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Keynote Speakers

We’re thrilled to introduce the keynote speakers for NANN’s 34th Annual Conference!

Carballo Perelman Cristina resizeOpening General Session: The New RN's (r)Evolution: How to Survive and Succeed Using Empowerment

Cristina Carballo-Perelman, MD
Neonatologist, Author

There are several factors that affect how nurses navigate through their careers: a still higher percentage that are women; the education required and the perception of this profession by others in healthcare; the corporate “takeover” of medicine and the “new” corporate norm.

Cristina Carballo-Perelman, M.D., has been a neonatologist for 30 years. She has seen how society devalues women, both at home and in the workplace by continually placing more value of women’s beauty over brains. She and her coworkers have experienced this inequality and unfair treatment of women in the professional setting over the years.

Dr. Carballo-Perelman’s passion and motivation to write her female empowering books derives from wanting to help women who have experienced similar situations. She provides hope that if they search for companies with ethics and integrity, they will indeed be re-hired. Her aim is to empower women, not make them into "little men." By doing so, she hopes to accelerate the overall equality of the sexes in all areas of life!

Her other passions include employee rights and corporate social responsibility. She has first-hand experience concerning these topics as she was fired for " challenging the status-quo" at work. She realized to late the cost of working for a corporation without a "soul". These experiences have allowed her to help others navigate the workforce and become empowered as employees with rights.

Finally, as a physician, she has dealt with many issues concerning death, including the right to assist death "with dignity". Her "intimate interview" with Death itself, puts a unique spin to the topic.

There has been much accolades concerning all her books and the help they bring to those who read them.

Her hope is to continue to help others live empowered, joyful lives and enjoy this journey called life!

She lives in Scottsdale with her husband, also a physician. Their daughter has a Masters in Nursing and is a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology nurse at Diamond Children’s in Tucson.


Janelle AbyGeneral Session II: The Surprising Value of a Physical Assessment in the Age of Technology

Janelle Aby, MD
Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, Stanford University
Medical Director, Well Newborn Nursery, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Amid the rapid expansion of technology in medicine, physical assessments can seem old-fashioned and even useless. Why bother looking at or listening to the baby when there are multiple tests or studies that can be ordered? This session will focus on the benefits of a careful physical assessment and will highlight some specific physical findings that could dramatically alter management decisions.

Janelle L. Aby, MD is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University and is the Medical Director of the Newborn Nursery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She is passionate about training medical students, nurses, and physicians in the care of newborns including the recognition of physical findings specific to newborns. She has been repeatedly recognized for her outstanding teaching within the Stanford University School of Medicine, and her comprehensive online neonatal educational resource has helped medical training programs around the world. Dr. Aby has been caring for newborns for more than 20 years.


Sowers KevinClosing General Session: Power of Purpose

Kevin W. Sowers, MSN RN FAAN
President, Johns Hopkins Health System

With decades of experience in leadership roles at top-rated healthcare institutions, President of Johns Hopkins Healthcare System, Kevin W. Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN knows how to empower healthcare teams. With philosophies rooted in purpose and its power, Kevin shares his thoughts on how focusing on passion, partnership, and personal accountability leads to individual and team success, and likely, better patient outcomes.

Kevin W. Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., is president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

As the second person in Johns Hopkins history to hold these dual roles, Mr. Sowers oversees the health system’s six hospitals – The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital – and sets strategies that advance our mission to deliver outstanding care, train the next generation of leaders and advance research and discovery. He also serves as chair of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, which has more than 40 primary and specialty care outpatient sites throughout Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area.

Mr. Sowers came to Johns Hopkins Medicine after 32 years with the Duke University Health System, the last eight as president and CEO of Duke University Hospital.

He joined Duke University Medical Center Hospital in 1985 as a staff nurse in oncology and held several faculty and nursing leadership positions. His numerous senior leadership posts across the Duke University Health System included chief operating officer for Duke University Hospital and interim CEO for Durham Regional Hospital. Among his senior administrative roles, Mr. Sowers oversaw consolidation of Duke’s clinical lab services, emergency and trauma services, and managed care and patient care services.  

Active in many professional and community organizations, Mr. Sowers is a member of the Vizient board of directors and the AAMC Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems administrative board. He served as chair of the AmSurg board and was a member of the North Carolina Hospital Association board of trustees and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine board of directors. He also held leadership roles with the American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen and the Oncology Nursing Society.

Sowers earned his bachelor of science degree from Capital University School of Nursing and a master of science from Duke University School of Nursing. He is an American Academy of Nursing fellow and has collaborated on numerous research efforts as well as consulted internationally. He has published extensively and speaks nationally and abroad on issues such as leadership, organizational change, mentorship and cancer care.

Sowers lives in Baltimore with his partner, Anthony Evans.