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Our 2016 Keynote Speakers
Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing
Janet assumed the post of Chief Executive and General Secretary in August 2015. Janet has been on the RCN Executive team since 2005 as the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.
Janet started her nursing career in Manchester, and gained experience in acute, mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organisations, as well as social services, the police, the fire service and the wider community.
Rt.Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland’s first female First Minister and the first female to lead any of the devolved UK administrations.
Born in Irvine in 1970 and educated at Greenwood Academy, she studied law at the University of Glasgow where she graduated with LLB (Hons) and Diploma in Legal Practice. Before entering the Scottish Parliament as a regional MSP for Glasgow in 1999, Ms Sturgeon worked as a solicitor in the Drumchapel Law and Money Advice Centre in Glasgow.
She is currently MSP for Glasgow Southside having been, before boundary changes, MSP for Govan between 2007 and 2011. In government, she served as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing between May 2007 and September 2012 and then Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities with responsibility for government strategy and the constitution until November 2014. Throughout this period she also served as Deputy First Minister of Scotland.
She became SNP Leader on November 14, 2014 and was first sworn in as First Minister on November 20, 2014. She was re-elected First Minister in May 2016.
Rebecca Patton, former President of the American Nurses Association
Rebecca Patton was elected in June, 2006, to serve a two-year term as president of the American Nurses Association. She was re-elected to a second two-year term in June, 2008. ANA is the USA’s leading professional nursing organisation representing the major health policy, practice, and workplace issues of 3.4 million registered nurses (RNs).
A nurse since 1980, Patton has extensive inpatient and outpatient experience. She has been responsible for the start-up and ongoing operations of ambulatory medical centers, an inpatient acute facility, and a skilled nursing facility. She also has written for popular publications.
Patton has held numerous ANA positions including treasurer (1998-2002), board of directors member (1994-1998), and delegate to the ANA House of Delegates (2003-2005). In addition, she has served in several Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) positions.
She received the “Community Involved Political Action Award” from Kent State University in 2000 and the “Dorothy E. Cornelius Leadership Congress Award” from the Ohio Nurses Association in 1999.
Tommy Whitelaw, dementia campaigner
Tommy’s campaigning journey began in 2011 when he undertook a walk round Scotland’s towns and cities to collect hundreds of life story letters from individuals caring for a loved one living with dementia. Tommy was caring for his late mum Joan, who had vascular dementia and felt passionately that no one should have to face the confusion, loneliness and isolation that too often becomes part of the caring experience. Tommy presented these letters at the Scottish Parliament to ensure that real people’s experiences are at the heart of the decision making process.
Since then, he has engaged with thousands of carers through his ‘Tommy on Tour’ blog and as Project Engagement Lead with the Dementia Carer Voices Project, conducting frequent talks to health and social care professionals, students and carer organisations across Scotland and the UK to raise awareness of the impact of dementia on people and families, and the importance of empowering carers in carrying out their difficult but vital role.