Affair.  

Wilma Berends

Wilma Berends is a Nurse Consultant for the Global Services Clinical Quality and Nursing team at Johns Hopkins Medicine International. Wilma’s initial nursing education and experience were in the Netherlands and Switzerland, where she developed her interest in paediatrics and cardiac care. She came to the US to help develop the cardiac surgery program at the Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, rising to the position of Director of the Cardiac Centre. She has her Master of Science in Nursing from American Sentinel University and has completed postgraduate studies in paediatric nursing, paediatric and neonatal intensive care nursing, and psychology and mental health.

Click HERE to view Dr Berends presentation about Patient and Family Centered Care. Click HERE to view the presentation on Strengthening Interdisciplinary Teams. 

Prof Busisiwe Bhengu

Professor Busisiwe (Busi) Rosemary Bhengu is an Honorary Associate Professor of UKZN; currently employed by New York University as a nurse educator in Human Resource for Health Project introducing specialisation in Rwanda. Professor Bhengu is also the former Head of the School of Nursing at The University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban.

She recently finished her term as the Chairperson of the South African Nursing Council and is a Distinguished Teacher Award Recipient of UKZN 2008. Professor Bhengu has been engaged in post graduate critical care curriculum development and reviews and its teaching within South Africa and several countries in Africa including the Arab Emirates. She was also a member of Council of the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa for two years and a current member of the Technical Committee of COHSASA and chairperson of the College Council of the KZN College of Nursing. In her capacity as Head of School in UKZN, she became a Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre and representative of the AFRO Region in the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres.

Professor Bhengu has been a visiting scholar at Hochschule Bremen University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Massachusetts General Institute in Boston, Rush University in Chicago and observer of the Advanced Practice Role in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Rush Hospital in Chicago. She has participated in several panels, of note being the Canadian Research Initiative in which funds were awarded to big projects aiming at implementation of Task Shifting in Africa; the national Quality Care panel of Discovery Health Awards (2014-2017) and KZN quality day awards for the best innovative projects.

Professor Bhengu has published widely in critical care with her postgraduate students she supervises and other scholars and presented papers locally, regionally and internationally.

Click HERE to view Prof Bhengu’s presentation on The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse. 

Dr Nonkululeko Boikhutso

Dr Nonkululeko Boikhutso is a Public Health Medicine Specialist currently serving as a member of the executive team at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in the position of Clinical Services Director. Her Main area of interest is in health systems and development of policy that will have impact on functions of the health system. She also currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Cancer Alliance representing issues related to childhood cancer and is a co-opted member of the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation Board. She is also a Non-executive Director of the Ronald MacDonald House of Charities South Africa.

Dr Boikhutso obtained an MBBCh at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2005, an FCPHM(SA) from the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in 2012 as well as a Master of Medicine in Community Health (with distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2012. 

Suzanne Breton

Suzanne Breton earned a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from McGill University in Montreal in 1984 and earned her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1998.

Suzanne is an Occupational Therapist in the Department of Rehabilitation Services at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She has worked a variety of different areas including neonatal intensive care, neonatal follow up, paediatric medicine, cardiology, general surgery, otolaryngology and dysphagia clinic for the past 29 years with her main area of focus being the NICU.  She has presented at numerous workshops and has published articles in the area of infant feeding and developmentally supportive care and provides education and mentoring to nursing and occupational therapy students and new staff.

Suzanne is certified in Neurodevelopmental Intervention (NDT) and the Neonatal Individualized Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) and has taken Lactation Consultant training. Suzanne has done research in the area of preterm infant development and feeding and swallowing interventions in the paediatric population.  She is involved in a number of process improvement initiatives and practice changes including oral feeding of infants on CPAP.

Suzanne is co-author of the book entitled “Infant and Child Feeding and Swallowing; Occupational Therapy Assessment and Intervention”.

Click HERE to view Suzanne Breton’s presentation on Collaborating to Ensure Success When Feeding the Preterm Infant. 

Prof Tina Cheng

Dr Cheng is the Given Foundation Professor of Paediatrics, Director of the Department of Paediatrics for the school of medicine with joint appointment in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Paediatrician-in-Chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  She is the ninth Director of Paediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and first woman. She received a Master in Public Health degree in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Residency from the University of California, Berkeley followed by a fellowship in Academic General Paediatrics at the University of Massachusetts.  In 2002 she joined Johns Hopkins University as Division Director of General Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and in 2013 also became Chair of Paediatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre.

