Board of Directors and Staff

Carole Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, ANEF : CEO

Carole Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, ANEF


Carole has over 35 years’ neonatal/perinatal/pediatric experience. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University (USA) with the degrees in neonatal/perinatal nursing and nursing education. She has taught for 30 years, developed educational programs in the US and abroad. She is the author/editor over 30 textbooks and a four-time winner of publishing awards including the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year. She received the Audrey Hepburn Award from Sigma Theta Tau for her international contributions to child welfare and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) Lifetime Achievement Award. Carole is the Dean of the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey (USA) at present. She was the founding President of COINN.

Karen Walker, PhD, RN (AUSTRALIA) : President

Karen Walker, PhD, RN (AUSTRALIA)


Karen is a Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Sydney and is the Neonatal Clinical Nurse Consultant at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia. As a neonatal nurse for over 30 years, she has extensive state, national and international collaborations and is a founding member of the Alliance for Global Neonatal Nurses (ALLIGN) and a board member of the new Global Alliance for Newborn Care (GLANCE), a parent led organisation that aims to create, empower and support a global parent voice in each region of the world. She is passionate about improving health outcomes across the lifespan, decreasing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity and ensuring equitable access to universal health care and education as well as supporting and advocating for neonatal nurses. This includes health workforce strengthening, advocacy on health policy and the impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. She is a consultant with the World Health Organisation developing a road-map on Human Resources for Health: Strategies for improving neonatal care capacity in facility settings in low- and middle-income countries and is a board alternate member of WHO Partnership for Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (PMNCH). She is also working on the revision of the WHO/UNICEF Every Newborn Action Plan. Karen has published widely and is an invited national and international speaker. She supports and mentors PhD and Masters Students with their research, publications and presentations.

Leilani (Kūpahu-Marino) Kahoʻāno : Vice President

Leilani (Kūpahu-Marino) Kahoʻāno

Vice President

Leilani (Kūpahu-Marino) Kahoʻāno is currently developing the Hawaiian cultural Neonatal/Pediatric Hospice program under Hospice Hawaiʻi and in collaboration with Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Also, serving Kaiser Permanente and Tripler Army Medical  Center NICUs. She has been a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse for more than 20 years in California and Hawaiʻi. Her lecture series: Mana: Intuitive Knowledge has been presented in perinatal to Dementia audiences. Other programs she is pioneering for Hawaiʻi babies and children: Researcher in Intuitive Knowledge in culture and nursing; Co-Author for Dual health practices: Hula and Intuitive Knowledge in nursing; Kahuna Nui Hewahewa: Kahuna Pule (prayer) and application to family health; Developing, in collaboration with Kamehameha Schools & Department of Health, first Hawaiian cultural Perinatal health; Chaminade University - Hawai’i School of Nursing Hawaiian Nurse Adjunct leader for Puʻukoholā Cultural Student Nursing Health Immersion; Hawaiian Nurse Consultant to Catholic Diocese for “Pulelehua” Fetal Demise program; Kumu Hula (Hawaiian cultural practitioner) of Hālau Hula o Nāmamoakeakua; Founder of a 501c3, Caring for Hawai’i Neonates and co-Founder, with Carole Kenner, of the Global Neonatal Nurses Institute - alliance including: Council of International Neonatal Nurses; National Association of Neonatal Nurses; Association of Womenʻs Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing; Academy of Neonatal Nurses and Caring for Hawaiʻi Neonates.  Leilani accomplished her Associates Degree at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1995 while raising two young daughters. Shortly after graduation, she was hired by two Plastic Surgeons to develop a free-standing, “Class C” general anesthesia, surgical suite. As a “General Contractor” under the guidance of a building inspector, the launch of the first of its kind facility, Leilani’s next step was to interview and hire all team members. Twenty years later, these successful physicians continue their practice with this foundation. She credits many mentors such as Earl Bakker, co-Founder of Medtronics; Charles Schulz, Creator of Peanuts; Malia Craver, Maiki Aiu-Lake, Patience Nāmaka Bacon, Loea (Expert) Hawaiian Cultural Practitioners; Physicians: Larry D. Schoenrock, Heather Furnas and Francisco Canales; Nursing: Pamela Almeida, Mary Hart, Carole Kenner and a multitude of others as contributors to her expertise.

