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Comments or suggestions about our newsletter?  Contact Editor, Helen Akinc.   

Message from the President    PresidentMessage 

Emmanuel with SOAP Pres. Barbara Scavone (L) and
past Pres. McCallum Hoyt (R) at the SOAP annual banquet. He is receiving the Patient Safety Award.

I'm pleased to report that our hard work really paid off!  


Kybele affiliates presented 7 scientific abstracts at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Not only that, Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh, our obstetric colleague from Ridge Regional Hospital in Ghana received the "Patient Safety Award" and the "Zuspan Award" for our work which he presented in the "Best Paper" session, an honor in and of itself. In addition, Dr. Virgil Manica of TUFTS New England Medical Center gave an excellent oral presentation regarding our work in Romania and we were pleased to have Dr. Borislava Pujic, Kybele's country host in Serbia, in attendance at the meeting.  


It is gratifying to know that our work and the research we do based on that work is recognized by our peers. This helps us to sustain Kybele's impact and maintain the positive changes we've been able to accomplish. We are grateful for our ongoing association with SOAP and so appreciative of the support received at the annual Kybele dinner and merchandise table. Kudos to all involved.


I'm excited to welcome Mrs. Erin Pfeiffer to our management team. Erin comes on board in anticipation of Kybele's receiving a major award this summer. A year ago, we were approached by Seattle-based, PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) to partner on a project entitled, "Making Every Baby Count Initiative". This multi-year grant will allow us to expand our work in Ghana to strengthen health institutions and develop "Centers of Excellence" for improved standards of neonatal and maternal care. It is gratifying to have our work recognized, however, the challenge is before us to take achievements made within a regional hospital to a national level.

Kybele participants congratulating Emmanuel Srofenyoh
at the annual banquet. From left to right:
Curtis Baysinger, Vanderbilt University
Ashraf Habib, Duke University
Marge Sedensky, University of Washington
Onyi Onouha, Univ of Pennsylvania
Emmanuel Srofenyoh, Ghana Health Service
Ellen Lockhart, Washington University
Medge Owen, Wake Forest University
Ron George, Dalhousie University
Dr. Borislava Pujic with Serbia Team Leaders Curtis Baysinger and Ivan Velickovic.

















Indeed, it will be a busy summer as we prepare for the grant and as team leaders plan for our upcoming fall programs in Armenia, Serbia and Vietnam. Stay tuned. Kybele is on the move!



Medge Owen Sig  

Medge Owen, President - Kybele, Inc.   








Reflections On My First SOAP Meeting      Reflections    

Reflections by Sebnem Ucer
Kybele Friends and Family. 
Back L to R:  Kimber Whanger, Dr. Emmanual Srofenyoh, Dr. Pere Owen, JoAnn Owen, Dr. Medge Owen,
Floor:  Jozy Unal, Aubree Whanger, Sebnem Ucer 

In the years since I started to volunteer and work for Kybele, SOAP 2013 was the first conference to which I traveled. For quite some time now, I have believed wholeheartedly in Kybele's culture- and country-specific educational model, and have witnessed Dr. Owen's personal sacrifices to make Kybele an effective organization for years, but being at the conference was a special experience.


Amazing teamwork with Ms. Kimber Whanger made the work part easy and delightful during the conference. Meeting with people most of whom I know only from e-mails and phone conversations was great, as it enabled me to finally be able to put a face to the name in many cases. I observed Kybele's good reputation in that medical community, and saw the attention and support from people who have never been involved in Kybele projects. It was amazing to see others eagerly waiting for Dr. Owen to start a program using the Kybele model in different countries. All of these made me very proud of our organization, but most importantly I realized that the relationships in the organization are very exceptional...


The morning that Dr. Srofenyoh was supposed to give his talk, I was not able to eat anything due to anxiety. On the night of conference banquet, we - as the Kybele team - were all counting the minutes while waiting for the announcements of the conference awards. When we heard of the awards given to Dr. Srofenyoh, we literally crashed the party to celebrate together with Dr. Owen and Dr. Srofenyoh. All of the Kybele trip participants stopped by, most of them multiple times, at our merchandise table to shop, talk to others about the items and trips, and even to help sell. During the conference Kybele's staff, president, board members, team leaders, trip participants and country hosts worked, rested, and ate together, like a big family... And, I am so honored to be a part of this family.

Meet Erin Pfeiffer - Kybele's Grant Writer and Project Manager    Erin         

 Article by Helen Akinc


Erin first became familiar with Kybele through a colleague who had worked closely with Kybele Board Member Rohit Ramaswamy during their time together at UNC. The organization's vision of improving childbirth outcomes around the world through evidence-based quality improvement initiatives resonated with Erin's passion for global maternal and child health and she felt an immediate connection to the people and work of Kybele. Erin approached Kybele to learn more about the innovative efforts to improve childbirth outcomes for women and children around the world and to share about her background in grant writing and grant management of global maternal and child health programs. With the exciting new opportunities Kybele was beginning and Erin's skills in some of the areas in which Kybele was growing, a working relationship was formed. Being a long-time resident of Winston-Salem, it also seemed like a perfect match that Kybele was based in her own backyard.


