We are delighted to welcome our international keynote speakers to headline Conference 2021. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity in giving us their time, expertise and wisdom.

Heather Richardson
Joint CEO of St Christopher’s Hospice, London, UK. 

Heather Richardson works as one of the Joint CEOs of St Christopher’s Hospice, London.  She has previously held the role of National Clinical Lead for Hospice UK, serving as executive lead on the National Commission into the Future of Hospice Care and worked as Clinical Director, then Strategy Advisor to St. Joseph’s Hospice in East London. Until recently she worked also as a senior associate of the Innovation Unit in London.

Heather is a registered general and mental health nurse and has worked in hospice/palliative care since 1988. She has a PhD, her research concerned with users’ experience of day hospice. More recently she has developed a research interest around public health and end of life care. She currently serves as an honorary professor in palliative care at Lancaster University.

Professor Lieve Van den Block
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Lieve Van den Block is Professor of Communication and Education at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and chair of the “Ageing and Palliative Care” Research Programme at the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University in Belgium. She has a Master in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Medical Social Sciences. She performs public health and interventional research in a national and international perspective aimed at monitoring and improving palliative and end-of-life care. Her research is multidisciplinary in nature, focusing on palliative care in the community and palliative care for older people including frailty and dementia. She was Principal Investigator and EU coordinator of PACE (Palliative Care for Older People), a collaborative research project funded under the EU FP7 Health programme (2014-2019). Funded by the European Commission as Marie Curie Initial Training Networks, she was Executive Coordinator of EURO IMPACT (European Intersectorial and Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Research Training; 2010-2014) and is currently partner lead in INDUCT (Interdisciplinary Network for Dementia Utilising Current Technology; 2016-2020) and DISTINCT (Dementia Intersectorial Strategy for Training and Innovation network for Current Technology; 2019-2023). She has received several scientific awards for her work including the Early Researcher Award of the European Association for Palliative Care and VUB Excellent PhD Supervision Award; she has published more than hundred papers in leading general medicine, social science and palliative care journals, and is co-editor-in-chief of the Textbook on Palliative Care (Springer Nature).

Conjoint A/Prof. Colm Cunningham
Director of the Dementia Centre, HammondCare

Formerly the Deputy Director of UK Dementia Services Development Centre, Colm’s research focus and expertise are in pain management, environmental design that supports people with dementia, dementia and delirium, dementia and intellectual disabilities and night care. Colm is widely published and is also a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, a visiting fellow in dementia design and practice at the University of Edinburgh School of Health in Social Science and a member of the Wicking Strategic Review Panel in Australia.

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