RMHC Curaçao presents:

Saturday November 20, 2021

Our Speakers

Family Centered Care at the heart of healthcare for children and Rebuilding and Strengthening Family Centered Care in a post Pandemic World

Prof. Linda Franck, RN, PhD, FRCPCH, FAAN, San Francisco USA

Professor Linda S. Franck holds the Jack and Elaine Koehn Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Nursing and co-directs the ACTIONS fellowship program. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and is an affiliate member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. From 2015-2020 she served as Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Postnatal Research for the California Preterm Birth Initiative.


Dr Franck has extensive experience in leading interdisciplinary teams to conduct clinical research to improve the quality and safety of hospital care for infants and children. She has a particular interest in improving the patient and family experience of health care and has pioneered interventions to engage patients, families and communities in healthcare delivery and research co-design. Dr. Franck received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco and her master’s and PhD degrees from UCSF. She rejoined the UCSF faculty in 2010, after a decade at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, where she served as the first Chair of Children’s Nursing Research in the UK. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2020, she was inducted into the Sigma Nursing Researcher Hall of Fame and named the UCSF School of Nursing Research Mentor of the Year.

FCC and mental health as a result of Covid-19

Rodney Stewart, Neuropsychologist, Curaçao

Rodney Stewart studied General Psychology at Tilburg University and specialized in Clinical and rehabilitation Neuropsychology at Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


After receiving his master’s degree in neuropsychology, he returned home to Curaçao where he started working as a project coordinator and trainer for a foundation. Here he facilitated training and provided information for a broad target group of educators on the former Netherlands Antilles and in the Caribbean. During this period his focus was on brain related issues within the broad field of education.


In June 2000 he started his private neuropsychological practice ‘INTERACT; Diagnostic, Training & Learning Center bv.’. He diagnoses and treats patients of all age groups in need of (neuro-) psychological help. Currently he enjoys working in both the mental health care as well as the educational sector in his own practice.


Being of service and helping others in need of professional psychological help has been his passion for the last 22 years and currently still is.

FCC and mental health as a result of Covid-19

Yithza Davelaar, Grief Recovery Specialist, Curaçao 

Yithza Davelaar is a Grief Recovery Specialist, Positive Psychology Coach, Motivational speaker and Teacher in everything personal development related.

Her passion was born a few months after she lost her mom to cancer. Her own journey, during this difficult time, made her realize that she had a hidden desire to help others. She has been doing this with a warm heart ever since.

As a mother herself, she knows that being a role model for her kids is the most powerful way of educating them. Doing this day by day, allows her to be the best in everything she does. She has experienced the ups and downs that life brings and with her experience and her view on life, she has made it her job to teach others to handle this in the best way possible. 

Testimonial to discuss the family experience during the Covid-19 pandemic

Mrs. Hester Versleyen, Parent testimonial, St. Maarten

In June of 1946 my mother was born in Kralendijk, Bonaire and in January of 1951 my father was born in Venlo, the Netherlands. Together they lived in Aruba and after seven years they returned to the Netherlands, with my brother. A year and a half later, I was born in Nijmegen where I lived, much to my delight, until I was seventeen.

Studies and work got me to Amsterdam, the city that I love so much. In search of my bi-cultural identity I decided to move to the Caribbean 9 years ago. I started working as Head of the Medical Staff Bureau at the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

As passionate as I am about my job in the field of healthcare I became a patient myself in March 2021. In May that same year, we were flown out to Curaçao where I delivered our baby boy Lamar Amaru Connor after 25 (+4) weeks pregnancy. During Fifteen (15) intense weeks at the Curaçao Medical Center NICU we were under the care and guidance of our Neonatologist Dr N. Duque & team. 

After a time filled with all kinds of emotions it was time for us to fly back home on September 5th. Home sweet Sint Maarten home…

Breaking Bad News, what parents would like you to know

Prof. Eduard Verhagen, pediatrician with expertise in law and bioethics, UMCG, Groningen, The Netherlands

Eduard Verhagen, is a pediatrician at the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands. Dr Verhagen worked at the Department of Pediatrics at St. Elisabeth Hospital, Curaçao for 5 years. After this, he moved to Groningen to work as the Clinical Director of the Beatrix Children’s Hospital. He is now a Professor of Pediatrics & Pediatric Palliative Care and the Department Chair at the same hospital he was once a director at.

He received his MD and JD from the University of Utrecht and completed his pediatric specialty training in Amsterdam. His PhD thesis (University of Groningen) was on neonatal end-of-life decisions in Dutch NICU’s. He has written numerous scientific papers about ethical decision-making and end-of-life care. He leads several national research and palliative care initiatives and functions as a member and chair of several national and governmental medical-ethical and legal advice councils. 

Family centered care and shared decision-making run like a threat through Dr Verhagen’s research and practise. Both are being increasingly secured in the organisation of the Beatrix Children’s Hospital.

Conversations through remote care

Dr Neil Pattel, Neonatologist, Glasgow Children’s Hospital, Scotland

Neil Patel is a Consultant Neonatologist at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow and Clinical Lead, West of Scotland Innovation Hub.


He trained in neonatology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia and the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, UK. He has specialist interests in Family Integrated Neonatal Care (FICare) and innovation to support family communication and involvement. His other research interests include neonatal hemodynamics and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.


Neil is a Senior NHS Research Scotland Fellow and Scottish Quality and Safety Fellow. He is an active member of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) FICare Working Group and International FICare Steering Group.

Impending goodbye, Last phase of life from the child’s perspective

Claudia Geenen, Teacher of higher education nursing (former funeral director for children, pediatric nurse), Utrecht, The Netherlands

Claudia Geenen (1964) is a broad based healthcare professional, focused on both direct and indirect client care.

She is currently working as a nursing teacher at the Hogeschool Utrecht. In this profession she can convey her passion, knowledge and enthusiasm about the nursing profession to (young) adults. During her work as a children’s funeral director/undertaker she used her creativity in thinking and acting in, among other things, writing the wish book “What would you prefer? When death comes closer” (www.hoezoujijhetwillen.nl).

Impact and improvement FCC in the NICU of Curaçao Medical Center

Naijla Duque Monroy, MD, Curaçao 

Naijla Duque Monroy is trained in neonatology at the Military University in Bogota, Colombia with an additional fellowship in Hospital Saint Joan di Deu in Barcelona, Spain.

From 2017 till 2019 she worked as a neonatologist at St. Elisabeth Hospital. From 2019 onwards she has been working as a neonatologist and pediatrician at Curaçao Medical Center in Curaçao. She is currently also the Chief de Clinique NICU in CMC. With a special interest in grief management on the NICU, she focuses on improvement, safety and quality management for patients and families. As well as identifying and preventing infections on the NICU. 

Naijla has been an active member of ASCON and EPIC Latino groups since 2012.

Impact and improvement FCC in the NICU of Curaçao Medical Center

Michael Mitchell, NICU Nurse, Curaçao

Michael Mitchell is the head nurse of the NICU at the Curaçao Medical Center, Curaçao.

He received his training in NICU nursing in Curaçao with focus on respiratory care. He has worked in HR training and research as a practical trainer and e-learning content administrator.

Michael is focusing on the development of the NICU at CMC to comply with international standards of care in all areas. Family Centered Care has proven to be one of these areas that need major attention especially because of COVID.

Register NOW for the Strides for Smiles Family Fun Walk on June 2!