Sue Prullage, DNP, ANP, NNP/PNP,-BC RN (RWANDA) : Secretary



Sue has been a nurse since 1981 and a neonatal/pediatric nurse since 1984. In 1994 I became a neonatal nurse practitioner and in 1996 I obtained my pediatric nurse practitioner. In 2008 my husband and I volunteered at a district hospital in Rwanda. I have been involved in neonatal care since 2008 in Rwanda in many capacities. I have been a professor at 2 different universities, researcher and worked as a neonatal and pediatric nurse practitioner. In 2015, I was a mentor to the board of the newly developed Rwanda Association of Neonatal Nurses.

Debbie O’Donoghue, RN (NEW ZEALAND) : Treasurer

Debbie O’Donoghue, RN (NEW ZEALAND)


Debbie is the Nurse Manager of the NICU at Christchurch Women’s Hospital New Zealand. She has been working within New Zealand in a senior neonatal nursing role for the past 17 years. Debbie’s background is within neonatal and paediatric nursing and midwifery both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has a post graduate Diploma in Nursing (Health Sciences) and is just completing her Master’s, undertaking a qualitative research study within the NICU setting. Debbie is a current member of the Board of Directors of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and a member of the neonatal nurses College of Aotearoa (NNCA). Debbie’s areas of interest are improving neonatal nursing best practice, nursing workforce planning, and staff wellbeing.

Mary Blankenship Pointer : Chief Financial Officer

Mary Blankenship Pointer

Chief Financial Officer

Mary is a native of Oklahoma City (USA) and has over 38 years of banking/finance. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her philanthropic activities and active community service that are combined with extensive experience in financing, business development, and banking. Her expertise in finance and fundraising are known nationally and internationally. She started with COINN in 2004. Her two main passions are healthcare and education.

Tanya Bishop : Non-Executive Director

Tanya Bishop

Non-Executive Director

Tanya is the Operations Manager of the NICU at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is also the lead of the unit’s redevelopment to single-family rooms, with a full completion planned for spring 2019. Tanya graduated from Dalhousie University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1999 and from McMaster University with her Masters of Health Management in 2018. Tanya has served on the board of directors for the Canadian Association of Neonatal Nurses (CANN) since 2012 and is currently in the role of President-Elect. Tanya has received the Excellence in Nursing Administration award from the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (2015) and the John Lindsay Sr. IWK Humanitarian Award (2017). Tanya’s interests are quality improvement, family integrated care, and the optimization of neonatal outcomes.

Marina Boykova, PhD, RN (RUSSIA) : Non Executive Director

Marina Boykova, PhD, RN (RUSSIA)

Non Executive Director

Marina received her nursing diploma from the School of Nursing #3, Leningrad, in 1989 and worked as a NICU nurse for 19 years at Children’s Hospital #1, Saint Petersburg, Russia. She got her Bachelor of Science (Nursing) and Master of Science (Health Promotion) degrees from the University of Liverpool (Chester, United Kingdom), and her doctorate in nursing (PhD) from the University of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, USA). She also holds a Diploma in Higher Nursing Education from the University of Great Novgorod, Russia. Marina is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing since 2000. Her passion is neonatal nursing, care for preterm infants (specifically, transition from hospital to home) and international collaboration. She also serves as Project/Research Manager for COINN.

Marsha Campbell-Yeo PhD NNP-BC RN : Non-Executive Director

Marsha Campbell-Yeo PhD NNP-BC RN

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo, a neonatal nurse practitioner, is a Professor, Clinician Scientist and Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) funded New Investigator at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health (cross appointed in the Department of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience) Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre. Her research lab, “Mechanisms, Outcomes, and Mobilization of maternally-Led Interventions for Newborn Care” (MOM-LINC), examines the effectiveness of maternally-led interventions to improve outcomes of at-risk infants related to stress, pain and neurodevelopment as well as enhancing parent engagement in care through innovative knowledge synthesis and e-Health technology. She is a recent inductee to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, of the Royal Society of Canada and has been recognized as one of Canada’s top 150 nurses for her advocacy and leadership in advancing patient focused innovations to optimize quality healthcare.

