Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Why Pre-Adoption Education Is Imperative When Preparing to Parent a Child Through Adoption.

Acknowledging the child’s grief, sitting with them in their pain and walking the journey to attachment together, cannot be stressed enough as necessary to successfully attach.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

State Department Continues Its Cruel War On Adoption Agencies

SaveAdoptions_BRIDGE__3_Jayme Metzgar, a Senior Contributor with The Federalist, has written another stirring article about the State Department and its war on Adoption Agencies. The article was printed today and you can read it here. Please be sure to not only read this article, but share it with your contact list and forward it to your Congressman.
Thank you!

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Rockies, the Alps, the Caucasus? Georgia Plans for the Future

By Gabriel Leigh
This country has beautiful mountains, dependable snow, hearty food and welcoming people. Now they just need to decide how to build a tourism industry.
The slopes in Gudauri, Georgia, not far from the Russian border in the Caucusus Mountains.CreditOla Lewitschnik
The slopes in Gudauri, Georgia, not far from the Russian border in the Caucusus Mountains.CreditCreditOla Lewitschnik
I was descending a Georgian mountain pass in a rented Renault Duster when, rounding a curve with six-foot snow drifts to either side, a dark and narrow tunnel came into view. Looking down the mountain, I could see the other end of it — and an apparently endless convoy of eighteen-wheelers making their way up, entering in the opposite direction. I couldn’t imagine how we’d fit alongside each other, but I pressed on, only to find myself in a black hole. The headlights illuminated nothing. I rolled down the window — one of those useless things you do when beginning to panic — and realized that we were in a cloud of black truck exhaust so thick it was blinding.
I’d come to Georgia to ski — attracted by images of the towering Caucasus Mountains and reports of affordable skiing without the crowds. Those who knew Georgia tended to describe it warmly: exotic and undiscovered, with great food, situated at a crossroads full of history, and changing — its young population striving to show off a post-Soviet identity to the world.
Shacks selling food and drinks on the mountain at the Gudauri Ski Resort.CreditOla Lewitschnik

Perfect Holiday Parenting Webinar! FREE on 11/27/18

Being a parent can be hard.  Join me for an hour of discussion, tips and insights on how to stay calm when your children are losing their cool.
This free webinar will be held on Tuesday November 27th at 8:30 pm, EDT.  I’d love to have you join me!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Four Myths We Used To Believe About The Effects of Childhood Trauma

By Anne Runkle
Everyone knows that trauma in childhood can cause problems later in life, but until recently, we totally misunderstood how this happens.
Here are four myths that have dominated our understanding of Childhood PTSD, and convoluted our approach to treatment:
Myth 1: Childhood PTSD is a psychological wound.
What we know now: We now know that the damage from early abuse, neglect and chronic stress is largely neurological — in other words, it causes brain and nervous system changes. These changes, in turn, can cause cognitive impairment, emotional  and social problems and chronic disease. Though much of the damage can be reversed, it’s important to be aware of how these events can have such a broad impact on every part of our lives. 
Myth 2: The best thing for people who were traumatized is to talk about it.
What we know now: Focusing on your childhood traumas will not, by itself, produce recovery. While taking stock of what happened is a useful first step, putting attention on bad things can actually re-traumatize you, and in the re-traumatized state, it can be impossible to reason, remember or integrate information. This is one of the main reasons that talk therapy doesn’t always work very well for trauma, and why other methods of recovery are necessary. Focusing on childhood can also emphasize blame, which ultimately keeps you trapped.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Real Problem of Intercountry Adoption

