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Kelli Kelley

My husband brought in the Polaroid of my son. How could this be my baby? I was so sleepy. I just wanted to close my eyes and shut everything out.

Kelli Kelley

Founder/Executive Director of Hand to Hold

Kelli D. Kelley is the mother of two children born preterm – Jackson Thomas born at 24 weeks in 2000 and Lauren Elizabeth born at 34 weeks in 2003. As the Founder and Executive Director of Hand to Hold, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and support for NICU families, Kelli invests her time and talents to raise awareness about the high incidence of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder among these parents and the long-term implications for the baby and family.

Kelli serves on the steering committee of the National Infant Health Coalition and the leadership team of the Preemie Parent Alliance.  She is a member of Huggies’ Nurse Advisory Council and the National Perinatal Association’s Speakers Bureau for Psychosocial Support Standards for NICU Families. She is a member of the Pediatric Family Advisory Council at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in Austin, TX.  She served as the parent liaison and spokesperson for the NPA’s Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late-Preterm Infants in 2012 and on the review committee for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses Discharge Planning Module in 2013.

She is a past President of the Austin chapter of the Association for Women in Communications, now Women Communicators of Austin, and a graduate of Leadership Austin. Kelli was named a 2015 Outstanding Austin Communicator from Woman Communicators of Austin, 2011 Local Hero through Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative® and a 2011 Health Care Hero through the Austin Business Journal. She is the 2010 recipient of the Austin Under 40 Award for Medical and Health Care, and an ENERGIZER Keep Going Hall of Fame Semifinalist.

In 2005, the Kelley family served as the Ambassador family for the Austin division of the March of Dimes. Kelli served on the Austin Division Board of Directors of the March of Dimes for four years and the National Mission Volunteer Advisory Council for two years.

Prior to the birth of her children, Kelli worked in public relations with The Arc of the Capital Area as the Public Relations Coordinator and then as the Development Coordinator for the Mental Health Association in Texas. She went on to work for Cunningham Communication, a national high-tech public relations agency, as a Public Relations Manager and Marketing Coordinator where she received numerous promotions and awards for her leadership and accomplishments.

Kelli received a bachelor of journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and friends, reading, cooking, exercising, participating in Bible study and volunteering with her daughter through the National Charity League.

Speaking FAQS

  • Family Centered Care: Aspects that were missing
  • Interaction with a doctor that could have been better
  • Interaction with a nurse that could have been better
  • Interaction with a social worker that could have been better
  • Life after the NICU: Caring for a former preemie – Age 10+
  • Life after the NICU: How I wasn’t prepared 
  • Life after the NICU: Managing multiple specialists
  • Life after the NICU: Maximizing your Early Intervention experience
  • More than one baby in the NICU (Multiple Gestation)
  • Positive interaction with a doctor
  • Positive interaction with a nurse
  • Postpartum mental health concerns: PPD, PTSD, or other
  • Pregnancy after prematurity

Mrs. Kelley’s delivery is emotive, moving and passionate. The audience is drawn in. She interacts with the audience and guides them as they consider their own roles and interactions with mothers and challenged infants. Her presentations are both instructive and entertaining.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                – Bradley P. Fuhrman, MD /    Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Kelli’s presentation is more than I could ever describe on paper but it is powerful, captivating, informative, enlightening and very educational for all.”
-CRAIG MCCRARY    /  VP & COO, Neotech Products Inc.

  • 2015 National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) Conference
  • 82 percent indicated that the information I provided would “change the clinical care” the nurses provide.

“Great session in every way – topic, presentation style, genuineness, focus, passion, use of evidence as support.”

“Excellent, best session of the conference.”

“Very touching heartfelt & eye opener”

“The presentation was the highlight of the conference for me”

“Excellent speaker who helps us all be better, more understanding and compassionate nurses.”

“Core shaking session.  Makes me realize how far-reaching my every move and word makes in the lives of families I care for.”

“This presentation floored me!”

“Courageous, heartfelt presentation.  Definitely a highlight of the conference.”

“Candor and transparency of presenter was remarkable and appreciated.”

Austin, Texas

Because each speaker has a unique fee structure, we recommend that you contact us if you have a specific format in mind.

Many speakers charge a base fee for 1-hour presentation and keynotes. This fee often increases incrementally depending on your requirements from half to full day seminars. In some cases, a speaker will charge the same fee for a presentation regardless of whether it’s an hour or a full day seminar.

Please note: Speaker fees vary widely and typically do not include expenses. Expenses often include airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, meals, and any out-of-pocket expenses. Fees for international events are often subject to an incremental increase in cost.

  • December 11, 2013 Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care – Family Involvement Team Webinar “The Emotional Impact of a NICU Stay: Promoting Positive Coping and Parenting Skills Among NICU Families” (15-20 participants) 
  • May 2-4, 2013 National Association of Neonatal Therapists, Ft. Worth, Texas “A Professional’s Guide to the NICU Parent” (50-75 participants) 
  • April 9-12, 2013 NICU Leadership Forum, Scottsdale, Arizona “Meeting the Needs of NICU Families to Ensure Best Outcomes for NICU Babies and Those that Love Them!” (175-200 participants) 
  • June 5, 2013 Pediatric Grand Rounds – El Paso Children’s Hospital/ Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso. “A Parent’s Perspective: The Emotional Impact of Preterm Birth” (200-250 participants) 
  • April 5, 2013 Texas Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, Ft. Worth, Texas “The Emotional Impact of a NICU Stay: Promoting Positive Coping and Parenting Skills Among NICU Families” (approx. 50 participants) 
  • January 22, 2013 National Association for Neonatal Therapists – Special Topic Conf. Call “A Professional’s Guide to the NICU Parent” (approx. 50 participants) 
  • September 13-16, 2012 Texas Pediatric Society Annual Meeting, Ft. Worth, TX “Meeting the Needs of NICU Families to Ensure Best Outcomes for NICU Babies and Those that Love Them!” (approx. 50 participants) 
  • 2005 March of Dimes Ambassador Family More than 20 speaking engagements. (Audience ranged from 25 – 500)
  • October 2014 St. David’s Woman’s Center of Austin Presenter: 5th Annual Management of Obstetric Crisis: Developing Practice Strategies to Maximize Maternal & Fetal Outcomes
  • October 2015  KEYNOTE: National Association of Neonatal Nurses 31st Annual Educational Conference in Dallas, TX
  • May 2016  KEYNOTE: 13th Annual Neonatal Nursing Symposium at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Videos of Previous Speaking Engagements

The Emotional Impact of a NICU Stay: Promoting Positive Coping and Parenting Skills Among NICU Families

Protect Your Preemie from RSV

Understanding PTSD after a NICU Stay

Hand to Hold – Q & A

Preemie Nutrition: Nutritional Needs & Fortification

Hand to Hold PSA 2014 “Bryce”

Additional Information for Kelli Kelley

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Mrs. Kelley’s delivery is emotive, moving and passionate. The audience is drawn in. She interacts with the audience and guides them as they consider their own roles and interactions with mothers and challenged infants. Her presentations are both instructive and entertaining.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                – Bradley P. Fuhrman, MD /    Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics