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Kybele June Header 2     

Donations make a difference. 

In This Issue:  

Message from the President


Kybele Dinner a big success! 


 Partnership to Provide New Maternity Operating Theatre  


Meet Longtime Team Member  Dr. Wendy Gore-Hickman 


Focus on Volunteers  Hannah & Megan Smith  


SOAP Outreach Grant    


 On the Horizon 


 Kudos and Quick Links   


Message from the PresidentPresidentMessage


CT Scanner in Ghana

L to R:  Dr. Medge Owen, Dr. Ken Sagoe (CEO of Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana) and Dr. Yemi Olufolabi in front of the CT Scanner.   


Excitement continues to build around our work in Ghana which will comprise much of this newsletter.. We've just returned from a tremendous journey filled with significant accomplishments. We were enthusiastically received by the Ghana Health Services Council, a high-level regulatory council, and were commended for our work.  We became collaborators on an important project to create an obstetrics  operating room for Ridge Regional Hospital. Dr. Yemi Olufolabi represented Kybele at the signing ceremony on June 4 which was attended by the US Ambassador to Ghana, 2 US senators and other key dignitaries. In addition, we were warmly welcomed and will begin working at a new teaching hospital serving the Northern half of Ghana.  While there, we presented the CEO with a  CT scanner received through our collaboration with the Canadian Food for the Hungry. This is the only CT scanner for Northern Ghana and several surrounding countries. In upcoming months, we will conduct training on its use.

We are mid-way through the final year of our partnership at Ridge Regional Hospital. Currently, we are on target to achieve our goal of a 50 percent reduction in maternal and newborn death;  significant for a hospital that conducts more than 8000 births per year!  The doctors and nurses at Ridge have worked tirelessly under incredibly challenging conditions. We are humbled by their efforts, and especially those of Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh, chairman of OBGYN, and champion for the cause. His leadership, dedication and passion have moved mountains. The quality improvement model we've jointly developed will be introduced to other large regional hospitals in Ghana at a 2012 national meeting. We will share best practices, outcomes and lessons learned in hopes to improve maternal and neonatal care throughout the country.  


We will keep you informed as these and other developments unfold.  None of these accomplishments would be possible without your continued support. Thank you!

Medge Owen SigSend us your suggestions! 

Medge D. Owen, MD

Kybele Founder & President   

Kybele Fundraising Dinner and Auction KybeleDinner

Kybele Dinner Thank You

On Thursday, April 14th, 120 members of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) were escorted by private coach into a beautiful gated community and to the Golf Club at South Shores.  Members mingled over delicious cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while perusing the various items up for auction.  Kybele had a wide array of unique items, many of them from their program countries.  The staff at South Shores was impeccable as they deftly handled the crowd during the seated dinner.  Guests enjoyed Filet of Beef, Salmon, and Mushroom Tortellini while listening to key note speaker, Dr. Lisa Councilman (Scott & White) give an outstanding presentation on Kybele's recent trip to The Republic of Georgia.  Dr. Councilman is a long-time team leader and Kybele volunteer.   


Following dinner, guests were treated to platefuls of decadently designed pastries and tortes for dessert while watching the amazing entertainment of magician/entertainer Jeffrey Richards from Las Vegas.  Richards, a 25+ year veteran in the magic trade wowed the crowd with hilariously funny antics and crowd participation.  Special recognition goes to our event sponsor, Dr. Cynthia Wong (Northwestern) and for our table sponsors from Wake Forest School of Medicine, Scott & White Memorial Hospital, (Dr. Lisa Councilman & Dr. Jim Konvicka), Stanford University, and the University of Colorado.


Proceeds from this event went to support Kybele programs.  If you missed it this year, we invite you to attend with us next May in Monterey, CA.

Ridge Hospital Benefits from Partnership to Provide Maternity Operating TheatreFFH   

Ghana Trip 2011 Photos

Photo 1:  L to R: US Ambassador to Ghana Donald Teitelbaum (standing sideways), Senator Chris Coons, Dr. Yemi Olufolabi, Senator Johnny Isakson, Dr. Emmanuel Apori Obeng, Medical Director of Ridge Regional Hospital tour the site of the new operating theatre

Photo 2:  Old operating room before the renovation - site of the new maternity operating theatre at Ridge Hospital

Photo 3:  Dr. Yemi Olufolabi (Kybele) and Mrs. Nagwa Kattah, President of the Ghana International Women's Club (GIWC)

Released June 4, 2011  


Ridge Regional Hospital, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ghana International Women's Club (GIWC) and Kybele Inc. (an US NGO) have entered into a partnership to create a functional maternity operating theatre for the use of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana.


According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on June 4th, these partners will each contribute to Ghana's achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four and five through this renovation.  MDG 4 aims to reduce the mortality of children under five by two thirds, and MDG 5 aims to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters from 1990 to 2015.  The partnership supports the Ministry of Health's commitment to achieve these MDGs by improving access to quality health care.


The MOU is the result of a collaborative effort between these different partners, each of which saw the need for a fully functional maternity operating theatre at the regional hospital.   (READ MORE)


2011 Golf Tournament Banner Click Here to download Registration Form.


This is the first (we hope of many) golf tournaments to help raise funds for Kybele. Greg Harper heard Medge Owen speak at an event in Winston-Salem and her story resonated with his experience. Greg and his wife Jenny, have six children, two of whom were adopted from Siberia. The Harpers experienced first-hand the conditions Medge described in some of the regions Kybele served and, in Greg's words, "felt compelled to put on this golf tournament". He remarked that "I have been able to see personally how the areas you are touching can make such a huge difference in so many lives."  


