Kybele, Inc. Leads Innovative Program in Ghana

As a former board member of Kybele, Inc., I cannot contain my joy in seeing all of the great accomplishments in advancing women’s health care in labor and delivery.  A million kudos to all of the volunteers and our friend Dr. Medge Owens for her tireless dedication to expanding the good work to save mothers’ and infants’ lives around the world. Keep on Pushing!      


By Erin Pfeiffer
As a part of the USAID Systems for Health initiative in Ghana, Kybele will be training Master Trainers in our innovative Triage Implementation Program. The Systems for Health Project (July 2014 to June 2019) is working with the Ghana Health Service to strengthen its efforts to reduce preventable child and maternal deaths. A critical piece of this effort is obstetric triage — equipping high-volume health facilities to prioritize obstetric emergencies in hospital units to reduce delays in receiving treatment.
The Triage Implementation Program aims to help hospital administrators and clinical personnel understand the concept of obstetric triage and how it can be used to improve outcomes for the mother and baby. Other objectives include setting up an obstetric triage system in the hospital using color coded wristbands, decreasing wait times for women to be seen and treated upon arrival at the hospital, prioritizing care for the sickest women, and improving care planning and documentation.
This month, our Kybele team—consisting of physician master trainers and an implementation science expert—is testing our innovative training package at the high-volume Tema General Hospital for appropriateness and usability. Staff will be mentored and coached so that they will have the capacity to provide technical support to other facilities as needed. Ultimately, Kybele will develop a toolkit and guidelines that Ghana Health Service will be able to use to implement the triage package in district and regional hospitals across the country.

Photo Top Left:
Dr. Fiona Bryce and Midwife Cecilia Tetteh introduce the Obstetric Triage Implementation Program at Tema General Hospital. September 2018.
Photo Bottom Left:
Midwife Cecilia Tetteh coaching new triage clinical champions at Tema General Hospital. September 2018.


By Erin Pfeiffer
Kybele’s innovative work has been recognized by Saving Lives at Birth as a groundbreaking approach for improving outcomes for pregnant women and newborns in poor, vulnerable communities around the world. Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development—launched by USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, Department for International Development (DFID), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)—aims to find the best tools and approaches to help mothers and newborns during their most vulnerable hours and has become one of the most renowned initiatives in the global health community. Over the last seven years, Saving Lives at Birth has sourced and supported 115 distinct innovations and seen individuals and organizations gain global accolades for their achievements.

Based on Kybele’s highly successful pilot triage work in Ghana, we proposed a scale-up of our innovation triage package for Saving Lives at Birth funding. This July, our proposal, “Addressing the Third Delay: Scaling Up an Obstetric Triage System to Reduce Delay and Improve the Quality of Care in High-Risk Referral Hospitals in Ghana,” was selected as a finalist and will now move forward for final deliberations and negotiations. With nearly 500 applicants for the award, Kybele is honored to advance to the final stage of this highly competitive review process. This distinction puts our project in the top 5 percent of applicants.
As a part of the advancement of our proposal, Principle Investigators Dr. Medge Owen, Dr. Rohit Ramaswamy, and Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh participated in the Saving Lives at Birth DevelopmentXChange in Washington D.C. — an event that showcases the most innovative initiatives from around the world and brings together some of the most cutting-edge models in the sphere of maternal and newborn health. Event participants took part in capacity-building sessions, networking, and meetings with experts and potential collaborators. Drs. Owen and Srofenyoh successfully provided an oral defense of our proposal before a panel of experts, and Kybele was thereby nominated to move forward to award negotiations.
Moreover, Kybele won the vast majority of the 1,700 votes for the People’s Choice Award — winning “by a landslide,” according to the award organizers. As a part of this award, Kybele will receive $5,000 in strategic communications support from Weber Shandwick, a global engagement and communication agency. The support will be customized around Kybele’s needs, including strategic message guidance, targeted earned media outreach and social media support. Many thanks to all of our supporters who voted for this recognition of our worthy cause!

Photo Top Left: Dr. Medge Owen accepts the Saving Lives at Birth People’s Choice Award.
Photo Bottom Right: Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh in front of the Kybele Booth poster.


