May 5th Speakers and Sessions

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 Dr. Louise Dumas

Louise Dumas, RN, MSN, PhD. Honorary professor-researcher in Nursing sciences, at Université du Québec en Outaouais (Western Quebec), Louise has studied in Canada, USA, and Sweden. Most of Louise’s research has been focused on perinatal practices, breastfeeding, and patient education.

As guest researcher at the Karolinska Institute, she is part of a research team studying Russian swaddling, skin-to-skin and early mother-infant interaction.

Louise has published many articles and book chapters and presented at numerous conferences throughout the world.

Louise is also lead assessor for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiatives, one of the Canadians at the WHO-BFHI committee for industrialized countries.

Louise has received many awards for the excellence of her work at the clinical, administrative, teaching and research levels.

Scientific Bases of the Baby Friendly Initiative


  • Evidence behind importance of breastfeeding and risks of not breastfeeding
  • Evidence for BFI both in hospital and in community
  • Reflect on one’s personal beliefs and professional practice can lead to mothers’ early breastfeeding difficulties

Jackie Barrett

Jacqueline Barrett MHSc RN has worked in the field of Nursing for 30 years. Jackie has worked in the Women’s and Infants’ program areas as a staff nurse, nurse practitioner, lactation consultant, manager and Director.

She has had involvement in the early work on establishing breastfeeding as a Best Practice and also in implementing the BFI. Jackie took the early BFI assessor course. She has a strong passion for quality improvement and for the care of women and families.

She has worked with many researchers in the area of breastfeeding support to assist them in facilitating their projects within the hospital environment.

Purposeful and Persistent Pioneers of BFI: The Designation (and Re-designation) Journey at St Joseph’s Health Care


  • Understand the experiences of initial Baby-Friendly designation and re-designation in the hospital setting
  • Share our team approach one step at a time
  • Appreciate the opportunities that rise from challenges for sustaining best practices and developing solutions within the context of the Baby-Friendly Initiative and embedding in the culture
  • Understand the importance of an interdisciplinary team approach along with community engagement as keys to success

Karen Moynagh

Karen Moynagh is a Senior Program Evaluator with the Halton Region Health Department.  Karen has a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies and is currently working on her Masters of Health Evaluation through the University of Waterloo.

Karen has enjoyed working on numerous projects over her past 18 years in the health department. Since 2000 she has worked on several infant feeding studies for the health department and has seen changes in breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity over this time period.

Measuring Outcomes and Using the Data


  • To outline the successful approach used by Halton to collect data about Infant Feeding and how this information has supported the BFI designation process.
  • To share information about sampling, data collection strategies, and tools used by Halton.
  • To show how data collected through Halton Infant Feeding studies has demonstrated changes in breastfeeding over time.
  • To share how results have been used to inform practice.
  • To discuss the public health standardized tools (LDCP project) and implications for Halton.

Marg LaSalle & Dr. Louise Dumas

In 1980 Marg graduated with a BScN from University of Western Ontario. She worked as a RN in NICU and paeds at St Joseph’s in London and then worked as public health nurse with Middlesex-London Health Unit.

Marg has been an IBCLC since 1994 and an instructor for the 20 hour breastfeeding course at Fanshawe College.

Currently Marg is a lead assessor with the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada and Chair of the BFI Assessment Committee for BFI Ontario.

Do You Want to be a BFI Assessor? Getting the Scoop


  • Provide an opportunity to discover what it means to be a BFI assessor, the roles and responsibilities of the work and the professional and personal value of the role
  • Understand the requirements to become an assessor
  • Review the role of assessors in Canada
  • Clarify the process for certification

Kathy Venter

Kathy Venter is a nurse/midwife from Africa. An IBCLC since 1990 and WHO/UNICEF BFHI assessor and trainer (1991).

In Canada she has continued to share her wisdom and expertise as a RN IBCLC at Sunnybrook Hospital and as an educator for Quintessence Foundation. Committee membership includes past chair for Breastfeeding Committee of Canada, past chair for BFI assessment/education of BFI ONT, RNAO and ILCA.

She is a BFI Master Assessor with BCC BFI Assessment Committee. She is recipient of Canadian Lactation Consultation Association 2010 and 2013 Award for clinical excellence.

The BFI and The WHO Code: Emerging Challenges


  • This session will provide an opportunity to consider the role of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant resolutions as implemented through the Baby Friendly-Initiative in Canada
  • Review the purpose of the Code
  • Gain insight into the implementation of the Code in its application to the BFI designation process

Valerie Spironello MSW, RSW

Valerie has been a social worker for over 25 years working in a variety of settings including palliative and chronic health care, child welfare and domestic violence.

She is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster and has worked teaching Mindfulness at University of Toronto.

She has provided workshops on a variety of topics such as compassion fatigue, work /life balance, mindfulness and end of life care. Valerie is also a meditation teacher trained in the use of mindfulness in clinical setting. In her private practice Choose Wellness, she provides counseling, workshops and retreats to assist others in living well in Mind, Body and Spirit.

Sometimes I Would Rather Be Eating Gelato, The Cost of Caring


  • Compassion fatigue: What does it look like? Why does it happen?
  • A personal journey through compassion fatigue
  • Strategies to remain healthy and well!


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