And what a great idea! Thank you, Greg and Jenny Harper and your family for all the effort and time you are putting into this tournament. It's a fabulous time of year in NC. Dust off your clubs and be part of what should be a fun event. For more information or to register for the tournament, complete and send your registration as directed on the form above :


For questions:  Please contact Greg Harper: [email protected] 

Meet  Long Time Team Member

Dr. Wendy Gore-Hickman Councilman 

Wendy Gore Hickman 

I was born and raised in a small farming community in rural Saskatchewan.  I wanted to go into medicine from a very early age.  My youngest brother had leukemia, so our life was always filled with doctors, and one of them in particular, inspired me to pursue it.  I graduated from Medicine at the University of Saskatcheway in 1985.  I did my Anesthesiology residency in Saskatoon as well, and did Obstetric Anesthesia at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.  I have been working in Saskatoon since 1990.


I have been going to the SOAP meeting most years since 1988.  In 2005 I heard Dr. Medge Owen make a presentation at the meeting about Kybele, and its work in Turkey and Croatia.  She is such an inspiration to me!  At that meeting, I also met Dr. Frank Boni - an anesthetist from Ghana.


Medge decided to take Kybele to work in Ghana and I immediately signed up - going on my first trip in 2006.  What an eye-opening experience it was!  I have been on 5 trips since then! 


Living and working with such a terrific group of doctors and nurses from all over the world has been an amazing experience for me...  (READ MORE)

Focus on Volunteers  

Hannah & Megan SmithLouisa  

Hannah and Megan Smith

by Nina Phaup 

How do most teenagers spend their weekends?  Probably not doing what Hannah and Megan Smith do.  The sisters have spent many a weekend organizing the Kybele store by sorting through new merchandise and tagging and pricing items for sale.  They have also been instrumental in organizing the inventory information onto spreadsheets to better keep track of the sale of items at events.  This was no small task.


Hannah and Megan, the daughters of Mark and Debbie Smith of Winston-Salem, NC have been working with Kybele for four years.  The sisters have worked at a variety of events, including the Earth Day Fair at Wake Forest University, Krankie's Coffee Craft Fair and a community yard sale.


Hannah said, "All of the Kybele merchandise is unique and makes great gifts for our friends!  Our favorite item is the pashmina which comes in a variety of colors.  Megan and I love to wear them to school and always receive compliments every time!  Although we have never traveled with the Kybele team, we understand the importance and impact this organization has in various countries and are very glad to be a part of Kybele and help raise money in any way possible.Grant   

SOAP Grant Application Button

On the Horizon Horizon 

Where is Kybele going in 2011-2012?
Laurel Bookman

Dr. Laurel Bookman teaches neonatal resuscitation.

Upcoming programs include:

  • GHANA - September/October 2011
  • ARMENIA - This trip has been postponed due to logistical issues.  It will be rescheduled, hopefully before long. 
  • SERBIA - We are planning a new program to Serbia. Dates will be determined for early 2012.


At this time we are no longer accepting new applicants for travel.  Individuals who have already submitted complete applications and support materials will be placed in our files for future consideration.  We are delighted by the growing interest and encourage you to support Kybele either financially or as a non-traveling volunteer.  Thank You. 

Kudos and Quick LinksQuickLinks   

Camryn Rose We Love Babies: 

Congratulations to Kybele Board Member and Team Leader, Dr. Brittany Clyne (Charlotte, NC)  on the recent arrival of Camryn Rose, born March 7th.  Mom and daughter are doing great.  We can't wait to meet her!


Recent Award: 

Dr. Medge Owen accepted the 2nd place award in the Best Paper Category at the 2011  Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) Conference Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 16th in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada.  The oral presentation titled "Improving Obstetric and Neonatal Care in Ghana using a Multidisciplinary Approach and Continuous Quality Improvement" stemmed directly from original research in Kybele's ongoing Ghana program. 


Forsyth Woman Article

Click to Read Forsyth Woman Article 

New Kybele Employee: 

Louisa Oates started June 5th as a Kybele Program Assistant.  You will remember that Louisa interned last year.  Welcome Louisa!

Great Article: 

The April 2011 issue of Forsyth Woman Magazine profiles in the cover story the work of Medge Owen of Kybele, Robin Sizemore of Hopscotch Adoptions, and Parker Lovell of Cash Lovell Stables who are partnering on a project to assist an orphanage in Accra, Ghana.  It's a wonderful collaborative effort!  

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 Overview of Our Work  


Board of Directors

 Medge Owen, MD

President & Founder

Helen Akinc  

VP Strategy & Newsletter Editor 

Margaret Sedensky

VP Program Development

Sebnem Ucer


Lisa Councilman, MD



Brittany Clyne, MD

Cyril Engmann, MD

Thomas Ivester, MD

Frank James, MD

Virgil Manica, MD

Holly Muir, MD

Yemi Olufolabi, MD

Robin Sizemore

Can Unal, MD   

Kybele bracelets 

Kybele merchandise is on display at various events in the Winston-Salem, NC area.  Contact us if you are interested in purchasing merchandise or have an event that is appropriate for us to display/sell our items. 

Kybele Merchandise 2 

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Kybele is a 501(c)3 not for profit humanitarian organization dedicated to improving childbirth conditions worldwide through medical education partnerships.  Our organization brings US, Canadian, Australian and European healthcare professionals into host countries to work alongside doctors and nurses in their home environments. Our teams promote teaching and provide hands-on training in techniques that improve healthcare safety.   3524 Yadkinville Road #124 Winston-Salem, NC 27106