Kybele has recently partnered with Network for Good to utilize their fundraising tools and create an easier way for individuals to make contributions to Kybele.
Check out our end-of-year giving campaign and see why we are raising $50,000 to SAVE BABIES.


IMD President, Walter Zohmann at the 2018 SOAP Conference in Miami, FL.

Kybele is grateful and pleased to announce the recent support from International Medical Development (IMD), Inc., for its $1,000 donation at the 2018 Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) conference in Miami. Based in Huntsville, Utah, IMD is a specialty needle company focused on spinal, epidural, and combined spinal epidural (CSE) techniques; amniocentesis; as well as lumbar punctures and myelograms. IMD President Walter Zohmann presented the donation to Kybele.

Kybele would also like to acknowledge EpiMed for its generous donation of 200 epidural mini kits and a simulator to teach neuraxial techniques at our programs in Serbia and Bosnia. EpiMed is the manufacturer of effective and high-quality products to assist with pain management (acute and chronic pain), regional anesthesia, and original equipment manufacturing. EpiMed’s in-kind donation is valued at approximately $7,400 and was graciously presented by John Roschuk, director of regional anesthesia products.


By Elizabeth Colburn
I am originally from Maryland and grew up traveling the United States playing softball competitively. I have wanted to become involved in medicine since the age of 3, when I called 911 to save my great-grandmother’s life following a traumatic fall and did what I could to comfort and assist her until help came. In high school, I entered a four-year biomedical program, which further cultivated my interest in medicine and drove me to pursue the pre-medical track at Wake Forest University for my undergraduate studies.

While taking an anthropology class at Wake Forest, I found I have a deep passion for global health and viewed it as the perfect way to combine my interest in medicine with my enthusiasm for travel and love of helping others. Before graduating, I had the amazing fortune to cross paths with Dr. Medge Owen while shadowing at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, where she told me about the incredible work of Kybele and offered me the opportunity to join the team. This was a dream come true. It provided me with a chance to gain direct experience in the two fields I am most passionate about while working with an inspirational team of leaders on cutting-edge global health work that impacts the lives of mothers and children around the world.
I began working with Kybele in an administrative capacity in December and plan to continue working as I take a gap year to apply to medical school. Since working with Kybele, I have had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for our 2018 Team Leader Summit, represent Kybele at a variety of events, and work with Novant Health to develop their global health agenda and assist with research in women’s health and wellness. Most importantly, I have met truly incredible people who have further fueled my passion for both medicine and global health, and I am excited to apply the lessons I have already learned through Kybele to my future medical career and see where my future work with Kybele takes me.
We are glad to have you on board Elizabeth!


Earlier this year, Kybele received a beautiful handmade quilt from longtime SOAP member Dr. Pamela Webb. The quilt was made from numerous t-shirt designs of past SOAP conferences. Dr. Webb, along with Forever Sisters Quilting, constructed the quilt with the thought of helping Kybele to raise funds. A blind auction was held during the 2018 SOAP conference, and the winning bid of $2,500 went to Dr. Barbara Leighton.
A HUGE thank-you to both Pamela and Barbara for your continued generous support of Kybele.


The following Kybele articles have recently been published:
Kallam, B., Pettitt-Schieber, C., Owen, M., Agyare Asante, R., Darko, E., Ramaswamy, R. (2018). Implementation science in low-resource settings: using the interactive systems framework to improve hand hygiene in a tertiary hospital in Ghana. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 1-7.
Goodman, D. M., Srofenyoh, E. K., Ramaswamy, R., Bryce, F., Floyd, L., Olufolabi, A., Tetteh, C., Owen, M. (2018). Addressing the third delay: implementing a novel obstetric triage system in Ghana. BMJ global health, 3(2), e000623.
Floyd, L., Bryce, F., Ramaswamy, R., Olufolabi, A., Srofenyoh, E., Goodman, D., Pearson, N., Morgan, K., Tetteh, C., Ahwireng, V., Owen, M. (2018). The introduction of a midwife-led obstetric triage system into a regional referral hospital in Ghana. Midwifery, 61, 45-52.