By Paulo Barrozo
The real problem of intercountry adoption is that there is too little of it.
Adoption is the only institution whereby unparented children become legal daughters and sons by force of a deliberate decision of a judicial or other state authority.
Where the unparented child and the prospective parent reside in the same country, domestic laws alone govern adoption. However, both national and international laws must work together to constitute the filial-parental relationship when the unparented child and the prospective parent reside in different countries, whatever their nationalities. The Hague Convention of 1993 on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption—misguided in its interpretation and enforcement—is the principal international law devoted to intercountry adoption.
Some years ago, a joint report by UNICEF and other agencies estimated the number of double orphans to be sixteen million in Africa, Asia, and Latin America alone.1 Since then, conflict and disease will almost certainly have increased this number. But, of course, the number of children who are unparented is much greater than the number of double orphans. And of the tens of millions of unparented children globally, an estimated 10–14 million are committed to institutions. Whether or not institutionalized, the unparented are subjected to life-altering, and often life-ending, deprivations.
The predicament of unparented children around the world is the greatest humanitarian and human rights crisis of our time. The legal institute of adoption is a marvelous gift to humanity, for it is the only permanent solution to this crisis. And intercountry adoption is an essential component of this solution.
Indeed, in light of the rise in intercountry adoption throughout the latter half of the last century and up until about 2004, there was hope that every year increasing numbers of unparented children would become daughters and sons through intercountry adoption. It was also hoped that as with other fine ideas, a vibrant culture of adoption would take root around the world under the example of intercountry adoption. The much hoped for resulting scenario would be that of family unifications (rather than the limited, genetically reductionist, and potentially child-endangering notion of family reunification) on a global stage, with in-country and intercountry adoptions providing homes for all unparented children.
Who would oppose this ideal?
Adoption Prejudice
Who would have adoption prejudice?
Only those prepared to pay an immense intellectual and moral price can be oblivious to the harmful exclusion, deprivation, and humiliation of unparented children. Unfortunately, too many in government, international organizations, and in the child welfare arena more broadly are willing to pay this price. Behind their attitude lies adoption prejudice.
Adoption prejudice explains the still prevailing global resistance—when not an all-out opposition—to adoption in general and intercountry adoption in particular.2 A resistance often found even where one would reasonably expect to find enthusiastic and committed support for adoption.
Of course, prejudice against adoption is not new, having plagued the ancient versions of the institution. In the modern era and up until a few decades ago, adoption, when disclosed outside the private realm of the family, amounted to a public confession of infertility on the part of parents, and carried the stigmas of rejection and second-class status for adopted children. In comparison, adoption prejudice today is stealthier, but its prints are everywhere in adoption law and attitudes.
The newest version of adoption prejudice is stealthier because it hides under charitable sensibilities and truncated human rights rhetoric. I return to this point later, but first consider two examples of adoption prejudice manifestation.
In one example, it is positively affirmed as a source of status and success that healthcare corporations and professionals worldwide profit from their reproductive services and products. It is estimated that they will reach combined revenues close to 20 billion dollars this year alone.3 In contrast, it is widely considered a moral wrong and a source of social harm if professionals and organizations held to the highest standards of conduct provide fee-based intercountry adoption services and prosper doing so.
In another example of adoption prejudice, despite the much greater risk of abuse and neglect of children by biological as compared to adoptive parents, no one advocates for a moratorium on biological reproduction as an acceptable means of addressing the millions of cases worldwide every year of neglect and abuse of children by their progenitors. In contrast, one negative headline is often enough to lead to calls for adoption delays (under the favored language of “additional adoption safeguards”) or adoption shutdowns (under the favored language of “adoption moratorium”). One could go on and on with examples of contemporary adoption prejudice.
History and the prevailing paradigm of thought about adoption explain the power, resilience, and surreptitiousness of contemporary adoption prejudice.
Historically, population was considered the most important natural resource of nation-states and other independent political units. Polities sought to draw soldiers and laborers from the largest possible population. The more children, the greater the population; the greater the population, the more powerful a polity. Post-colonial sensibilities reconceived of this natural resources approach to children by reducing them too often to carriers of race, religion, ethnicity, or culture. It took a couple of decades for this new objectification of children as natural resources to catch up with the hopeful growth of intercountry adoption, but when it did, it wrought havoc on children whose only chance to be parented was adoption.
However, that regress in the progress of adoption might had been averted were it not for the paradigm of thought that to this day presides over the institution of adoption.
For most of its history, adoption developed under the uncontested influence of adult-centered and community-centered utilitarian outlooks. (Adoption is to serve the interests of adults—birth parents, adopters, and their communities—including their economic, political, and psychological interests. This was occasionally tempered by charitable impulses: the welfare interests of adoptees are to be sought when compatible with the interests of adults and communities.) I have elsewhere named this paradigm of thought in adoption the consequentialist-cum-charity paradigm.4
A major problem of this paradigm is that it fails to fully consider the child as a person, as a full-fledged subject of fundamental rights. I return below to this problem and its solution.
The delusion of contemporary opposition to intercountry adoption is that the charitable impulses in adoption history have finally conquered the consequentialist promotion of the interests of adults and communities. The contrary is true. In the current adoption paradigm, the interests of adults and communities conquered from within the charitable impulses in adoption. The mechanism of this conquest-from-within was the mobilization of the language of human rights to cover the operation of attitudes, policies, and laws that maximize the interests of adults and of political, ethnic, and cultural communities against the inherent dignity of each unparented child as a subject of fundamental rights.
People get away with intercountry adoption prejudice and its nefarious consequences for children because the consequentialist-cum-charity paradigm is encapsulated into a narrative which uncritical acceptance has made widely predominant.
Thus here we are. Adoption prejudice tragically leads to the condemnation of unparented children to institutions, the streets, and to abusive domestic or quasi-domestic relations. Institutions and the streets are bad for children. Bad also is the existential limbo of uncertain status in which children often find themselves in extended family or community placements. Around the world, this kind of placement tends to mean no more than unprotected domestic labor under parental-like authority.
The Current Narrative
Adoption prejudice manifests as local variations of a global constant. The current narrative, reflecting the consequentialist-cum-charity paradigm mentioned above, is the official discourse of the global constant. It preaches:
Led by subconscious or unconfessable liberal selfishness or religious proselytism, the white middle-classes of wealthy North-Atlantic nations roam and ravage the world eastward and southward in search of children to adopt. The individual zealousness and combined financial resources of these colonial trophy-collectors taint all they touch. Birth parents are defrauded, suborned, or coerced; children are robbed of their opportunity to grow where and with the human group they belong in by birth; cultures are deprived of precious subjects to carry them further; and poor countries are depleted of their most important resources. The domestic political clout of the trophy-collectors and the geopolitical clout of their respective governments make it so that most countries east and south must put up with intercountry adoption, but the institution must be contained everywhere and dismantled anywhere an opportunity to do so arises. Those in the forefront of intercountry adoption containment and dismantlement are human rights and state sovereignty champions.
