Our Team

Our team consists of parents of premature babies and neonatal health care professionals from across Canada. 

We are pleased to introduce you to our team.


Fabiana Bacchini

Executive Director

Fabiana is the Executive Director of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation. She is a journalist and the published author of From Surviving to Thriving, a Mother’s Journey Through Infertility, Loss and Miracles.


While in the NICU with her surviving twin, born extremely preterm, she participated in the study of Family Integrated Care (FICare). This led her to the extensive volunteering in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital and to become an ambassador for FICare, travelling across Canada and internationally to share her experience with this model of care. Her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy which continued to empower her to be a strong voice and advocate for premature babies and their families.


Currently, Fabiana serves as an advisor on the National Steering Committee for FICare, the Critical Care Services Ontario (ONICAC group), Child-Bright Network.  She also sits on the CIHR Institure Advisory Board of the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. She is a member of the founding committee of Global Alliance for Newborn Care, (GLANCE).

She lives in Toronto with her husband and 2 sons. 

Past committees: Cultivating Change Committee at Sinai Health System, The Change Foundation Caregiver Project, Life With a Preterm Baby.


Doris Sawatzky-Dickson

Board Chair

Doris worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg for 34 years. She was a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the NICU for 20 years. She holds an appointment as a lecturer in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences University of Manitoba. She has been a Certified Lactation Consultant, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners since 1999. Doris was on the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Neonatal Nurses from 2010-2019. She as also on the exam development committee for the Canadian Nurses Association Neonatal Nursing Certification Exam, and obtained her certification in 2018. In 2018 Doris joined the Board of Directors of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation.

Doris has a passion for parents of sick and vulnerable infants. Doris led key initiatives to change how the healthcare team involved parents in decision-making and in the team. She chaired the regional Family Integrated Care initiative and conducted parent groups weekly for more than 10 years.


Kate Robson


Both of Kate’s daughters were born preterm; one was a 500 gram 25 weeker born in 2005, and the other came at 32 weeks in 2007. Inspired by her own experiences, she came back to the NICU in 2010 to work with families as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Support Specialist. Since then, she has developed programs for hospitalized families and trained peer counsellors across Canada. She went back to school in 2018 to become a therapist, and now has a private practice in Toronto where she offers support to NICU parents and clinicians.

Dr. Jennifer Toye



Jennifer is a Consultant Neonatologist in the Northern Alberta Neonatal Intensive Care Program at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. She was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She completed her pediatrics training at the University of Saskatchewan and her neonatal perinatal medicine training at the University of Alberta. Jennifer attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, England to obtain her Masters in Public Health.

Her special interests are maternal and child public health, family centred care, perinatal epidemiology and early childhood development. As a neonatologist, Jennifer works with premature infants and their families on a daily basis; although she believes that medical advances will continue to help individual patients, she believes the key to reducing prematurity will be prevention at the community level.

She feels privileged to have been a member of the NICU Family Advisory Care Team (FACT) at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton in 2010-11. It is during this experience that she discovered the power and enthusiasm of parents of premature infants to advocate for their children and educate the public. Therefore she is very excited to become involved on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation to collaborate with parents and contribute to advocating for the interests of premature babies.


Jan Marin


Jan Marin is a lawyer specializing in Health Law and Medical Malpractice Litigation. She is a Senior Associate at Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers.  Jan has a passion for serving individuals and families affected by disability, including families of injured pre-term and term infants.  She has been inspired by these experiences and is a passionate advocate.


Currently, Jan serves on the Ontario Trial Lawyers Board of Directors.  She is also a regular volunteer with Pro-Bono Ontario.


Jan lives in Toronto with husband and two children.


Karen Netzel


Karen has recently returned to Canadian Premature Babies Foundation after a period away. Karen worked alongside founder, Katharina Staub, beginning in 2012, participating in the first two parent consultative meetings our organization hosted. Karen has worked hard to develop a sustainable Family Support Program for families in Manitoba. Although it has had its challenges, Karen has been able to revamp the program over recent years and has developed a volunteer recruiting and training program, increased awareness of this program through media and promotion and has built strong partnerships throughout the hospital. Karen is a participant on committees involving FiCare, Patient Care and planning for Manitoba’s new hospital. 

Scientific Advisory Committee


Marsha Campbell-Yeo


Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo, a neonatal nurse practitioner and clinician scientist, is a Full Professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University and holds cross appointments in the Department of Pediatrics, and Psychology and Neuroscience. Her Canada Foundation of Innovation funded research lab, MOM-LINC (Mechanisms, Outcome and Mobilization of Maternally-Led Interventions to Improve Newborn Care) is located at the IWK Health Centre. She primarily holds grants examining maternally-led interventions to improve outcomes of medically at-risk newborns specifically related to pain, stress and neurodevelopment as well as novel knowledge synthesis and dissemination methods, and digital e-heath interventions aimed at enhancing parental engagement. 


