The ILC steering Group was established in 2014 and provides a governance structure for ILC membership and ILC related activity.

Professor Alison Kitson

Dean of Nursing and Head of Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide, Australia

Alison Kitson is the Dean of Nursing and Head of School for the School of Nursing at the University of Adelaide. In addition to her work with the University, from 2013-2015 Alison was appointed to the newly created role of Executive Director (Innovation & Reform) of Nursing for the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN), focusing on providing leadership in models of care, workforce planning and redesign.

Before moving to Australia, Alison had a long and successful career in executive leadership, education and research in the United Kingdom. Alison holds many honorary positions internationally and has published extensively in the areas of fundamental care and implementing evidence into practice.

Her contribution to nursing is recognised through having been awarded many prestigious accolades including the Florence Nightingale Leadership Award in 2004; Distinguished Graduate of the Year from the University of Ulster in 2002, a Florence Nightingale Travel Award in 1999 and a Fellowship of the RCN in 1991. In 2009, Alison became a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing for her work on standards of nursing care and getting evidence into practice. In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Malmo in Sweden for her contribution to nursing scholarship and leadership.

Tiffany Conroy

Program Coordinator & Lecturer, Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide; Deputy Director, Centre for Evidence-based Practice South Australia, Australia

Tiffany Conroy is a lecturer and course coordinator in the School of Nursing’s Bachelor of Nursing Post Registration) program delivered at the Singapore campus of the University of Adelaide. Tiffany’s research interests include the Fundamentals of Nursing Care, Knowledge Translation and the methodology and conduct of systematic reviews. She is currently a PhD candidate being supervised by Professor Alison Kitson, Adjunct Professor Alison Tierney, and Dr Kate Cameron. The topic for her PhD is “Factors influencing nurses’ delivery of the Fundamentals of Care”.

Tiffany has been involved in the preparation of several papers relating to fundamental care with other members of the International Learning Collaborative (see the resources page for more details). Tiffany has a Bachelor of Nursing from Flinders University of South Australia and a Master in Nursing Science from the University of Adelaide. She is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing.

Professor Debra Jackson

Director, Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR); Professor and Associate Chief Nurse (Research), Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Professor of Nursing, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University; Visiting Professor, Health Education England – Thames Valley, UK

Professor Jackson is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Xi Omicron & Phi Mu). She leads research programs in patient safety, with a particular focus on pressure injury and workforce development and adversity.  She is passionately concerned with health equity and social justice, and a key objective of her work is to enhance the safety and well-being of people in the care of health services through the development of sustainable and culturally sensitive supportive interventions.

She is a committed and experienced mentor and supervisor of developing researchers, scholars and leaders. Professor Jackson has published widely, with over 350 publications including journal articles, books and book chapters.  She is also Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Clinical Nursing and sits on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Child Health CareNursing Inquiry, and Nursing and Health Science. In 2016, Professor Jackson was named as a Principal Fellow, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC/BRU); awarded in recognition of the quality and volume of her internationally excellent research, and outstanding and sustained contribution, to translational clinical research. 

Dr Lianne Jeffs

Director, Nursing/Clinical Research, Nursing Administration, St. Michael’s Hospital; Associate Professor (status), Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada

Dr Jeffs’ research interests include integrated approaches to patient safety, quality improvement, and knowledge translation. Of particular focus, her research program at the University of Toronto aims to gain insight into how care transitions of complex medical patients and healthcare system performance can be enhanced to improve quality patient care (patient and caregiver experience and satisfaction) and outcomes (avoidable hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and errors, and reduced costs). Her research generates knowledge that goes to the very heart of how to design and deliver safer health care in Canada.

In her role at St Michael’s hospital Dr Jeffs focuses on patient safety and health services research, including the effect and experiences associated with organizational and clinical micro-system approaches to patient safety, with a current focus on safe transitions across the health care sectors. She currently holds research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Previous work has included serving as a co-lead of a study on team-disclosure; co-principal investigator of a province-wide study exploring near miss occurrences in the health care system, co-investigator study on safety and leadership in critical care, and doctoral work on organizational learning from near miss occurrences in health care. Collectively, knowledge generated from her research studies will provide foundational knowledge around the design and delivery of safer health care in Canada.