Dr Cheng has received numerous recognitions for her work and is currently on the National Advisory Panel of the NIH All of Us Research Program and co-led the Child Enrolment Scientific Vision Working Group which authored the report on “Opportunities enabled through the enrolment of children in the All of Us Research Program.” Dr. Cheng is also the author of over 150 publications.

Click HERE to view Dr Cheng’s presentation on Building a Healthier Future. Click HERE to view her presentation on The Uniqueness of Children in Healthcare.

Dr Pinky Chirwa

Dr Pinky Chirwa is the Head of the Neonatal ICU at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. She obtained her MBChB from the Medical University of South Africa in 1992. Following this, she began her career working in private practice for six years, after which (2002 to 2003), she worked as a Medical Officer in Paediatrics at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital before graduating with her FCPaed in 2006.

Dr Chirwa received a fellowship scholarship for Neonatology in 2007 and graduated with a Certificate in Neonatology in 2011. She is currently working on her Masters in Bioethics and Health Law, awaiting submission of her dissertation. She is also a member of USANA, Global Bioethics Initiative in the UN, and has served on several boards including the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA), as well as three of its committees. She is also a lecturer in Paediatrics and Neonatology, affiliated with University of the Witwatersrand.

She is also a trustee for Agang Sechaba Women’s Initiative, which is a community based non-profit organization for professional women involved in raising funds to educate and mentor underprivileged children.

Hamida Ebrahim

Hamida Ebrahim studied at Aga Khan University School of Nursing and obtained her diploma in general nursing. Hamida did her community work in Portugal and in 2011 she joined the private health care sector in South Africa. She studied critical care and infection prevention and control where she followed it as a passion and specialised in the field.

She joined Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) as Infection Prevention and Control Manager in 2017 serving and received training by SickKids International as well as Johns Hopkins. Hamida is an active member of IPC and OHS Committee, Antibiotic Stewardship Committee and Pharmacy Therapeutic Committee at NMCH. She shows interest in improving hand hygiene compliance and runs various audits and training sessions in this regard. She was part of hand hygiene project abstract presented in HASA and FIDSSA and was also the lead author for the abstract for BCA bundle compliance that was published in FIDSSA. She has received various certificates for quality leadership and IPC core standard highest scores.

Click HERE to view Hamida Ebrahim’s presentation on Risk Identification in Healthcare.

Jayson Gopiechand

Jayson Gopiechand is the Nursing Director at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH). Jayson joined NMCH in June 2017.

In his newest role, he is accountable for nursing practice, nursing standards, education, infection control and occupational health across the hospital. Nursing services includes all nursing practice for inpatient, ambulatory and procedural settings as well as advanced practice providers and patient care services for nursing quality.

Prior to joining NMCH, Jayson served as Nursing Manager at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, a 365-bed facility. There he was responsible for clinical, operational and financial leadership for nursing and clinical inpatient and outpatient services.

Jayson received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of KwaZulu-Natal;  he then specialised as a Critical Care Nurse – Neonatal; thereafter he completed the Head of Department Management Programme and in 2016 he completed his Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a focus on Hospital Business Management.

Jayson’s nursing career has been dedicated to creating high quality, reliable systems of care and developing the next generation of nurses and health care professionals to lead in these ever-changing times.

Dr Andrew Grieve

Dr Andrew Grieve qualified as a doctor in 2002 from there he went on to spend time in various surgical areas before specialising in paediatric surgery at the University of Witwatersrand. He also holds a Masters of Medicine in Surgery.

During his training he spent time in King’s College in London, UK. After working at both Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academc Hospitals; Andrew has joined the team at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and continues to be involved in the Academic community in both education and research.

Click HERE to view Dr Grieve’s presentation on Is Renal Transplantation in need of Dialysis?  

John Groarke

As Mission Director for USAID/Southern Africa, John Groarke is responsible for all USAID programming in Southern Africa, including bilateral programs in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and eSwatini, as well as regional programming. USAID’s programs promote trade and investment, combat gender-based violence, increase basic literacy, improve access to energy, combat wildlife crime, and confront the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

As the USAID/Pakistan Mission Director from 2015 to 2017, Mr. Groarke led a $2.5 billion program promoting Pakistan’s development and the reconstruction of its conflict-affected border with Afghanistan. From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Groarke served as Mission Director for USAID/Haiti, leading a $2.2 billion program supporting Haiti’s recovery from a devastating earthquake. As Mission Director for USAID/Morocco between 2009 and 2013, Mr. Groarke led a program supporting the Government of Morocco’s political and economic reforms during a time of regional transition. In 2010, Mr. Groarke was detailed to Afghanistan to lead USAID’s efforts to implement the U.S. Government’s new counter-insurgency strategy. He previously served as Deputy Mission Director for USAID/Egypt (2006-2009) and for USAID/Iraq (2005-2006). He served as Senior Regional Legal Advisor for Egypt and Iraq (2002-2005) where, in 2003, Mr. Groarke helped open the Agency’s Baghdad mission in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and as a Regional Legal Advisor for various countries while based in Dakar, Senegal (1999-2002) and Dhaka, Bangladesh (1996-1999).