We would be hard-pressed to imagine the scale of the current humanitarian and human rights crisis of unparented children without the ascendancy of this factually false, morally wrong, and cruel in its effect narrative.
Facts, Moral Clarity, and the Suffering of the Unparented
Let us concede that in far too many cases families (again, much more so in the case of progenitors) fail miserably in the discharge of their fiduciary duties toward children. Yet, the fact—amply confirmed by social, developmental, and bio-medical sciences as well as ordinary experience—remains that no other type of institution compares to a good family (and good families come in different shapes and from different socio-economic strata) when it comes to the care and nurturing of children.
The reason why this is the case tends to elude anyone taking a materialistic approach to the requirements of successful upbringing. Indeed, other types of institutions, including well-funded orphanages, sometimes provide better access to food, shelter, healthcare, safety, and sundry conveniences than the typical family in many parts of the world. What sets good families apart and makes them easily superior to even the best among other kinds of institutions, and explains their success in upbringing, is that they parent. That is, in good families, the tasks involved in upbringing are mediated by love. As G.W.F Hegel insightfully pointed out, “the family has as its determination the spirit’s feeling of its own unity, which is love.”5
Love matters because it counter-balances the vulnerability of children vis-à-vis those who control what they need to grow and flourish. Ultimately, it is on adults close and far—whether acting in their capacities as parents, extended family, or agents of the state or broader society—that children depend.
Unless and until parental love intervenes, children’s dependence translates daily into the unmediated experience of vulnerability—a crushing psychological predicament for anyone. The point is not that love sugarcoats dependence, although it certainly does that too. Rather, love alters the experience of vulnerability by changing, on one side, the motivations and considerations of the adults that control the resources children need and, on the other, the way children concretely experience their dependence.
When loved by a good parent, objective vulnerability is subjectively experienced by children as care, protection, trust, and affection. This subjective experience offers the best environment for the expansion and development of children’s potential. Not a small accomplishment for love.
In other words, parental love transmutes caregiving into parenting. Love creates the kind of conservatory in which the share of human capabilities each person is endowed with can have a fair chance of flourishing. It is in the experience of profound and unconditional love that children find the terra firma that assures them of their place in the world, and where their own sense of limitation and vulnerability is transformed into self-confidence and an appetite for the future as an inviting frontier of open possibilities.
We all come to the world embodied—that is, as biological structures. There is of course a deep kind of unavoidable vulnerability that comes with that. Individuals and many societies respond to this unavoidable vulnerability by placing the minimum requirements for life maintenance at the top of their priorities. That conceded, it is essential to acknowledge that biological embodiment does not exhaust who and what persons are; that there are human endowments that can and should be protected and nurtured. When that happens, individuals, and humanity as a whole, experience the kind of transcendence upon which the meaning of each person’s life depends. Because of their importance in placing love at the center of the experiences of biological embodiment and corresponding vulnerability, it is understandable why good families occupy a privileged position in the biographical as well as the sociological dimensions of life.
Relatedly, children’s potentials entrusted to families condition the personal meaning in and conscious enjoyment of fundamental rights during an individual’s lifespan. Hence, fundamental rights’ meaning and enjoyment have one major presupposition: that individuals possess at a minimum the evolutionary endowments of reason, normativity, love, creativity, judgement, communication, play, hope, plan, and enthrallment. When these capacities fail to be present minimally for any individual, meaning in and enjoyment of fundamental rights become deeply challenging even where the provision of those rights is in principle secured.
Sometimes the frugal possession of human capacities is not attributable to human fault. In other cases, however, that dearth is the result of human action and omission, as in the case of institutionalization of unparented children. When the latter occurs, it constitutes one of the first and deepest forms of disrespect a person can suffer of her human rights.
It is not difficult to connect my arguments. By interjecting a buffer of love between children and the harshness of the world, good families parent, thus creating the best milieu for children to grow and flourish in. Hence, obstacles to growing up in good families attributable to individuals and organizations constitute a serious breach of children’s human rights.
Now we come full circle. For the unparented, the only access to parenting is through adoption. This fact gives rise to negative and positive human rights obligations. Negatively, states and international organizations are under the obligation not to create unjustifiable obstacles to adoption, domestic and intercountry equally. Positively, those entities are under the obligation to vigorously promote urgent access for the unparented to family unification concomitantly through intercountry and domestic adoption. Morally, these negative and positive obligations bind everyone everywhere.
For law, morality, and policy, it makes a world of difference to approach the humanitarian and human rights crisis of global unparenthood from the discerning perspective of the human rights of the child rather than from the consequentialist-cum-charity adoption paradigm. The consequentialist-cum-charity adoption paradigm and its narrative turn the unparented into an instrument of blood, soil, race, culture, heritage, or politics in the name of saving them. Thus instrumentalized, children are separated and treated unequally in what amounts to a global apartheid of the unparented. Family unification through adoption as a human right is their only hope.
The Human Rights of the Unparented
The consequentialist-cum-charity adoption paradigm and its narrative about intercountry adoption summarized above must be set out of the way of intercountry adoption and into the annals of shame that history fills with other types of prejudices and their consequences. In its place, the human rights of the unparented paradigm will rise, and with it a new narrative of the dignity of each child in intercountry adoption:
There is too little intercountry adoption in the world. Millions of unparented children worldwide need and long for permanent family unification. Ready to encounter them are prospective parents who have broken free from genetic and tribalist reductionisms. This is a global movement of family unification. Crossing nations and continents, this movement claims the human right of the unparented to urgent adoption facilitation and vigorous adoption promotion, a human right that serves also as a vessel for our hopes for a future of understanding and solidarity around the world. Those in the forefront of intercountry adoption facilitation and promotion are champions of the human rights frontier to dismantle the global apartheid of the unparented.
  1. Children on the Brink 2004: A Joint Report of New Orphan Estimates and a Framework for Action. Available here: https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_22212.html
  2. Even in countries like the United States where in-country adoption now enjoys general support in the population, intercountry adoption is still a taboo for a critical mass of the population and institutional actors in the public and private sectors.
  3. https://www.bccresearch.com/market-research/healthcare/human-reproductive-technologies-hlc017d.html
  4. Finding Home in the World: A Deontological Theory of the Right to be Adopted, 55 N.Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 701 (2010–11). Available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1839477
  5. G. W. F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 199.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Women’s Support Center – Passage of Armenia’s New Domestic Violence Law

