ILC Steering Committee

The ILC’s international Steering Committee was established in September 2014, and includes representatives from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

The Steering Committee is responsible for establishing the ILC’s strategic direction, including its business model, and organising the ILC’s annual international conference. The Committee meet monthly to identify, set, and work towards strategic short- and long-term goals for the ILC. 

Professor Alison Kitson

Vice President and Executive Dean, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Australia

Alison has had a long, successful career in executive leadership, education and research in the UK and Australia, publishing extensively in the areas of fundamental care and implementation science. From 2013-2015 Alison was the Executive Director (Innovation & Reform) of Nursing for the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, providing leadership in models of care and workforce planning and redesign. Her contribution to nursing is recognised through prestigious accolades, including the Florence Nightingale Leadership Award (2004), Distinguished Graduate of the Year from the University of Ulster (2002), and a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing (1991). In 2009, Alison became a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing for her work on standards of nursing care and translating evidence into practice. In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Malmo, Sweden, for her contribution to nursing scholarship and leadership.

Nely Amaral

Director, Nursing Quality and Practice and Magnet Program, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Health System, Canada

Nely has extensive experience in leading quality improvement, project management, patient safety and risk review in health organizations. Nely’s clinical background and expertise in nursing is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she has worked for over 24 years. Nely has a special interest in neonatal outcomes, particularly reduction of neonatal infections. Nely was a graduate of the Veterans Affairs Quality Scholar Fellowship program in 2016, successfully being the first nurse in Canada to graduate from the course. She is currently Co-Director and Faculty for the program through the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. Nely is also the Magnet Program Director for Mount Sinai Hospital; currently the only hospital in Canada to achieve Magnet designation. Magnet is a voluntary recognition process for excellence in patient care. It is conducted by the American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC) and is one of the highest achievements a healthcare organization can attain.

Dr Devin Carr

Chief Nursing Officer, Maine Medical Center, US

Devin Carr is Chief Nursing Officer at Maine Medical Center (MMC), leading the medical center’s Magnet-Recognized nursing team. Devin joined MMC in 2020 from the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, a Magnet-designated hospital, where he served as the chief nursing officer for one of the nation’s leading medical centers. Prior to his work at the University of Michigan, Devin served as Administrative Director of the Surgery and Transplant Patient Care Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a three-time Magnet-designated facility in Tennessee.

Devin has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare in a variety of clinical, academic, and leadership roles. He has collaborated across multiple enterprises to improve patient satisfaction scores, reduce risk and harm, and strengthen regulatory compliance readiness. Devin earned his DNP from Concordia University Wisconsin, an MSN from Clarkson College, and a BSN from Middle Tennessee State University.

Dr Tiffany Conroy

Senior Research Fellow, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Australia
Deputy Director, Centre for Evidence-Based Practice South Australia, Australia

Tiffany has a Bachelor of Nursing from Flinders University and a Master in Nursing Science and PhD from the University of Adelaide. Tiffany is also a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing. Tiffany’s research interests include the fundamentals of care, knowledge translation and the methodology and conduct of systematic reviews. She currently leads research projects relating to the clinical leadership of fundamental care and understanding how fundamental care can be more explicitly embedded within pre- and post-registration nursing curricula.

Professor Mette Grønkjær

Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Clinical Nursing Research Unit, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark

Mette has a Masters in Nursing from Flinders University, Australia, and a PhD in Medicine from Aarhus University, Denmark. Since 2002, she has worked in the areas of teaching, research and development within nursing. Mette’s research interests include the fundamentals of care, particularly among vulnerable and stigmatized groups; alcohol and other drugs; public health; health behaviour; mixed methods research; and methodology development. In her current role, she is highly engaged with PhD supervision, international research collaboration and research management. Mette has been a member of the ILC since 2012.

Dr Getty Huisman-de Waal

Senior Researcher, Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, IQ Healthcare, The Netherlands

Getty (PhD, FEANS) is a senior researcher / lecturer at the Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare (IQ healthcare) of the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She has a Bachelor of Nursing from HAN University of Applied Science, a Master in Nursing Science from the University of Maastricht, and a PhD in Medical Science from Radboud University. She has worked as a gastro enterology nurse in hospital for more than 10 years. Since 2010 she has worked in the areas of teaching and research. Her research activities and interests include the Fundamentals of Care, and the influence of daily nursing interventions on nurse sensitive outcomes. Recently, she developed a Dutch list of 66 do-not-do recommendations for nurses in all care settings. In her current position she is highly engaged with PhD supervision, (inter)national research projects, and research management.

Professor Debra Jackson AO

Professor of Nursing, Susan Wakil School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Australia

Debra is a distinguished nurse scientist and scholar whose career has spanned clinical practice, academic research, and scholarship. Debra is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing, a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Xi Omicron & Phi Mu), and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). She leads research programs in patient safety, with a focus on pressure injury and workforce development. Debra is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, and sits on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Child Health Care, Nursing Inquiry, and Nursing and Health Science. In 2015 she won a Principal Fellowship of the NIHR-funded Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, awarded in recognition of sustained contribution to generating knowledge to enhance patient care. In 2019, she was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medical education in the field of nursing practice and research. In 2020, Debra was named as Australia’s leading nurse researcher by The Australian newspaper.