Mr. Groarke obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University, a Master’s Degree from The London School of Economics, and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister.

Muneera Ismail

Muneera Ismail is the Deputy Director for Nursing at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) where she is accountable for all areas of clinical nursing services. Muneera always strives to uphold the strategic pillars of NMCH by making use of innovative solutions and the inclusion of the interdisciplinary team.

Prior to joining NMCH, Muneera worked as a unit manager at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital for a 20 bedded ICU and as a clinical nurse at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

Muneera obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Johannesburg, she then specialised in critical care nursing at Chris Hani Baragwanath College. Muneera then went on to study a Master of Science in Nursing with the focus in the critical care domain.

Dr Clover-Ann Lee

Dr Lee is a paediatric anaesthetist and Head of Anaesthesia at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. After doing her undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of Witwatersrand, she completed a fellowship in paediatric anaesthesia at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. Her special interests are in anaesthesia for paediatric transplantation, cleft and craniofacial surgery. Dr Lee volunteers for Operation Smile, an organisation providing free cleft lip and palate surgery to vulnerable children around the world.

Dr Mandisa Maholwana

Dr Mandisa Maholwana whose experience in healthcare spans close to 20 years, has been CEO of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) since its opening in 2017. She started her career as a Family Physician and later began her own private family practice. She then continued her career in the pharmaceutical industry where she would gain management and leadership experience through various positions ranging from manager to director culminating in her role as Area Medical Director for Developing Countries for a major UK Multinational Pharmaceutical Company looking after countries in Africa and Asia.

Dr Maholwana attained her medical degree at the University of Natal. During her tenure in the pharmaceutical industry, she attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Manchester Business School and earned a Post Graduate Certificate in Pharmaco-Economics from Monash University. Furthermore, having developed a keen interest in healthcare sector regulation and ethics, she achieved an MSc Med in Bioethics and Health Law from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Jordan Mann

Jordan earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Honours from Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada before studying Applied Human Nutrition and earning a Bachelor of Applied Science from the

University of Guelph, Toronto, Canada. He completed his post-graduate dietetic internship at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 2016 and has been a member of the NICU team since September 2016.

In addition to his clinical and educational roles, Jordan has been involved in research while at SickKids. His current research focuses on the effect of postnatal steroids on growth in the hospitalised neonate. Recently, a manuscript he co-authored with a small dietitian team was accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. The manuscript outlined the effectiveness of hospital-wide implementation of the Nutrition Care Process (NCP) and International and Dietetics Nutrition Terminology (IDNT) into practice at SickKids.

Click HERE to view Jordan Mann’s presentation on Nutrition Management of the Paediatric Patient in Hospital: A Team Approach. 

Prof Muthuhadini Mawela

Professor MPB Mawela (Dini) is currently the Head of Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) and Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGMAH) in Pretoria.

Professor Mawela is a registered Neonatologist and Head of the Neonatal services at DGMAH/SMU and within the cluster.  She is an academic and Senior lecturer at SMU responsible for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and development.  She presents regularly at local and national congresses. Her research focus is within Neonatology, Paediatric HIV and PMTCT. She has an interest in Neonatal Infectious diseases and leads the antimicrobial stewardship program within Paediatrics department. She serves on several national advisory committees; National Perinatal Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Committee (NaPPemCo), Gauteng Maternal Neonatal Technical Advisory Committee and the Working Group of the Children’s HIV Sector on SANAC.

Prof Eric McCollum

Professor Eric McCollum is a paediatric pulmonologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  He has expertise in global child respiratory health with more than ten years of clinical and research experience in low-resource settings in southern Africa and south Asia.

After having lived in Malawi for five years as a clinician with the Baylor Paediatric AIDS Corps and as an NIH Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow, Profesor McCollum is now primarily based in the countries of Lesotho and Bangladesh.  He is the principal investigator of a NIH K01 International Research Scientist Development Award, through the Fogarty International Center, examining the role of pulse oximetry in Bangladeshi children with clinical pneumonia.

Professor McCollum is also a co-investigator for a study comprehensively examining the effectiveness of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in rural Bangladeshi children. In the southern African country of Malawi, Dr McCollum is the principal investigator of a randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of bubble continuous positive airway pressure in children hospitalised with severe clinical pneumonia.