She has been recognized for her contributions to the field via numerous training, leadership, and research awards. Most notably, she was invited as a member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, the recipient of the Inaugural Dalhousie University President’s Award for research excellence,  was named one of 150 Nurses championing innovation in health for Canada by the Canadian Nurses Association to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, a Canadian Institute of Health Research New Investigator Awardee, the Canadian Pain Society 2015 Early Career Awardee, and a Career Development Awardee of the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program. She is the current Treasurer and a Council Member of the Pain in Childhood Special Interest Group of the International Society for the Study of Pain, the past Secretary of the Canadian Pain Society Board of Directors and is an Executive member of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses. 


Dr. Nancy Feeley

Nancy Feeley RN PhD FCAN is a Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. She also holds appointments as a Senior Researcher at the Lady Davis Institute and the Centre for Nursing Research of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal Quebec. For the last twenty years her program of research has focused on the psychological adjustment and parenting of mothers and fathers of newborns requiring neonatal intensive care. This work is relevant to the current preoccupations of neonatology: the central role of parents in their infant’s care during hospitalization and promoting parental mental health to optimize the development of children requiring neonatal intensive care.


Dr. Thierry Lacaze

Dr. Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil assumed leadership of the Maternal Infant Child Youth Research Network (MICYRN) in May 2018. He received his medical degree from the University Paris 5 - René Descartes in 1993 and a PhD in biological sciences at the University Paris 7 - Pierre et Marie Curie in 1995. He completed a fellowship in Neonatology in 1997 and a Master in Epidemiology in 2000. He was appointed professor of Pediatrics at the University Paris 11 in 1997. Thierry moved to Edmonton, Alberta, in 2003 to become the inaugural director of the Women and Children Health Research Institute (WCHRI) in 2006. In 2010, He was recruited as a senior scientist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and was the scientific director of the Clinical Research Unit at CHEO from 2011 to 2015. Since 2016, Thierry has been the section head of Neonatology at the Cumming School of Medicine, and the regional program director of Neonatology at Alberta Health Services. His areas of study include clinical trials with an emphasis on medications.


Dr. Michael Narvey

Michael Narvey, MD, FRCPC, FAAP

Section Head, Neonatology; Medical Director of the Child Health Transport Team; Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Dr. Narvey began his training in Pediatrics at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg where he completed a year of further training in Neonatology.  This was followed by two years of Neonatal fellowship at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Afterwards he began his career as a Neonatologist in the same city and over the 6 years he spent there, his career included both clinical and administrative duties including 4 years as the Fellowship Program Director and two years as the Medical Director for a level II unit.  In late 2010 he accepted a position in Winnipeg to become the Section Head of Neonatology and continues to hold this post.  In 2016 he took on the additional role of Medical Director of the Child Health Transport Team.  In 2015 he became a member of the Canadian Pediatric Society’s Fetus and Newborn Committee and in 2019 took over as Chair of the same.

His interests predominantly lie in the use of non-invasive technology to minimize painful procedures during an infants stay in the NICU. He is active on social media and has a passion for fundraising and is an active board member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.


Dr. Steven Miller

Dr. Steven Miller is Head of the Division of Neurology and the Centre for Brain & Mental Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist in the Neuroscience & Mental Health Program at the Research Institute of SickKids. He holds the Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Pediatric Neuroscience.


Dr. Miller and his team focus on improving the clinical care of newborns requiring intensive care such as those born preterm or with congenital heart disease or born preterm. Findings from his research program inform new strategies to promote optimal brain development and neurodevelopmental outcome. Most recently, he co-directs Child-Bright (https://child-bright.ca/), an innovative pan-Canadian network that aims to improve outcomes for children with brain-based developmental disabilities and their families through Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). 


Dr. Karel O'Brien

Dr. Karel O’Brien is a staff neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is a clinical teacher and neonatologist at a very busy perinatal center that specializes in fetal diagnosis and therapy and also works in the follow up clinic. She has trained in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research.  Her current research has focused on the development of Family Integrated Care, a model that changes how we deliver care to families and their infants in the NICU, and she has recently completed an international trial of this model of care. Going forward Karel is passionate about the importance of including families in the care of their infants, and investigating how best to support the entire team, nurses, physicians and parents to provide this care in a way that improves staff, family and infant outcomes.  Her motto is “Be the change you wish to see”.

Family Advisor Committee


Rebecca Pearce


Rebecca Pearce is the mother of Maren, who was born at 25 weeks gestational age in 2009.


She is a long-time member of the équipe Partenariat Famille (PAF) Sainte-Justine, a team comprised of a group of veteran parents at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal, Québec, who act as a resource for families new to the NICU and who contribute to improving clinical care, research, and teaching by offering a critical parental viewpoint.


Rebecca has published several opinion pieces about how existing outcome research fails to meet the needs of parents or preterm children.


Rebecca is a secondary science teacher in Montreal and is a third-year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, where she is studying preterm children as mathematical learners and doers.