Dr Lianne Jeffs

Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, Canada
Associate Professor (status), Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada

Lianne’s research interests include patient safety, quality improvement, and knowledge translation. Her research program at the University of Toronto aims to generate insight into how care transitions for complex medical patients can be enhanced to improve quality patient care and outcomes. In her role at St Michael’s Hospital, Lianne undertakes patient safety and health services research, with a focus on safe transitions across the healthcare sector. Her previous work has included investigating near miss occurrences in the healthcare system and safety and leadership in critical care. She currently holds research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Knowledge generated from her research provides foundational knowledge around the design and delivery of safer healthcare in Canada.

Jane Merkley

Executive Vice-President, Chief Nurse Executive and COO, Sinai Health System
Adjunct Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Canada

Jane is a nurse executive with expertise in leading strategic change initiatives that deliver the highest quality patient care across the healthcare continuum. Jane co-chaired the Orthopaedic Capacity Planning initiative to review and evaluate the delivery of orthopedic services, and the MSK/Stroke Implementation Task Force to support adoption of best practices for joint replacement, hip fracture, and stroke. She is the chair of the Rehab/CCC Vice President Steering Committee, providing strategic leadership to influence system-level change and promote rehabilitative care. In 2013, Jane was the Bridgepoint lead in the Toronto Central Integrated Client Care Program, which received a Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety. For her work as an academic practice leader, Jane received the Award of Merit for Excellence in Nursing Administration from Sigma Theta Tau, Lambda Pi Chapter.

Dr Jenny Parr

Chief Nurse and Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience, Counties Manukau District Health Board, New Zealand

Jenny commenced as Chief Nurse and Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience at Counties Manukau Health in January 2017. Prior to this, Jenny held several senior nursing, professional and management roles over two decades, both in New Zealand and in England. She was Executive Director of Nursing and Patient Experience at Kingston Hospital NHS Trust from 2010-2013 and was appointed to the Health Quality Safety Commission Board in late 2019. As Chief Nurse and Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience, Jenny is working to bring the expertise around patient experience, standards, and safety together to create a whole of system patient experience within Counties Manukau Health. As a Registered Nurse and qualified midwife with a Doctorate in Health Science, her research involves the relationship between leadership, fundamentals of care, and Maori centred models of care, and creating clinical academic career pathways for nurses.

Associate Professor Åsa Muntlin

Head of Research, Department of Emergency Care, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden
Associate Professor, Adjunct Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Uppsala University, Sweden
Adjunct Associate Professor, College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS), Flinders University, Australia

Åsa has specialist training in emergency care and extensive clinical and research experience in emergency nursing. Her current research areas include health services research, pain management, emergency care, patient experiences, knowledge translation and fundamentals of care. Åsa was the inaugural recipient of the University of Adelaide School of Nursing Eleanor Harrald Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, working with Professor Alison Kitson on the fundamentals of care research program. She is the Co-Principal Investigator and coordinator of a joint fundamental of care research program between Sweden and Australia and is involved in different projects through the Nordic Health Research and Innovation Networks and Swedish Society of Nursing. She is also involved in teaching fundamentals of care to students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Professor David Richards

Professor of Mental Health Services Research and Inaugural Head of Nursing, University of Exeter, UK

David is a distinguished health services researcher with a global reputation in developing, testing, and evaluating complex, non-pharmacological interventions. He is one of only very few nurses to be awarded ‘Senior Investigator’ status by the UK National Institute for Health Research, recognising the top 200 UK health service researchers. David’s research focuses on: improving access to healthcare for people with common mental health disorders, the effectiveness of primary care telephone triage, and improving the evidence base for fundamental nursing care. He is chief investigator for the UK's COVID-NURSE clinical trial of a pandemic-specific fundamental care clinical protocol. David was President of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS) from 2012-2018. He has published over 270 academic and professional articles and edited the seminal textbook Complex Interventions in Health: An Overview of Research Methods

Professor Yvonne Wengstrom

Professor, Director Strategic Research Programme Care Science (SFO-V), Director of Nursing Development, Theme Cancer Neurobiology Care Science and Society, Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Yvonne’s work involves ensuring quality care around fundamental aspects of patient care, such as adequate nutrition, comfort, and hygiene. This work involves understanding the fundamentals of care, and how they are delivered, from the view of patients, including those with cancer and survivors of stroke. Yvonne has been involved in an intervention study to implement and test a clinical practice development intervention to promote compassionate care for older patients in the acute hospital setting, primary care, and care homes. The intervention used cluster randomization procedures and focused on the quality of the relationship between the patient and healthcare staff.

ILC Executive Officer: Dr Rebecca Feo

Research Fellow, College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Caring Futures Institute, Flinders University, Australia

Rebecca has a PhD in Psychology and has been working in the field of fundamental care since 2015. Her research focuses on the vital role of social and caregiving relationships in ensuring high-quality care delivery across health disciplines and care settings. Within the field of fundamental care, her program of work focuses primarily on the nurse-patient relationship as the cornerstone of high-quality fundamental care delivery. This includes exploring the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of this relationship and developing appropriate metrics to best measure the relationship. As the Executive Officer of the ILC, Rebecca provides key input into the ILC’s strategic direction, including its business model and membership structure; provides administrative support to the Steering Committee; manages the ILC’s social media, marketing, and membership database; and is the lead convenor of the ILC's annual international conference.