Professor McCollum has been recognised globally for his contributions to child respiratory health.

Click HERE to view Prof McCollum’s presentation on Paediatric Respiratory Collaborations. 

Dr Porai Moshesh

Dr Porai Moshesh is the Head of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH), leading the unit since it opened in March 2018.

Dr Moshesh is a Paediatric Intensivist and completed her undergraduate studies at University of Transkei now known as Walter Sisulu University. She also trained at Wits University as a paediatrician and intensivist.

Before joining NMCH, Dr Moshesh served as a paediatric transplant intensivist at Garden City and Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre. She has vast experience in managing drownings and transplant medicine.

Dr Krubin Naidoo

Dr Krubin Naidoo is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Extra Corporeal Life Support (ECMO) specialist at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. Dr Naidoo obtained a BSc in 1992 and MBBCh in 1996 from the University of Witwatersrand. In 2006, he obtained his qualification as a specialist cardiothoracic surgeon, FCCardio(SA) in 2006 and received further training through a fellowship in Paediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Alberta in Canada in 2008. Before joining NMCH, he worked as a specialist in Extra-Corporeal Life Support (ECMO) in various parts of the world including Leicester, Leuven, Stockholm, Regensburg, Paris, Rome.

Dr Nceba Ndzwayiba

Dr Ndzwayiba (PhD – Wits) is the Director of Transformation at Netcare Limited. He has more than 14 years’ experience in various operational and strategic functions within the human capital development, organizational change and socio-economic transformation.

He has worked for Airports Company South Africa (ACSA – ORT Tambo International Airport), Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, Three Cities International Hotel Group, and the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) amongst others.  He is the Board Member of the Health and Welfare SETA; Chairperson of the Corporate Services Sub-Board Committee and a winner of the Future of HR: Hall of Fame Award 2018. He has served as one of the judges for Top Empowerment Awards, National Business Awards and the Top 500 Companies. He is an internationally published author in peer reviewed journals and books; and a guest lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, Henley Business School and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Rachael Britz

“Rachael is a registered nurse with a DIP HE in child nursing from Birmingham City University (UK) in 2006. She specialised in Paediatric intensive care nursing gaining a BSc from Birmingham City University (UK) in 2013. She has also completed extra-corporeal life support specialist (ECLS/ECMO) training at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (UK) in 2013 (an Extra-corporeal life support organisation ELSO registered gold centre of excellence).

Prior to recently starting at NMCH Rachael was a senior registered nurse and a VA ECLS/ECMO specialist with advanced ECLS/ECMO training on the Paediatric ICU at the Royal Bristol Children’s Hospital.  Rachael comes from a regional paediatric specialist centre in the UK for children’s cardio-thoracic surgery, neurosurgery and burns. It is an ELSO registered centre where established ECLS/ECMO is primarily a nurse-led service.

Click HERE to view Rachael Britz’s presentation on Acuity nursing transition in the management of ECMO patient’s.

Beauty Sangweni

Beauty Sangweni is an Operational Manager at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital(NMCH) in Dialysis Unit. Beauty commenced her nursing training at Natalspruit Nursing College in 1984. She trained in Midwifery at Bonalesedi Nursing College in 1989 and worked as a professional nurse at Hillbrow Hospital in 1991. She started working in their Nephrology Department in 1994 and in 2000, obtained her Diploma in Nephrology Nursing (Critical Care) at B. G. Alexander Nursing College. She obtained MSc in Nursing Management at the University of Witwatersrand in 2007. In 2012 she started a parents’ support group at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) Paediatric Nephrology Unit. Beauty has presented at the World Congress of Nephrology in 2015 and participated in two publications.

Click HERE to view Beauty Sangweni’s presentation on The challenges faced by rural paediatric undergoing haemodialysis in an urban area in South Africa. 

Stacie Stender

Stacie Stender is a Family Nurse Practitioner with Masters degrees in nursing and infectious disease and 18 years of experience working across sub-Saharan Africa. She has provided programmatic and technical support to universities, governments, community-based organizations, and NGOs in the design, implementation and evaluation of essential services, including TB and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programs across more than 15 countries. Stacie has been with Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, as Sr. Technical Advisor for ten years and has called South Africa home for nearly 15 years. Her professional priority is the revitalization of primary care, ensuring equitable access to healthcare services.

Satcie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from University of California San Diego, Bachelor & Master of Science degrees in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Science in Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  She is Past Chair of the Coordinating Committee of Scientific Activities of the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union), has served on several advisory boards for local organizations in South Africa, and is an active member of the International AIDS Society and the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society.

