The first 100 registrants receive a gift box that includes a Pampers tote, Tito’s swag, Maddie & Bella’s coffee, Graham’s Foundation face mask and more…
Preemie parents learn how to turn lemons into lemonade. We are excited by the opportunity to celebrate in an entirely new way with our community.
We’re creating a unique experience that you won’t want to miss. It will be an opportunity to hear from our founder, Nicholas Hall, inspiring family stories, leaders in prematurity and so much more.
This year we’re honoring three amazing individuals:
Valencia P. Walker, MD, MPH
Dr. Valencia P. Walker recently transitioned into new roles as Associate Chief Diversity and Health Equity for Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH) and Associate Division Chief of Neonatology for Health Equity and Inclusion within the Department of Pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine. Prior to this, she held a leadership position for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) as an Assistant Dean of Equity and Diversity Inclusion. She was also a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology at DGSOM.
She graduated magna cum laude from Florida A&M University and received her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Walker finished a Pediatrics residency at UT Memphis and a fellowship in Neonatology from the prestigious Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. After joining DGSOM’s faculty, she completed a Medical Education Fellowship at UCLA and recently obtained an MPH in Health Policy from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dr. Walker has garnered a national reputation for her involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. She was selected as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Program Chair for the Section on Minority Health Equity and Inclusion. In addition, she was appointed to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) Equity Matters Subcommittee. As a state leader, she co-chairs the Health Equity Taskforce’s “Eliminating within NICU Disparities” Subcommittee for the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative.
Active in organized medicine, Dr. Walker chairs the California Medical Association’s (CMA’s) Council on Legislation. She was also appointed to CMA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Council as well as CMA’s Healthy California for All Technical Advisory Committee. Dr. Walker previously served as president for the Association of Black Women Physicians, a nonprofit organization dedicated to diversifying the physician workforce, advocating for historically under-resourced communities and promoting health equity. Throughout her career, Dr. Walker has distinguished herself as an outstanding physician educator. She was recently recognized as a 2020 UCLA Black Excellence Honoree and is the recipient of numerous other awards, including a Congressional Certificate of Recognition from US Representative Karen Bass and the Physician Diversity and Outstanding Community Service Award from the California Shriners.
Sue Ludwig OTR/L, CNT
Sue Ludwig is the President and Founder of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT), a professional organization full of passionate neonatal therapists who aim to improve developmental outcomes for premature and sick infants in the NICU.
Sue is a certified neonatal therapist and practiced at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for over 20 years.
She received the Laura Edmunds Lectureship Award from UMass Memorial Medical Center, was awarded the Individual Contribution to Maternal & Child Health by the National Perinatal Association and received the EntreLeadership Momentum Award from Ramsey Solutions. She is the media expert in neonatal therapy for the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Sue is a sought-after speaker, consultant, writer and educator. She is driven to improve the culture of healthcare, armed with decades of experience speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. Sue has two adult children and lives with her husband Rob in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jens Christian Schwindt, MD
Jens Christian Schwindt is a specialist in Pediatrics and former consultant Neonatologist at the Medical University Vienna (Austria) with a passion for patient safety in Pediatrics and Neonatology to improve the care of critically ill newborns and their entire family.
Dr. Schwindt was born in 1973 in Hanau (Germany). During his civil service for an organization responsible for the day care of children with special needs he decided to go to medical school and become a Pediatrician. He studied medicine in Germany and Austria. He began work 2001 as a Pediatrician at the Medical University Vienna. From the beginning of his training as a Neonatologist his special interest was how to optimize the performance of interprofessional medical teams and how to improve patient safety in general.
During his time as a consultant for Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care, he founded the Center for Pediatric Simulation and Patient Safety at the University Children’s Hospital Vienna. He also established the certified newborn life support courses of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) in Austria and represents Austria at the ERC as the National Course Director for Newborn Life Support Austria. He was a founding member of the association PädSIM – which provides training for Pediatric Emergencies and is focused on a simulation-based training program for Pediatrics and Neonatology and standardization of the training of instructors in pediatric and neonatal simulation.
His work as a specialist on a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has taught Dr. Schwindt that a highly professional interdisciplinary team is an indispensable prerequisite for effective medical care and because high performance teams aren´t born but developed, that high quality team training in neonatology and beyond is inevitable. However, as he was not satisfied with the neonatal simulators available, he founded his company SIMCharacters and started to develop his own neonatal simulator, together with his team of software and hardware engineers, specialists for mechatronics, animatronics and special effects design experts. The High Emotion Preterm Simulator “Paul” now enables medical teams worldwide to train how to handle critical neonatal emergencies under highly realistic conditions.
To make high quality training in Pediatrics and Neonatology readily accessible to all hospitals in Austria and Germany, Dr. Schwindt finally decided to dedicate fulltime to his passion, left the Medical University Vienna and also founded SIMCharacters Training. SIMCharacters Training provides pediatric and neonatal resuscitation and simulation training in hospitals on-site in all German speaking countries. All training simulations are performed exclusively with the teams being interprofessional and interdisciplinary, and include intensive team training of all health care professionals involved in the management of critically ill children, and prioritize the fundamental aspect of system safety.
Jens lives with his wife Eva, also a consultant in Neonatology and system safety expert, and their two children Louise and Philipp in the suburbs of Vienna.