Thanked for Service: Kybele Board Members

One of the most rewarding opportunities has come through serving on the Kybele board of directors for the past 10 years.   I am in awe of all that Kybele has accomplished under the devoted and visionary leadership of my dear friend Dr. Medge Owen.  Our first meeting, under the most stressful conditions, resulted in a deep friendship and collaboration to change women’s healthcare in labor and delivery’s regional anesthesia practice.  I’m so very proud of all that Kybele has done to change and save lives of the countless women and infants from many countries.  In particular, the countries where Hopscotch shares in vision and work to also change and sometimes save lives through intercountry adoption, have been the most meaningful experiences.  Thank you Medge and Kybele for this incredible journey we’ve shared together.  Robin 

Thanked for Service – Kybele Board Members 

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The following three board members have served for numerous years on the Kybele board of directors and have rotated off the board.  We would like to sincerely thank them for the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of service to our organization. Board service is a one of the most valuable contributions one can make to Kybele and the intellectual capital by our board members is invaluable. It has been a privilege and an honor to work with these three outstanding volunteers.    

6afe520031d99f1b768ba50186582910Helen Akinc (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

For the past six years Helen has served as an active board member, vice president for business operations, newsletter editor, and Conflict of Interest Committee member. Her strong writing, networking, mentoring and communication skills; ability to bridge cultural divides; intelligence; and wit have guided us through strategic planning, project streamlining, fundraising, committee forming, hiring, and team leader summit organization.  Helen is a local board member, residing in Winston-Salem, and we look forward to her continued volunteer support from time to time. Thank you, Helen, for helping us stay focused on advancing the organization.

 

0a8375428e8af92322a6393fbd1ab604 Virgil Manica, MD  (Boston, M.A.)

Virgil Manica has served on the board since 2007 and has been a team leader or co-team leader on programs in Romania, Republic of Georgia, and Armenia.  A native of Romania, Virgil is an OB Anesthesiologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.  Virgil has been a key player in initially developing these programs and has participated in numerous in-country conferences, lectures and training seminars.  He has also provided hands-on instruction, worked on networking and promotion, and helped to keep the Kybele store stocked with unique items from his travels abroad.  Virgil is an active member of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) and we look forward to his continued participation in the Romania/Moldolva programs.  Thank you, Virgil.

 

193ca4f0e988f7b385473929e636fd2a Robin Sizemore  (High Point, N.C.)

Robin has been involved with Kybele since 2004 when she met Medge Owen in the labor unit as Medge administered an epidural to Robin. Having mentioned to Medge that she had two adopted children from The Republic of Georgia (where Kybele would eventually start a program), they sparked a friendship that has lasted more than a decade.  Robin is the executive director of Hopscotch Adoptions in High Point, N.C., and while serving on the board has helped Kybele network with key leaders in both Georgia and Armenia. Thank you, Robin, for helping open new doors for Kybele.

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News from Armenia: Kybele’s 5th Teaching Visits Continue to Advance Women’s Healthcare

The following brief summary of the Armenia program’s progress was submitted by Co-Team Leader Dr. Gordon Yuill.

246252d7b43f1ace981c3a74fd7776b3 Kybele Team members have made five trips to Armenia so far.  Initial visits were paid to Yerevan (in 2006, 2010 and 2012), but more recent trips included stops in Gyumri (2012, 2013 and 2014), Akhuryan (2012, 2013, and 2014), Dilijan (2012), Ijevan (2012), Novemberian (2012), Karabakh (2013), Artik (2014), Matuni (2014), Gavar (2014), Sevan (2014), and Hrazdan (2014).  Each trip has consisted of a one-or-two-day national conference in Yerevan followed by small-team visits to individual maternity clinics, where Kybele volunteers worked alongside the local physicians.  Through this process we have seen an increase in the use of regional anesthesia for cesarean section throughout and an increased availability of epidural analgesia for labor in some units.   

News from Ghana: Kybele Sponsored Three Nurse Managers of Ridge Regional Hospital, Ghana

Article by Yemi Olufolabi, MD

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Using simulation to learn about acute maternal care.