Veronica Taschl

Veronica Taschl is a Professional nurse with the following qualifications:

General Nursing, Midwifery, Community Health Nursing Science, Psychiatric Nursing, Operating Theatre Nursing Science. Nursing Administration and Nursing Education. She holds a Master’s degree in Health Professions Education.

In addition to general nursing clinical experience and school nursing, she has vast experience as an operating theatre nurse. She has worked as a deputy nurse manager at a tertiary hospital and as a provincial nurse manager before joining the National Department of Health in 2016.

Veronica is a Director of Nursing Stakeholders Management & Compliance, in the office of the Chief Nursing Officer at the National Department of Health (NDoH). She is currently involved in the management of internal and external stakeholders related to the nursing profession. In addition, she takes part in policy development and the monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation. This year, Veronica was appointed by the Minister of Health to serve as the NDoH representative on the South African Nursing Council Board.

Click HERE to view Veronica Taschl’s presentation on Nursing Landscape in South Africa

Dr Adele Tjale

Dr Adele Tjale is a Child and Family Health & Practice Development Practitioner, Coach and Motivational Speaker. She has published a number of articles in accredited journals including Tjale, A. A.  & de Villiers L. 2004. Cultural Issues in Health and Health Care: Juta Academic: Cape Town.

Dr Tjale is also the Director of Wholeness Care Life Centre.

Click HERE to view Dr Tjale’s presentation on Culture, Health and Healthcare. 

Dr Dena van den Bergh

Dr Dena van den Bergh has over 30 years of successful professional healthcare executive experience and has led large-scale change in multinational hospital and healthcare organisations using a unique blend of healthcare and engineering skills as well as her global collaboration, and systems-thinking expertise. Her outstanding academic record includes a doctoral degree in Engineering (EngD) from Warwick University, a master’s degree in Pharmacology (MSc (Med)) and an honours degree in Pharmacy (BPharm). Dena’s vision is to empower frontline staff, leaders and citizens to drive the movement for improvement in healthcare systems. Her portfolio of learning and competencies include an International Coach Federation (ICF)-certified coaching qualification, the improvement advisor training in the science of improvement with IHI and the transformational change methods from the Presencing Foundation Program by MIT’s Otto Scharmer and the Advanced Program in Design & Facilitation of Theory U.

Dena has served on the Board of the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) and on several national government task teams including the National Core Standards. She is a co-founder of the public-private collaborative quality improvement campaign Best Care Always (BCA –, a founding member of the SA Antibiotic Stewardship Program (SAASP), and an honorary lecturer at UCT Dept. of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV. In 2015 she was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership in Quality Improvement in South Africa by Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest administrator of medical schemes. Dena has recently started her own healthcare consultancy and leadership development company known as DnaVISION.

Click HERE to view Dr van den Bergh’s presentation on Leading the way in patient quality and safety. 

Dr Karen van Zijl

Dr van Zijl is the president and co-founder of the NPO – The Organisation for Paediatric Support in South Africa (OPSSA). She is the first South African to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. Karen is also a Play Therapist and has worked with paediatric patients since 2005 both in a hospital setting as well as in private practice. Karen is also a guest lecturer at UP and NWU. In 2014 Karen represented South Africa at the Child Life Council’s International Summit on Paediatric Psychosocial Services in New Orleans, USA. Karen has completed research projects and presented her findings as research posters as well as research papers at academic conferences both nationally and internationally. She has published articles in academic and medical journals. She has presented lectures to students and professionals in various disciplines and is an advocate for the rights of children in healthcare.

Her qualifications include a PhD in Educational Psychology (UJ), Advanced Certificate in Child and Youth Studies – Child Life Specialisation (UFV, Canada), MDiac – Play Therapy, Graduated Summa Cum Laude (UNISA), Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree – Psychology (UNISA), Bachelor of Arts Degree – Education and Psychology, Graduated Summa Cum Laude (UP), Higher Education Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Graduated Summa Cum Laude (UP).

Click HERE to view Dr Karen van Zijl’s presentation on Anxiety and pain in the paediatric patient. 

Prof Sithembiso Velaphi

Professor Sithembiso Velaphi is the head of Paediatrics at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto, Johannesburg. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health within the School of Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand. He holds an MBChB degree, a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand and fellowship from the College of Paediatrics within the colleges of Medicine of South Africa. He also has a fellowship in Neonatology obtained from University of Texas, South Western Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA. Professor Velaphi is still passionate about neonatology and is one of the attending physicians within the division of neonatology at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Click HERE to view Prof Sithembiso Velaphi presentation on Nursing Role in Leadership Teams from a Physician’s perspective.