Family Ambassador Committee


Marianne Bracht


Marianne has 43 years of nursing experience in neonatology, as a bedside nurse, in the neonatal follow-up clinic, subsequently the NICU parent resource nurse as well as the RSV nurse coordinator in the NICU, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Throughout her nursing career she advocated for parents, provided education and support created and co-led parent education programs and participated in international research on Family Integrated Care. Her experience has given her insight into the struggles parents encounter in the NICU as well as following discharge.

Since her retirement, she is the project coordinator for an ongoing research pilot, looking at improving the transition of families and infants to home and the community.  She is an active member on the national family integrated care committee. As a member of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation, she is currently working on the Family Ambassador program, a program to continue to increase the support for NICU families. 


Pam Kai


Pam is the mother of two children – a dynamic 8 year old Amaya and a miracle 5 year old preemie Sawyer.  Sawyer was born 10 weeks early, critically ill and medically complex requiring him to spend  the first 112 days of his life in the NICU at Alberta Children’s Hospital.  During this time, Pam found her voice as she became a strong advocate for her son and his care.   Over the past 5 years, her family has navigated many areas of the medical system from homecare, to surgeries, feeding tubes and tracheostomies. Through these experiences, she has found deep connections with other parents going through similar journeys and has realized how valuable a connection with other parents is. Pam has a passion for Patient and Family Centred Care (similar to FiCare) and is trained as a Peer Mentor through the ACH volunteer program where she facilitates bedside connections and family teas in the NICU, has one to one connections with other trach families and co-leads PFCC sessions for new nurses.  She is also the Co Chair of the Family Advisory Council and sit on various other committees across the hospital. One highlight of Pam’s is having the honour of being a part of the Stories for Caregivers series (her episode is called Being There: Pam’s Story) and having a digital story made of her journey that started in the NICU with her son Sawyer.  Pam is grateful to be a part of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation as a family ambassador and sharing her voice to improve the care and outcomes of premature babies and families across Canada.  


Stacey Killam

New Brunswick

After a 5 year long battle with infertility, Stacey and her husband, Jamie, were thrilled to finally hear the words "You are pregnant!" after their 2nd round of IVF.  To their surprise, although they had just transferred a single embryo, it was discovered that not only was Stacey carrying one baby but she was in fact carrying two!  That one strong little embryo split and resulted in beautiful identical twin boys!  Stacey and Jamie's twin boys were born at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton, NB at 32 weeks.  Born premature but healthy, they spent 4 weeks in the NICU where they thrived thanks to the amazing care of nurses and doctors.  


Jayden and Colton are now healthy, strong and very tall 5 year olds who are just beginning to read in Kindergarten!  Stacey recognizes that the level of care they received as infants in the NICU contributed to their overall well being today and she is very grateful for the support of hospital staff.


For that very reason, Stacey always wanted to give back in some way to express her gratitude and support other parents experiencing a premature birth.  She is very excited to begin her volunteer work in the Family Ambassador program with the CPBF where she is able to support NICU parents who maybe require a little extra love.


Stacey works as an elementary teacher and she and her family reside in Fredericton, NB.


Anna Stevens


Anna is the mother of a 25-weeker, Charlie, who she and her husband, Jason, welcomed in 2017 at the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Charlie has always had a flair for the dramatic and kept his parents and his medical team on their toes for nearly five months in the NICU. Once home, day-to-day life with Charlie has included many specialist and therapy appointments, yet has also been filled with love, laughter, learning, and so many other much-hoped for moments.  


A lifelong learner, Anna’s experience in the NICU led her back to graduate school to complete a Master’s in Public Health. Her research team is working with families, community services, and healthcare professionals to make maternal mental health a priority in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Her goal is for the next phase of the research to focus on NICU families, working with staff and families to provide supportive programming both during and after NICU stays. She has welcomed opportunities to offer educational sessions to the NICU team on how to best include and support families and has been fortunate to learn from experts at FiCare and EPIQ conferences. 


Anna is thrilled to be in such wonderful company as she joins the Canadian Premature Baby Foundation as one of their ambassadors. 

Project Coordinators


Shakeera Baker

CovidCare Program

Shakeera Baker is a former preemie, born at 26 weeks gestation weighing 1 pound 10 ounces. Now at 29 years old, she has achieved an abundance of success and is passionate about working with persons with developmental disabilities.


Her message to parents is to document your journey and never give up even during the challenging moments because you and your babies are much stronger together.


Andrea Wiebe

Milestone Cards

Andrea's personal experience with prematurity began in 2017 when her son was born early and unexpectedly. He spent 10 weeks at the NICU at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is forever grateful for the hospital staff who took care of her son during this time. Andrea struggled with PPD and PPA during her son's first year and worked through anxiety and fear when she became pregnant again a few years later. Her second son was born healthy and just shy of term in 2020. 


Andrea coordinated a support program for NICU families at St. Boniface Hospital. She is passionate about supporting mothers and fathers and believes strongly in the benefits of peer support, both during and after a family's time in the NICU. 


Andrea lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two kids. When they're not in the city, you can find them frolicking on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.