Dr. Debra Bingham, DrPH, RN, FAAN, has over 30 years' experience in Maternal Child Health Nursing, a master's degree in perinatal nursing from Columbia University, and a doctorate in Public Health from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Most of Debra's career has been spent working in hospital leadership positions at the front lines of healthcare. For example, she has held the positions of Director of Maternal Child Health Nursing for two hospitals in New York City, Manager of a large referral Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in New York City, a stand-alone birthing center in a small community hospital, and a fetal evaluation unit.
Debra has expertise in Quality Improvement (QI), health care safety, and implementation science. Her dissertation topic was: "Improving front-line clinicians’ quality improvement implementation effectiveness." In addition, she has led numerous QI inter-disciplinary initiatives designed to improve the safety of healthcare. She is an author of numerous articles published in peer reviewed journals and of implementation toolkits. Debra served as the Vice President of Research, Education, and Practice for the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), where she led the development and launch of the Postpartum Hemorrhage Project, the Women’s Health and Perinatal Nursing Care Quality Measures, and the Maternal Fetal Triage Index. Prior to working at AWHONN, Dr. Bingham was the first Executive Director of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative where she helped form the collaborative and the California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (CA-PAMR) committee, co-authored the Obstetric Hemorrhage Toolkit, and launched the first CA-Obstetric Hemorrhage Multi-Hospital Collaborative. Debra was the Chair on the Council in Patient Safety in Women’s Healthcare (a volunteer organization comprised of representatives from 17 professional organizations). Debra is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and former Chair of Lamaze International's Institute for Safe and Healthy Births.
Currently Dr. Bingham is an Associate Professor of Healthcare Quality and Safety at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, a perinatal clinical consultant and the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement.
Sarah J. Rhoads, DNP, PhD has a passion for improving maternal and neonatal care in rural areas by promoting evidence-based practice, inter-professional practice, and utilization of technology.
Dr. Rhoads is a researcher and educator, emphasizing the human impact of technologies on nursing roles and patient reactions. Dr. Rhoads is currently a professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing and College of Medicine, Department of OB/GYN. She previously served as the Education Director for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Center for Distance Health (CDH) and ANGELS – a health care initiative to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in Arkansas – as well as Project Director of the HRSA grant-funded South Central Telehealth Resource Center, Director of Nursing Continuing Education of the UAMS Rural Hospital Program, and Associate Professor for the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Rhoads provided direction for the CDH’s grant-funded telehealth resource center from 2010-2018 and led a distance education grant (2010-2013) through Maternal Child Health through the Maternal Child Health Bureau of HRSA.
Jessica McNeil, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, is Perinatal Educator at Clements University Medical Center at UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX.
Jessica McNeil’s professional experience has focused on maternal and infant health. She started her nursing career in a 107 bed level III NICU at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where she had the opportunity to care for some of the sickest babies. After her time there, she transferred to another Dallas area hospital where she worked in labor & delivery, antepartum, and continued to care for babies. In 2015 Jessica had the honor of being selected as an AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses) Emerging Leader and in 2016 was the National AWHONN Conference Host Committee Chair. Having previously served in positions ranging from charge nurse to women’s services manager, Jessica currently works as the perinatal educator at UT Southwestern Medical Center, as well as an adjunct clinical faculty member at Baylor University.
In addition to her work, she is the current chair of the DFW chapter of AWHONN and the secretary-treasurer of the Texas AWHONN section, as well as an ACOG maternal levels of care surveyor. She also served as a contributing author to the 7th edition of Foundations of Maternal-Newborn AND Women’s Health Nursing. Jessica has a passion for improving maternal and infant morbidity and mortality and she seeks to improve outcomes through social change. Through inter-professional collaboration, evidence-based practice, standardization of care and through the confrontation of our implicit biases, she truly believes we can end maternal mortality.
Jessica attended Texas Christian University and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008 and her masters in nursing education at Walden University in 2013. She currently holds national certifications in both inpatient obstetrics and electronic fetal monitoring, and is in the process of obtaining her DNP from Texas Tech University.
Carla Rider, DNP, MBA, RNC-LRN, is the perinatal program director for Texas Perinatal Services, a division of Texas EMS Trauma and Acute Care Foundation (TETAF). She is responsible for developing verification survey processes to ensure adherence to the Texas Administrative Code for neonatal and maternal levels of care for Texas hospitals. She has 26 years of experience in nursing and nurse leadership positions in women’s and children’s nursing.
She has developed and implemented a number of protocols and initiatives during her career that have resulted in improved patient outcomes and enhanced staff development for which she received various awards. Some of these honors include the Patriotic Employer Award from the Department of Defense, National Association of Neonatal Nursing Leadership Award, Nurse Week Nurse Excellence Award in Management, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Early Elective Delivery Improvement and Exclusive Breastfeeding Improvement Award.
With an overwhelming desire to improve maternal and infant mortality, Carla has participated on many committees and boards focused on improving access and quality in maternal and neonatal healthcare. She has served as AWHONN’s Pensacola Florida Chapter Coordinator, Northwest Arkansas Infant and Death Review Program Team Director and on the Executive Leadership Team for March of Dimes. Carla has participated in Sigma, Honor Society of Nursing’s Maternal Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy since 2012, and from 2016 as Lead Faculty Advisor. Additionally, she is an active member of the Texas Nurses Association Maternal Mortality Task Force.
Carla earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Texas Women’s University in Denton/Dallas. She also holds a master’s in nursing degree from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix in Dallas, Texas. In July 2017, Carla obtained a doctorate in nursing practice from the University of South Alabama.