Andréia Cascaes, PhD, RN (BRAZIL) : Non Executive Director

Andréia Cascaes, PhD, RN (BRAZIL)

Non Executive Director

Andreia received her neonatal nurse diploma from University of São Paulo (Brazil) in 2004. She worked as a NICU clinical nurse for five years at a private hospital in Brazil.  She got her Master of Science and Doctor of Science (PhD) degrees from the School of Nursing of University of São Paulo(Brazil). She is researcher in neonatal, pediatric and family nursing fields. Currently she is professor at a Pediatric Nursing Department of School of Nursing of Federal University of São Paulo (Brazil). Andreia is a member of International Family Nursing Association (IFNA), first secretary of Brazilian Society of Pediatric Nursing and member of board - non-executive director- of COINN (2016-2019). 

Wakako Eklund DNP APRN NNP-BC : Non-Executive Director

Wakako Eklund DNP APRN NNP-BC

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Wakako Minamoto Eklund has been clinically active as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) with Pediatrix Medical Group of TN in Nashville, TN, USA since 2003. She has been in nursing profession for 28 yrs. She made a drastic transition from Adult Critical Nursing to Neonatal Nursing in the mid 1990’s. She is passionate about empowering the nurses through teaching and mentoring both in and outside of the professional setting. She has been a long-time educator of S.T.A.B.L.E. program and Neonatal Resuscitation Program. She has held academic appointments at Vanderbilt University (NNP program), Northeastern University (DNP program)
and Louisiana Tech University (Biomedical Engineering) to contribute her nursing expertise to various disciplines. She has represented the National Association of Neonatal Nurses to the International Neonatal Consortium since 2015 working closely with multi-stakeholders including family representatives. Her research interest covers exploring strategies to advance nursing scope of practice globally, advance practice development/advancement, and empowering family by promoting collaborative research with family representatives. She is internationally published in both nursing and medical peer review journals and considers
herself highly fortunate to have colleagues throughout the world to promote neonatal nursing together. Her mission while she is in clinical setting is to engage families to optimize the overall infant/family outcomes while advocating for nursing contribution at its highest level. She is a recent recipient of COINN Neonatal Nurses Award 2019.

Judy Hitchcock : Non Executive Director

Judy Hitchcock

Non Executive Director

Judy brings diverse neonatal experience gained from working most of her long career intertiary, provincial and remote rural settings in NZ and Australia. These experiences have been shared regularly through reflective journaling in the UK Journal of Neonatal Nursing and in NNCA newsletters (Neonatal Nursing College Aotearoa); she has been a member of the UKJNN editorial committee for the past seven years. She regularly attends and presents at international and national conferences on topics that promote family engagement and has a particular interest in using informatics to teach parents and students effectively. She is keen to see greater use of social media to engage with neonatal nurses around the world and currently promotes topical neonatal news feeds on behalf of COINN on Facebook and Twitter. She sees the potential to promote COINN endorsed apps that enhance neonatal nursing education and support for neonatal families and could assist in furthering the Sustainable Development Goals.

Tracey Jones : Non-Executive Director

Tracey Jones

Non-Executive Director

Tracey is a lecturer in neonatal nursing at The University of Manchester. She has been involved in neonatal education since 1999 when she started her first education post. Remaining clinical is important to Tracey and she continues to work as a clinical nurse in an honorary contract with a large NHS trust. As part of her current role Tracey is responsible for leading on all neonatal education for both undergraduate and post graduate students which includes the Enhancing Neonatal Nurse Practitioner course. Tracey is a neonatal life support (NLS) instructor and now works as part of the faculty teaching new NLS instructors. Tracey is chair of the COINN education committee.

