Wednesday, 1 — Friday, 3 November 2023

Epilepsy Nurses Symposium

Epilepsy Nurses Symposium

Date: Wednesday, 1 November, 2023
Venue: Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland
10.00am - 12.00pm

10.00am - 10.10amIntroduction 
Jill Bicknell
10.10am - 10.30amDevelopmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies; What more can we do to support families
Brialie Forster
10.30am - 10.50amEpilepsy care in Fiji and Tonga
Janis Brown
10.50am - 11.10amTransition care in epilepsy: nursing perspective in NZ  
Erin Skidmore 
11.10am - 11.30amEpilepsy surgery in older adults
Melissa Bartley 
11.30am - 11.50amPanel Discussion / Q & A
11.50am - 12.00pmConclusion
Sharon Gilchrist  
Melissa Bartley head Shot

Melissa Bartley

Melissa Bartley RN, BN, PostGradCert (Neuroscience Nursing), MNursing (Advance Clinical Practice)

Melissa Bartley is a epilepsy clinical nurse specialist at comprehensive epilepsy service at Westmead hospital in Sydney Australia. Melissa provides care to people with epilepsy and seizures in the adult outpatient and inpatient care setting. Melissa worked as a neuroscience nurse for 5 years before moving to her current role in epilepsy which she has been working in for 13 years. Areas of special interest include epilepsy surgery, diet therapy for epilepsy and transition care. Ensuring standards of care, including best practice, quality, and safety in care.

Melissa completed undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing Education at Western Sydney university, and completed a post graduate certificate in neuroscience nursing and Masters of Nursing advance clinical practice from the University of Technology Sydney. Melissa is a past chair of the epilepsy nurse special interest group of Australasia (ENSIGA) and is a current committee member.

Melissa has presented platform and poster presentations at local and international neuroscience nursing scientific meetings and participates in epilepsy research within the Westmead service and collaborating with epilepsy groups.

Janis Brown

Janis Brown

Janis Brown is the Clinical Nurse Consultant for Paediatric Neurology at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, NSW. Janis has worked as a registered nurse for 37 years, 15 of those specialising in paediatric epilepsy and holds a master’s degree as a nurse practitioner. Janis set up a service in Fiji, visiting twice per year since 2014, excluding pandemic lockdown periods, in conjunction with a paediatric neurologist providing clinical support that was previously unavailable to them. A clinical service in Tonga was included for the first time in September 2022.

Brialie Forster head shot

Brialie Forster

Brialie Forster MN, GradDipN(Paed),BN. Brialie is a Clinical Nurse Consultant for Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies and Ketogenic Diet Therapies, caring for both children and adults at Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia. She is also a research nurse at the Epilepsy Research Centre, University of Melbourne. Brialie is passionate about providing equity-based health care and walking with families on their journey. Brialie is part of the Epilepsy Nurse Special Interest Group of Australasia (ENSIGA) and the Centre of Research Excellence in Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies (CRE-DEE).

Erin Skidmore headshot

Erin Skidmore

Erin Skidmore RN, Cert HSc: Maori Health, BNurs, PGDipHSc: Advanced Nursing is a current Paediatric Neurology Nurse Specialist at Starship Child Health.

Erin has connections to Ngāti Awa and Ngāi Tūhoe tribes from the Bay of plenty where her whanau continues to reside. Erin initially made the move to Auckland to pursue further study and career opportunities. After being in Auckland for 15 years she has now converted to being an Aucklander and lives with her husband and doted on Cat.

A forefront driver in Erin’s day to day practice as a nurse specialist is the incorporation of family cantered care and fostering of relationships with the whanau that she works with.

Her passion has always been within child health and the positive health outcomes that can be achieved when working with our vulnerable populations.