Wednesday, September 26

Dr. Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Nancy Glass

Professor and Independence Chair in Nursing, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing & Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International Health, Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

Dr. Glass conducts multidisciplinary projects in partnership with local experts and communities across diverse global settings domestically and globally, including in conflict and post-conflict countries (Somalia, DR Congo, South Sudan). Her federally funded program of research work focusses on evaluating violence prevention, economic empowerment and safety interventions to improve the health, economic stability and well-being of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and their families. Dr. Glass has collaborated with global experts and donors (such as UNICEF and World Bank) to implement and evaluate innovative primary prevention programs that challenge social norms that sustain violence against women; examine the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) to inform programs and service; and improve health care systems’ responses to survivors of GBV. These and other projects use mHealth technologies to deliver programs and to collect confidential and secure data, reach diverse populations, and provide tools and resources to health and social service providers. A past president of NNVAWI, Dr. Glass is committed to collaborating with and mentoring colleagues, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students globally as well as partnering with community experts and organizations to improve health, safety, and economic stability for women, families, and communities.

Dr. Larissa Jennings, PhD

Larissa Jennings

Assistant Professor in Social and Behavioral  Interventions, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,  Baltimore, MD, USA

Dr. Jennings’ research program focuses on the design and evaluation of economic-strengthening interventions  (e.g. entrepreneurship, livelihood, youth savings  accounts, cash incentives, and financial or vocational  training) and mobile health technologies to improve  sexual and reproductive health, including HIV, among  impoverished girls and young women. Her research draws on a combination of research methodologies, including biostatistics, qualitative research, psychometric analysis, and systematic reviews and includes studies conducted in resource-poor setting in the U.S. and in sub-Saharan Africa with varied populations (e.g. African-American unstably housed youth, Native American adolescents, post-conflict Congolese youth, and Kenyan young adults living in urban slums). Dr. Jennings holds a PhD in Population, Family, and Reproductive Health from JHSPH, and a Master’s in Health Sciences (MHS) in International Health, Health Systems, also from JHSPH. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard University.

Thursday, September 27

Dr. Benice Downey, RN, BScN, PhD

Assistant Professor and Indigenous Health Initiative Lead, School of Nursing / Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience, Faculty of Health Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Dr. Bernice Downey is a woman of Ojibwe and Celtic heritage, a mother and a grandmother. She is a nurse and medical anthropologist with research interests in health, health literacy and Indigenous Traditional knowledge and health/research system reform for Indigenous populations. Dr. Downey is an experienced administrator, facilitator, and an organizational and systemic change agent. Among her accomplishments, she successfully led the development of the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute; serves as the Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead for Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto-Central Region, and is the Sole Proprietor of her consulting company; ‘Minoayawin – Good Health Consulting’. She has also served as Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Health Organization; Executive Director of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada; Associate Director and Research Associate of the Well Living House – Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. An active member of the Canadian Institute of Health Research – Institute of Aboriginal Health Advisory Board for six years, she was also appointed to the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, Canadian Reference Group. Dr. Downey is a life-long advocate in the work towards addressing the serious health inequities among Indigenous populations in Canada.

Ms Marilee A Nowgesic

Executive Director, Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association, Ottawa, Canada.

Originally from the Fort William First Nation, near Thunder Bay Ontario, Marilee is the oldest daughter of the late Deana D. Nowgesic and the late Frederick J. Nowgesic. From the Ojibway Nation and an Eagle clan member, she received her traditional teachings from the recognized First Nations Elders of her home community. Her formal postsecondary education was obtained from Lakehead University and Carleton University. Additionally, she studied music with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and obtained achievements in Violin, Guitar and Music Theory.

Ms. Nowgesic has worked with several clients in the federal, provincial, territorial government and numerous Indigenous and non-government and private sector agencies to develop social marketing campaigns, communication strategies, education programs and policy development guidelines for Indigenous communities across Canada. It was from these experiences that an overarching and recurring theme in her work presented itself. Since that time, she has designed a workshop/seminar series that develops and provides awareness and positive understanding of the traditional knowledge, cultural protocols and current issues of Indigenous people to the mainstream population. Additionally, she has created a similar series for both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population with a focus on youth development aimed at providing future leaders with the skills necessary for informed decisions and empowerment.

Her greatest joys are the cherished moments with her lifetime partner and their two granddaughters – Carolynn and Olivia.


Friday, September 28

Dr. Holly Johnson, PhD

Holly Johnson

Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

For more than three decades, Dr. Johnson has studied the effectiveness of societal and criminal justice responses to crimes of violence against women. A major preoccupation of her work has been on exposing and challenging the failures of the justice system in order to hold men accountable for sexual violence against women. Dr Johnson’s research combines large-scale surveys with in-depth interviews with survivors of sexual violence to study women’s reluctance to report these crimes and decisions by police to dismiss large proportions of sexual assaults. As the principal investigator of Statistics Canada’s first national survey on violence against women and a coordinator of the International Violence Against Women Survey, she has been influential in shaping both how violence against women is both understood and measured. Dr Johnson is involved in national and international networks working to refine research tools, prevent violence against women, and improve interventions and responses to these crimes. For example, she has served as expert advisor to the Secretary-General’s report on violence against women, and was a member of the UN Expert Group on Indicators on Violence Against Women, the World Health Organization expert panel on primary prevention of sexual violence and intimate partner violence.