SEPTEMBER 13-17 – Kybele trip to Novi Sad, Serbia: Dr. Shahla Namak’s ALSO course with a team of instructors on September 15 and 16. ALSO, which stands for Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics, is an evidence-based multidisciplinary training program that prepares maternity health care providers to better manage obstetric emergencies.
SEPTEMBER 29-30 – Project CURE master trainer course for helping mothers survive (bleeding after birth) | Woodridge, Illinois
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 6 – Kybele site visit to Siberia.
OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 3 – Kybele team trip to Cape Coast Teaching Hospital | Cape Coast, Ghana
NOVEMBER 14 Worldwide Initiatives for Healthy Pregnancies at 36th Perinatal Conferences, Gravidas at Risk Conference of 2018 | Hickory, North Carolina
NOVEMBER 14 Kybele merchandise sale event at 36th Perinatal Conferences, Gravidas at Risk Conference of 2018 | Hickory, North Carolina
NOVEMBER 26 – Kybele site visit to Bolivia
NOVEMBER 27 Giving Tuesday – National day of “giving” – Year End Campaign.

Kybele Board of Directors
Fiona Bryce
Curtis Baysinger
Lisa Councilman Corbett
Lawrence Fordjour
Ronald George
David Goodman
Matt Hatch
Holly Muir
Medge Owen
Melvin Seid
Ann Smith
Leigh Stanfield

Kybele Staff
Sebnem Ucer, Accounts Manager
Erin Pfeiffer, Grants Manager & Program Coordinator
Kimber Whanger, Marketing & Admin
Dayne Logan, Editor
If you would like to nominate a person for the Board of Directors or would like to more information about Board Committee membership, please contact a Kybele staff person.

Kybele, Inc. | 116 Lowes Foods Drive #170 | Lewisville, NC 27023 |  336.549.0774

Kybele, Inc. |, 336.549.0774, Lewisville, NC 27023


Adoption Notice – Adoptions from Ghana after March 2, 2017

Ghana Flag 2012On January 1, 2017, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Ghana. After reviewing Ghana’s Amended Children’s Act of 2016, and confirming the establishment of Ghana’s Central Authority, the United States has determined that it will now be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana. Consular officers will verify on a case-by-case basis that an intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with the Convention, as well as with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations. 

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the adoption process while Ghana works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures. Prospective adoptive parents initiating an intercountry adoption on or after January 1, 2017, should work closely with their U.S. accredited adoption service provider (ASP) to ensure they complete all necessary steps under Ghana’s adoption process in accordance with Ghanaian and U.S. laws.  

Continue reading.

IMPORTANT: Adoption Notice-Update on Convention Entry into Force for Ghana

Dear family,

The Department of State has issued an adoption notice regarding adoptions from Ghana after January 1, 2017.  The short of the notice is as follows:

1. Though the country of Ghana has signed the Hague Convention treaty, the government has not yet passed the Children’s Bill of 2016, nor have they installed a Central Authority.  Both of these must be in place before adoptions can proceed after January 1, 2017

2. Families that file an I-800A or I-800 before the Children’s Bill of 2016 and the Central Authority has been installed, will be denied. 

3. Families that have already filed a I-600A or I-600 do not yet have a clear path to be Grandfathered at this time.  The Department of State is seeking clarification from the Ghanaian government if they will permit I-600A and I-600 petitions filed prior to January 1, 2017 to proceed under the non-Hague process.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of the Children’s Bill of 2016 and installation of the Central Authority.  Until then, all cases are in a holding pattern as of today, per the Department of State’s notice to Adoption Service Providers and families.   

With encouragement,
Your Hopscotch Team   

Adoption Notice: Adoption Notice: Adoptions from Ghana after January 1, 2017

January 3, 2016

ghana-flagOn January 1, 2017 the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) will enter into force for Ghana.  However, please be advised that the Department of State has determined that it will not be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana that are initiated on or after January 1, 2017 under the Convention because Ghana’s implementing legislation, the Children’s Bill of 2016, has not yet been signed into law, and a Central Authority has not been established.  As a result, consular officers will be unable to issue Hague Adoption Certificates.  Without this certification, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve Form I-800 Petitions to Classify Convention Adoptees as an Immediate Relative.