Carin Maree, PhD, RN (SOUTH AFRICA) : Non Executive Director

Carin Maree, PhD, RN (SOUTH AFRICA)

Non Executive Director

I am a senior lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Pretoria. My qualifications include PhD, Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, MCur (Professional Nursing), Diploma in Neonatal Nursing Science, BA Cur (Education and Administration), Diploma in Child Nursing and BCur(General-, Community- and Psychiatric Nursing and Midwifery). My experience is related to neonatal intensive care, quality improvement and accreditation of healthcare settings and higher education.

My passion is competent and compassionate neonatal care that includes the family, as well as quality education and research. My research interest includes neonatal intensive care and families of neonatal patients. I also have an interest in education, especially in curriculum development, interprofessional education and whole brain learning.

Andre Ndayambaje, BS, RN (RWANDA) : Non Executive Director

Andre Ndayambaje, BS, RN (RWANDA)

Non Executive Director

Andre holds a Master of Science in global health delivery from University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), with 12 of professional experience in Maternal and Newborn clinical, leadership and program services.  Currently, he serves as Health Services Coordinator at UGHE. Before joining UGHE, he worked as Maternal and Newborn Health Specialist for Eastern Province of Rwanda in a USAID-project that is being implemented in Rwanda by IntraHealth-International. Previously, he spent 11 years at King Faisal Hospital as Senior Nurse-Midwife in Critical Care Units especially in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Having a background in midwifery and being an activist in neonatal care delivery, Andre has been a Non-executive Director representing African as member of Board of Directors of Council of International Nurses from 2015 up to date. Andre served as the president of Rwanda Association of Neonatal Nurses (RANN) from 2015-2018, he was a co-founder of Rwanda Association of Midwives (RAM) and its board member as commissioner of the funds. Andre also served as General Secretary of Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union (RNMU) at King Faisal Hospital from 2013 to 2017. As member of Rwanda MNCH technical working group, he has been supporting Rwanda Ministry of Health in elaboration, validation and implementation of Maternal Newborn and Child (MNCH) strategic plan 2018-2024. Andre was part of elaboration of Rwanda Health Facilities Package, 2017 . Andre holds different certificates as an international facilitator, including as a master trainer and mentor Helping Mother Survive and Helping Baby Survive courses.  Andre led and co-led different research projects, quality improvement projects, audits and evidence-based programs in maternal and newborn health field. He dreams of living in a world free of preventable and avoidable maternal and neonatal, child and adolescent morbidity and mortality. 

Julia Petty, MA, MSc, RN (UNITED KINGDOM) : Non Executive Director


Non Executive Director

Julia Petty is a Senior Lecturer, Children's Nursing at University of Hertfordshire (UH) where she has worked since April 2013. Julia's role at UH comprises teaching and assessment for a variety of child health modules including leading a module focusing on care of the sick child and a generic nursing module in professional aspects of care. She has an extensive educational background in the neonatal specialty including a role of newborn life support instructor for the UK Resuscitation Council. Julia has a keen interest in the development of digital neonatal learning resources. She is currently in the early stages of undertaking a Doctorate in Education exploring how a storytelling approach can be used to understand the patient journey and the design of specific curricula for learning in neonatal care incorporating the principles of co-production with parents and health professionals.

Agnes Van Den Hoogen, PhD, RN (THE NETHERLANDS) : Non Executive Director

Agnes Van Den Hoogen, PhD, RN (THE NETHERLANDS)

Non Executive Director

Agnes is a nurse scientist and clinical nurse at the University Medical Centre of Utrecht (UMCU), Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands. She has been a neonatal intensive care nurse since 1985 and holds degrees from the Cardiff University (Wales, UK) and the University of Utrecht. Agnes’ clinical interests are in intravenous access in neonates, ethics, epidemiology, and education. She was the President of the European Society for Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) from 2009 until 2013. Agnes is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), Vice Chair for the Education and Training in the Committee for Standards of Care for Newborn Health in Europe (via EFCNI) and member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.