Plenary Speakers



Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, PhD

Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham is Professor of Nursing at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, where she has held the roles of Acting Dean (2018/2019) and Director of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program (2009 – 2018). She teaches the interrelated fields of health policy, knowledge translation, and nursing leadership. She recently developed an innovative retreat-based graduate course on Spirituality and the Helping Professions. Her research is in the area of plurality and equity in healthcare, focusing on the intersections of spirituality, race, class, and gender in various health service areas, including palliative care.

Current projects include a study of prayer in healthcare settings in Vancouver and London Hospitals, and an ethnographic study on Mothering and Albinism in Tanzania. She has been a member on several key committees at her university, including a Joint Senate Taskforce on Academic Freedom and Hospitality Reading Group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She is the Conference Chair for TWU’s Faith and Nursing Symposium series. Reimer-Kirkham was named member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Scientists and Artists in 2014. She also serves as an elder at her church in Surrey, British Columbia.


Marie Elcie T. Thoby

Ms. Thoby is a Community Health Specialist and licensed nurse with 30 years of experience as a Community Health Program Manager for the Ministry of Public Health in Limbe with specialization as a researcher, epidemiologist and developer of culturally sensitive approaches to caring for patients with chronic illnesses. She is the founding Director of the School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences at Christian University of North Haiti. She also serves as Director of Ambulatory Care for PLHIV in charge of nursing in health clinics throughout the North Zone of Haiti. Ms. Thoby is also the Director of the Community Health programs at St. Jean of Limbe Hospital and supervises the tuberculosis clinic there. Ms. Thoby graduated at the top of her class from State University in 1977 and went on to Johns Hopkins University from 1987 to 1989 as one of six nurses chosen by the Haitian Ministry of Health for a special training program in Public Health and Epidemiology. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, Sigma chapter.


       Jill McElheny, DNP


Dr. Jill McElheny is the Director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and a Professor of Nursing at Colorado Christian University. She is an advanced practice registered nurse who is board-certified as both a pediatric nurse practitioner and as an emergency nurse practitioner. Her nursing career has included clinical practice as an RN in a variety of pediatric settings, such as the Level 1/Level II nurseries, inpatient pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, hospice care, and Pediatric Emergency Department. Dr. McElheny has worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner for the past 18 years in various settings, such as pediatric primary care, child abuse pediatrics, and in pediatric emergency medicine.

She has also served on the international medical disaster team for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief for the past 10 years and is a medical transporter for the Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project.

 Dr. McElheny received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Colorado, Masters of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Furman University. Jill believes she was called to serve God and others in the nursing profession. Her career goals include educating future nurses and making positive changes in nursing education while continuing to practice in the clinical setting. She is married to husband Trae, and together they have two teenage children and two dogs.

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