Once the Children’s Bill is signed into law, and the Central Authority is established, the United States will be able to partner with Ghana as a Convention country.  However, until that time, families interested in adopting from Ghana should not file the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative for a child from GhanaIf a Form I-800 petition is filed on behalf of a child from Ghana, USCIS will have to reject the petition.  Once the Children’s Bill is signed into law, and the Central Authority is established, families will be able to file Form I-800 petitions.  The Department of State will notify USCIS and the public immediately once the bill is signed into law, and the Department is able to confirm that it will be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for  adoptions from Ghana.

In the meantime, we are confirming with Ghanaian officials whether Ghana will permit cases in which a U.S. citizen filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, or a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an immediate relative, prior to January 1 to continue under the non-Hague adoption process.  Once we are able to confirm this information, we will post an updated notice on  As of January 1, 2017, families initiating an adoption in Ghana should not file, and USCIS will not accept, a Form I-600A or Form I-600 for a child from Ghana.  Please contact with the details of the case if this situation applies to you. 

We are in the process of updating our Country Information Sheet for Ghana.  Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at  You may also reach us at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.  

Adoption Alert: Ghana accedes to the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption – September 29, 2016

Finally!!!  Let’s hope for a smooth transition.  More and more children are waiting for families as the days go by.    


On September 16, 2016 Ghana deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption Convention (Hague Adoption Convention) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  The Convention will enter into force for Ghana on January 1, 2016.  We will post additional information as soon as it is available.

From niece to cherished daughter. Kinship adoption works.

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc is experienced in guiding and supporting families in crisis, when the need for a kinship adoption or kafala occurs.  If your family needs assistance in bringing an orphaned child relative to the US, as a permanent member of your family, Hopscotch would like to help you.

Contact us:


Hopscotch Can Help. Kinship Adoption and Kafala.

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc is experienced in guiding and supporting families in crisis, when the need for a kinship adoption or kafala occurs.  If your family needs assistance in bringing an orphaned child relative to the US, as a permanent member of your family, Hopscotch would like to help you.

Contact us:


Ghana’s Big Green Heart!

Click here to see video.


Preparing Jollof rice, the Ghanaian method

Published on May 7, 2013 by AdomHomeCooking


Click here to see video.

Ingredients in this recipe for 4 Adults:

  • 4 cups of rice
  • 8 pieces of Chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 3 large onions
  • Pepper, garlic, ginger (amount optional)
  • Chicken seasoning/ seasoning of choice
  • 2 cups mixed veggies
  • 1 can Tomato Plumps &Tomato puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Maggie cube( optional)



  • Prepare chicken, wash and pat dry.
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt to season
  • Blend onion, ginger, garlic and pepper.
  • Add to the chicken, add chicken season if you want.
  • Steam the chicken for about 8-10 min.


  • Blend plump tomatoes, with some onion and pepper depending on how spicy you want your Jollof.
  • Slice the remaining onions into medium sizes.


  • Start making the stew or gravy by frying the sliced onions in about 3 table spoons of veggie oil and allow to cook for about 2 mins
  • Add 4 tablespoons of tomato puree and keep stirring for about 8 min till it is reduced.
  • Add the blended tomato mixture and allow to cook and reduce for about 10 more minutes, stirring intermittently.


  • When the steamed chicken is ready, strain and reserve the stock, allow stock to cool.
  • Deep fry chicken for the golden brown crusty finish.
  • Put the fried chicken aside.


  • Add the stock to the stew and allow to cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add your chicken to the stew( optional as chicken can be served separately when the entire meal is done).
  • Add the mixed veggies and cook for a couple of mins.( scoop some stew out if preferred to be served with Jollof later).
  • Add the rice and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the rice with kitchen foil and allow the food the steam through.
  • Check and keep stirring intermittently till rice is cooked through, about 20 min.


  • Scoop some of the rice in a small bowl and press to form a nice mound, turn into your serving plate. Add your chicken.
  • Can be served with salad ,gravy, coleslaw etc.

Enjoy your meal.

News from Ghana: Our hearts are heavy with your loss and grief.


News from Ghana: Massive Flood and Fire Leave Ghanaians in Shock.  Our hearts are heavy with your loss and grief.

Read more.

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

Article by Yemi Olufolabi, MD

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.  

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.

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.

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