Summer-Fall 2018 Newsletter 

Welcome to the Women’s Support Center’s e-newsletter designed to keep you informed of current activities. Below WSC highlights the work carried out in the past few months to ensure the safety of women and children, victims of domestic violence, and advocate for change. Engage with WSC by following Facebookwebsite, and contacting WSC. Women’s Support Center would love to hear from you!


Since the passage of the new Domestic Violence(DV) law in Armenia, we have been working intensively on developing mechanisms for Police and Social Workers to facilitate the law’s monitoring and implementation. This is an ongoing process to improve services for DV victims and to ensure the prevention of DV cases. Tragically, during the first 6 months since the law was passed, and since police started to record DV cases, hundreds of cases of domestic violence have been reported. These include 9 DV related deaths, which is an extremely high figure within this timeframe and context.
WSC lawyer, Nona Galstyan (middle) working with Ministry of Social Affairs on DV law mechanisms


The new DV law and the recent democratic changes that have taken place in Armenia have increased interest on behalf of international organizations. June was a particularly busy month. We met with gender experts from UNICEF, the Open Society Foundation, the Council of Europe, Romania, and the US Embassy.  The Armenian Bar Association Detective Vahe Abramyan of the Glendale Police Department, and Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian from Los Angeles visited  and exchaned information with our staff.   A very productive and interesting exchange took place that lead to a gained awareness on California state practices for DV cases.
Detective Vahe Abramyan of the Glendale Police Department and Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian
Interns of the Armenian Assembly and Director Arpi Vartanian visited our center to get better acquainted with the WSC’s work, as well as with women’s rights and gender equality issues in Armenia. A lively discussion ensued.
Armenian Assembly Interns Orientation at WSC
We continued training Police and Social Workers.  Additionally, World Vision selected the WSC to train 442 doctors, educators, and social workers in 13 regions in Armenia. This offers us further exposure to the regions, and allows us to creating valuable contacts and foster collaborations.

Monday, September 17, 2018

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