Keynote Presenters

Opening Keynote


Martha Driessnack, PhD, PPCNP-BC, RN
Associate Professor
Oregon Health & Science University
School of Nursing
Portland, Oregon USA

“Who are you from?”

This opening session weaves children’s art and stories with emerging research on the importance of intergenerational relationships and family lore, shifting the common question of “Where are you from?” to the more revealing “Who are you from?”

Martha Driessnack is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with over 30 years of practice with children and families. She received her BSN from the Ohio State University, MSN from Yale University, and PhD from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), with a minor in art therapy from Marylhurst University. She then completed the NINR Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a post-doctoral research fellowship in clinical genetics at the University of Iowa.

Her program of research revolves around the active engagement of children in all matters of health-related research and practice. To date, much of her work has centered on the integration of child-centric techniques, including the use of art to facilitate communication. To date, she has engaged children in a wide array of conversations, from health-related symptoms, such as fear and pain, to understanding complex topics, such as genetic origins, disease causation, risk, and/or inheritance. Using art, she continues to be in awe of the degree to which children are able to communicate their needs, experiences, and challenges and the nuanced insights they provide about themselves, their families, and health.

In her keynote address, she will highlight how to integrate various forms of art into family-focused research.

One of the key points she likes to make is family stories are important. Join her to learn why.

Day 2 Keynote: The Family and Family Nursing in Spain

The IFNC13 Conference Committee is pleased to announce the Keynote for Day 2 of the conference which will focus on family and family nursing in Spain. This theme was selected in response to your feedback from our previous conference that you would like to hear more about the nature of families and family nursing in our host country.

Dr. Carolina Montoro-GurichCarolina Montoro-Gurich, PhD
Professor of Human Geography
University of Navarra
Pamplona, Spain


Dr. Montoro-Gurich is the Vice Dean of Research at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Sub Director of the Institute of Sciences for the Family at the University of Navarra. Dr. Montoro-Gurich’s research focuses primarily on migration and family policies. The presentation will give IFNC13 participants a perspective on family health issues in Spain and Europe.


Garcia-Vivar 2015 129x168Cristina Garcia-Vivar, PhD, MSc, RN
Director of International Affairs of the Spanish General Council of Nurses
Associate Professor
School of Nursing, University of Navarra
Pamplona, Spain


Dr. Garcia-Vivar’s program of research focuses on teaching family nursing interventions to practicing nurses to help them to support families who are caring for a relative with chronic illness. In addition, Dr. Garcia-Vivar is a valued leader in IFNA through her roles on the Board of Directors and the IFNA Practice and Conference Committees. Her presentation will complement the keynote talk from Dr. Montoro-Gurich concerning key issues and family nursing in Spain.

Closing Keynote

Linda ShieldsLinda Shields, MD, PhD, FACN, FAAN
Professor of Nursing
Charles Sturt University
Honorary Professor, School of Medicine
University of Queensland
Queensland, Australia

“Looking Back and Looking Forward – Family-Centered Care into the Future”

Linda Shields is Professor of Nursing at Charles Sturt University, and is an Honorary Professor in the School of Medicine at The University of Queensland. Her research interests include the influence of a rural and remote environment on nursing and health outcomes across the life span; the care of children in health services, in particular family-centred care and the history of nursing and ethical issues surrounding nursing such as nurses’ roles in the “euthanasia” programmes of the Third Reich.

She holds a Doctor of Medicine from The University of Queensland, the first nurse in Australia to attain a Higher Doctorate. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2015; in 2012, she was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame of Sigma Theta Tau International, the international honour society for nurses, and in 2014 was awarded a silver medal by the European Society for Person Centered Health Care, for her work on family-centred care.

Her previous positions include professorial appointments at the University of Limerick in Ireland, University of Hull in England, Curtin University in Western Australia and James Cook University in Queensland.

She is a Life Member of the Australian College of Children and Young People’s Nursing, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia; Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International; and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). She is a member of the board of directors of the TJ Ryan Foundation, the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare, the Australian College of Children and Young People’s Nurses and sits on the editorial boards of Journal of Child Health Care, Nursing Children and Young People, the Nordic Journal of Nursing Research and Working Papers in the Health Sciences.

She has over 400 publications in nursing, medical and history journals and several books and chapters.