Jane Merkley

Executive Vice President Patient Care, Quality and Chief Nurse Executive at Sinai Health System; Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Canada

Jane is a nurse executive with expertise in leading strategic change initiatives in major Toronto Hospitals. She has over three decades of experience in a range of clinical, administrative, executive, and professional practice roles, all focused on delivering the highest quality patient care across the healthcare continuum. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Patient Services and Programs, and Chief of Professional Affairs and Chief Nurse Executive of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. Prior to this, she served as Director of Nursing Practice and Education at St. Michael’s Hospital where she held several progressive positions including Clinical Leader Manager for the Trauma and Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit.

Jane co-chaired the Orthopaedic Capacity Planning initiative to review and evaluate the delivery of current orthopedic services in the TCLHIN. She also co-chaired the MSK/Stroke Implementation Task Force to support a system wide adoption of best practices and achievement of QBP targets for joint replacement, hip fracture and stroke. She has also been the chair of the Rehab/CCC Vice President Steering Committee since 2010, providing strategic leadership to influence system level change and promote rehabilitative care as an integral part of an effective healthcare system.

In 2013, Jane was the Bridgepoint lead and key partner in the Toronto Central Integrated Client Care Program, led by the Toronto Central Community Access Centre, which received a Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety. For her earlier work as an academic practice leader, Jane received the Award of Merit for Excellence in Nursing Administration from Sigma Theta Tau, Lambda Pi Chapter.


Dr Åsa Muntlin Athlin

Head of Research, Department of Emergency Care, Uppsala University Hospital; Associate Professor, Adjunct Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Uppsala University, Sweden; Adjunct Research Fellow, Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide, Australia

Dr Åsa Muntlin Athlin is Head of Research at Department of Emergency Care at Uppsala University Hospital and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. She has specialist training in emergency care and has long and ongoing clinical experience in ED nursing. She has for the last 10 years been undertaking research within the ED field. Dr Muntlin Athlin has a wide international collaborating network and is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Present research areas are health services research, pain management, emergency care, patient experiences, knowledge translation and fundamentals of care. Dr Muntlin Athlin has worked in Australia closely with Professor Kitson around the concept Fundamentals of Care during a two-year period (postdoctoral position where she was the inaugural recipient of the School of Nursing Eleanor Harrald Post Doctoral Research Fellowship). She has participated in the development of the Fundamentals of Care framework and she is the co-Principal Investigator and the coordinator of a joint fundamental of care research program between Sweden and Australia.

Dr Muntlin Athlin is involved in different projects highlighting the fundamentals of care on different levels, such as; international (International Learning Collaborative/ steering group member), Nordic (Nordic Health Research and Innovation Networks-nursing/Swedish representative work group), national (Swedish Society of Nursing) and local level (teaching fundamentals of care to students at undergraduate and postgraduate level).

Professor Yvonne Wengstrom

Professor of Nursing, Neurobiology Care Science and Society, Karolinska Institutet; Radiumhemmet, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden

On an international level Yvonne has been involved in a global International Learning Collaborative (ILC) since 2008 working on a research agenda focusing on the fundamentals of care. To ensure quality care around fundamental aspects of patient care (adequate nutrition, comfort, hygiene for example) it is essential to improve the effective utilization of health services and optimizing patient recovery. A three-stage process is being undertaken to investigate the fundamentals of care. Stage one has involved the use of a meta-narrative review methodology to undertake a thematic analysis, categorization and synthesis of selected contents extracted from seminal texts relating to nursing practice.

Several publications have been submitted on the fundamentals of care from the view of patients with cancer and stroke. Currently a long-term collaborative research program is being developed in order to reclaim and redefine the fundamentals of care in response to the Patient-Centered Care Agenda.

Further research projects have been developed during the meeting in Oxford in June 2014, and funding will be sought, this collaboration includes Sweden, Australia and Denmark. In collaboration with Dr. Jackie Bridges at the University of Southampton, UK projects plans are currently developed for an intervention study to implement and test a clinical practice development intervention to promote compassionate care for older patients in the acute hospital setting, primary care and care homes. The intervention will use cluster randomization procedures and is focused on the quality of the relationship between the patient and health care staff since this is key to shaping older peoples hospital experience.