In October, Kybele had the opportunity to sponsor three NICU nurses/nurse managers from Ridge Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana.  Partially funded through a multi-year grant from the PATH organization, nurses Rebecca Agyare Asante, Vivian Koffie, and Fauziya Rabiu were able to spend a two-week observership at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., and they definitely packed a lot into their visit. The women were able to visit the Duke Neonatal Unit and all related wards, the Duke simulation center, the education center, and the maternity operating room. They attended clinical meetings, a neonatal resuscitation training session,  in-service training for new staff nurses, and safety rounds.  They also visited with Dr. Lisa Washburn from Wake Forest Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where they discussed current protocols and improvement potential at Ridge Hospital. In addition, they visited the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill maternity center, which is operated by midwives.  

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Neonatal resuscitation simulation.

During all of this observation, the Ridge nurses had extensive exposure to a system that prevented and treated infection in babies.  Given that new breathing methods (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure – CPAP) were recently introduced at Ridge Hospital, a special session with nurses and respiratory therapists on the CPAP machine proved highly educational. Other important observations involved infant feeding techniques, customer care best practices, and the environmental factors that nurture optimal brain development.  The Ridge nurses were impressed by the dedication of the Duke nurses and their intensity of focus while caring for babies. The meticulous and attentive approach in the management of each baby really stood out for them.

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Finally arriving at Raleigh Airport and meeting Dr Olufolabi.

The Ridge nurses returned home excited and reassured that they could further raise standards of care at Ridge Hospital. They resolved to make changes that would improve outcomes.  As a result of their visit, they planned to incorporate changes by sharing their experiences with their colleagues and ensuring infection prevention became a priority, because it is one of the major causes of maternal and infant mortality. The nurses promised to improve customer care practices by engaging parents and improving communication among staff through the use of technology and by refining old protocols or developing new ones.

While their visit was jam-packed with educational experiences, the nurses also had the opportunity for some fun by attending a local festival, shopping, and visiting with local nurses and Kybele team members.  They said they were grateful to those who made their stay such a memorable experience, especially the Duke NICU nurses, Christine Phillips, Dr. Ron Goldberg, Kybele and Yemi and Lola Olufolabi, who hosted them in their home.

See MORE PHOTOS of the Ridge nurses’ trip to North Carolina.

Language Retention and the International Adoptee

Source: http://time.com/3593064/an-infants-brain-maps-language-from-birth-study-says/

The infant’s brain retains language that it hears at birth and recognizes it years later, even if the child no longer speaks that language.

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Vladimir Godnik—Getty Images

A new study study reveals that an infant’s brain may remember a language, even if the child has no idea how to speak a word of it.

The finding comes from a new study performed by a team of researchers from McGill University’s Department of Psychology and Montreal’s Neurological Institute who are working to understand how the brain learns language.

As it turns out, the language that an infant hears starting at birth creates neural patterns that the unconscious brain retains years later, even if the child completely stops using the language. The study offers the first neural evidence that traces of so-called “lost” languages remain in the brain.

Because these lost languages commonly occur within the context of international adoptions—when a child is born where one language is spoken and then reared in another country with another language—the researchers recruited test subjects from the international adoption community in Montreal. They studied 48 girls between the ages of nine and 17 years old. One group was born and raised speaking only French. The second group was bilingual, speaking French and Chinese fluently. And the third was Chinese-speaking children who were adopted as infants and later became French speakers, but discontinued exposure to Chinese after the first few years of life. They had no conscious recollection of the Chinese language. “They were essentially monolingual French at this point,” explained Dr. Denise Klein, one of the researchers, in an interview with TIME. “But they had been exposed to the Chinese language during the first year or two of their life.”

Read more.

News from Serbia: The Kybele Serbian team returned to Novi Sad, Serbia for its third visit!

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Some of the Kybele team members and host staff in the labor and delivery area of the Klinika za Ginekologiju i Akuserstvo.

