Featured Speakers

2021 Conference

2021 Featured Speakers

Frequently Asked Questions

Featured Speakers

Full Event Schedule



Margaret Verkyul headshot

Margaret Verkuyl, NP:PHC, MN

Wednesday, June 16 I 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT

The Hayden Vanguard lectureship awardee, Margaret Verkuyl NP:PHC, MN is a nursing professor at Centennial College for over 16 years and is a leader in developing and researching virtual gaming simulations. Over the years, these simulations received nine prestigious local and international awards. More recently, she developed an open-access Virtual Healthcare Experience with numerous different virtual gaming simulations. Globally, these simulations have become pervasive in nursing education with over 800,000 plays in 25 countries.

Margaret leads research to evaluate learning outcomes and ways to effectively embed virtual simulations in education. Since 2016, she has published over 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and authored a book chapter on virtual simulation. In addition, she received over one million dollars to create virtual simulations, research outcomes and develop faculty resources. Her research in virtual simulation was recognized with the 2018 INACSL, Research Excellence Award and this year, one of her publications received the Society for Simulation in Healthcare: 2021 Article of Influence award. She regularly disseminates her work through webinars and at national and international conferences.




Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams headshot

Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP

Thursday, June 17 I 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT

Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams is the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. In this role, she assists the President in developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives. As HSC’s Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Trent-Adams leads the strategic planning process, focusing on accelerating organization performance through cohesive strategy planning and execution, knowledge management and organizational accountability. 

A lifetime public servant, Dr. Trent-Adams began her extensive public health career in 1992 by joining the Commissioned Corps before ultimately retiring in 2020 from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps with the rank of Rear Admiral Upper Half. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Trent-Adams has focused on improving access to care for poor and underserved communities. As both a clinician and administrator, she has made a direct impact on building systems of care to improve public health for marginalized populations domestically and internationally. Dr. Trent-Adams continued this work during her time as the Deputy Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps from 2015 to 2018.

Dr. Trent-Adams’ dedicated service and leadership has been widely recognized, earning numerous accolades and awards. In 2017, Dr. Trent-Adams was awarded the International Red Cross Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor bestowed upon a nurse. Additionally, Dr. Trent-Adams is the recipient of the American Nursing Credentialing Center’s HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein Award, the American Academy of Nursing’s Civitas Award, the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing’s Lois Capps Luminary Policy Award. 




Brian O'Malley headshot

Brian O'Malley

Friday, June 18 I 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT

Brian O’Malley is an adventurer, author, and award-winning photographer. His journeys have taken him across the globe from the slopes of Mt. Everest to the jungles of Africa.

Brian’s diverse career includes mountain guide, Everest climber, paramedic firefighter, police officer, SWAT team member, urban rescue specialist, mountain rescue lead, paragliding pilot, Wish Grantor for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, executive coach, and Three Principles Practitioner.

Using a powerful blend of artistry and adventure, Brian’s presentations have entertained, empowered, and energized audiences around the world. His clients are a Who’s Who list of the world’s top companies and associations.