Serbian Team Returns for Third Visit to  The Clinical Center of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Serbia

Article submitted by Dr. Curtis Baysinger and Dr. Ivan Velickovic

The Kybele Serbian team returned to Novi Sad, Serbia for its third visit in as many years. Hosted by the Clinical Center of Vojvodina, team members Ivan Velickovic, MD; Ferne Braveman, MD; Curtis Baysinger, MD; Sarah Foggi, MD; Medge Owen, MD; and Lawrence Fordjour, MD, built upon work that had occurred during the previous two years with host Dr. Borislava Pujic and other staff members. As in past years, a weekend conference (which attracted participants from Serbia and other Balkan countries) was followed by clinical instruction by Kybele team members. For the second year, lecturers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. participated during the weekend lecture course only.

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Dr. Velickovic demonstrating epidural placement techniques.

In contrast to past years where the five days of the visit focused primarily on clinical practice by the staff at the Novi Sad Center, practitioners from the surrounding community also participated, with host staff acting as instructors.  Thirty-seven regional blocks for labor analgesia were performed, using equipment donated by BBraun Serbia.

56f08ee9fbc65ee79e59edb7d86f6a3f Resident physicians who were rotating in obstetric anesthesia at the Novi Sad site were given hands-on training, as well as instruction provided both by Kybele members and host staff. The training model of host staff acting as instructors for resident hands-on training is not the current model for residency education at the Clinical Center.  The training may significantly change the current training practices going forward.

Protocols for regional labor analgesia, regional anesthesia for cesarean section, and regional opioid analgesia were developed with the host staff and were put into practice. Two mobile carts for storing supplies for regional anesthesia were donated by Kybele and both were stocked with supplies by the host.

Suggestions for evidence-based practice were made to staff obstetricians and neonatologists to help improve resource utilization and patient care. Return visits are planned for June 2015 and September 2015. 

During the visit, Pujic and Velickovic were interviewed on Novi Sad’s morning talk show "Good Morning Novi Sad" and discussed the partnership between the Novi Sad Center and Kybele as well as the progress toward increased use of regional analgesia. 

See MORE PHOTOS of this recent Serbia program.

Our First FREE Course for National Adoption Month

 

Infant Adoption Education: Learn More

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Professionals Earn Staff Training: Learn More

Heart of the Matter Education
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Closure the Documentary: Transracial adoption complexities and the necessity for closure

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A documentary about a trans-racial adoptee who finds her birth mother, and meets the rest of a family who didn’t know she existed, including her birth father.   A story about identity, the complexities of trans-racial adoption, and most importantly, CLOSURE.

See video.

The Changing Landscape of Adoption

Source: http://www.cafe.com/r/ca2ea311-d75c-4a1e-a071-3f83b4859fba/1/the-changing-landscape-of-adoption

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Ana Cruz (left), Cynthia Juarez (right), and their four-year-old child Tonali celebrate the approval of gay adoption in Mexico City in August 2010   © Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty

According to the nonprofit organization National Adoption Day, "more than 100,000 children in foster care [are] waiting for permanent families." And as society has changed, even globally (just consider how the traditional notion of what makes a "family" has evolved both socially and legally over the last ten years), the practice of adoption has transformed.

I spoke with Megan Lindsey, the director of public policy and education at the National Council for Adoption, about the specific ways relationships among people involved in the adoption process have changed—particularly when it come to "closed" versus "open" adoptions.

Read more.

Investigating Unlawful Adoptions

Source: http://wvtf.org/post/investigating-unlawful-adoptions

By Anne Marie Morgan

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The Virginia Commission on Youth is scrutinizing the practice of finding new homes and transferring custody of adopted children—while bypassing state oversight and safeguards.

The practice—known as “re-homing”—was uncovered through last year’s Reuters and NBC News investigation, which found an underground market for adoptive parents who no longer wish to care for their adopted child.

Read more.

THAT kid. You Know The One I’m Talking About.

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/understanding-that-kid-the-one-who-hits-kicks-and-102901022682.html

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Photo by Getty Images

When your kid is dealing with THAT kid or your kid is THAT kid…. think again.  In our home, we first consider all the possible reasons for THAT kid’s actions and search for opportunities to empathize first rather than judge or exclude.  I hope we are raising kids that will forgive easily and support THAT kid with modeling good responses, and I hope that others will do the same should my kid ever be THAT kid…. and odds are he/she probably has.

Read more.

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