Erin is an only child and was born and raised in Indiana. She and her husband, Austin, live in West Salem with their highly-energetic dog and incredible one-year-old son, Silas. They are in the multi-year process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. In her (ever-diminishing) free time, Erin is an amateur triathlete and loves to bake and cook all things vegetarian...though has never met an olive she liked. She loves to travel, including backpacking through Europe, sleeping in the jungle of Liberia, and taking "chicken buses" through Guatemala. In her more adventurous days she hang-glided through the Swiss Alps and did bunging free-falling.

Volunteer Spotlight:  Dr. Fiona Bryce  Fiona       

Article by Helen Akinc

Change does not come easily to most people. It takes courage to allow one's life experiences to change the direction of one's journey. Most people who are involved with Kybele in one way or another have that courage and have allowed the events of their lives to alter the direction and the decisions they make. Fiona Bryce is no exception. When I first contacted Fiona, she was not at home in the UK, but away on holiday. Even though she was on vacation, she graciously responded and asked if she could get back to me in a few weeks, which she did.  


Dr. Bryce first became involved with Kybele approximately three years ago. As she says, it is somewhat convoluted, but interesting. She was already travelling to Ghana on a regular basis through her participation in a church project involved with building a home for destitute children on the outskirts of Accra. Because of that project, Fiona and two midwives with whom she works, Liz Floyd and Kerry Morgan, visited and got to know staff in a maternity unit in Wjeija. The director of that unit asked them to develop a course in neonatal resuscitation, which they did. In so doing, it helped Fiona and her colleagues to more clearly understand Ghanaian maternity services. That led Dr. Bryce to seek ways to become more involved in a hands-on way. Her story and her insights are insightful and inspiring. Read on!

Our Friends at Duke University School of Medicine are Hosting the 6th Annual Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence Meeting (ASAP).           ASAP 

Submitted by Holly Muir, MD. 


On September 6th - 8th of this year, Duke has the honor of hosting a multidisciplinary international meeting which focuses on pulling our teams together in global outreach activities. The organization is known as the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence - ASAP. This is a collaborative effort between ASAP, our Departments of Anesthesia, Surgery, Obstetrics and the Duke Global Health Institute. Members of the Program and Planning Committee have organized an exciting program where you would have an opportunity to interact with many of the international leaders in Global Health.

Please share it with your faculty, residents, medical students and friends and help us spread the message about this exciting meeting.  Kybele Team Members are encouraged to attend.

Registration is now open. Registration fee for faculty is $450.00, and resident /medical student registration fee is $150.00. We encourage participants to send in abstracts for poster presentation.  The deadline for Abstract submission is August 15th, 2013. We are excited about the opportunity we have to show case Global Health and hope you will join us in this endeavor! Please free to Dr. Holly Muir with any questions. 
Getting "Creative" to Raise Money and Awareness for KybeleCreative

Article by Shannon Koontz


What's better than a painting party with good wine, food and friends? How about using it as a fundraising opportunity for Kybele?


In May, several Kybele supporters came together for a painting party at Uncorked Masterpiece in Winston-Salem. The idea was to incorporate many of the things loved by all (wine, food, friends, art) into one evening, and one easy fundraiser.


Sebnem Ucer planned the details, including choosing a project from the studio selections called "Slumbering Heart," that was simple enough for even the most novice of artists. As an added touch, participants could add an Adinkra symbol into their painting - "Gye Nyame" which translates as "nothing happens in one's life without the presence of God."


After paying for materials, the studio use and instruction, Kybele raised $330. The instructor, Susan Steele reduced the fee for the group charging only $20 per person (typical charge is $50 per person). Ms. Steele, a professional artist herself, also donated her version of the painting to Kybele which will go on sale at the next merchandising event.


This "creative" fundraiser was a huge success. In addition to money raised with very little effort, everyone walked away from the party with a beautiful Kybele conversation piece to showcase in their homes.



Kybele on the Move
Returning participants may contact  Medge Owen
Yemi Olufolabi to participate.
OCTOBER 5 - 19, 2013
Returning participants may contact  Simon Millar
or Gordon Yuill to participate.


Returning participants may contact Ivan Velickovic or Curtis Baysinger to participate.   

Returning participants may contact Marge Sedensky or Dennis Shay to participate.

If you have any questions about upcoming programs, you may contact Program Coordinator, Lynn Snyder.
Valerie Arkoosh, Matt and Amber Hatch, Ferne Braveman and other guests enjoy the Kybele dinner overlooking the marina.
The Kybele merchandise table was a gathering point throughout the SOAP conference.  Thank you to our many supporters who bought fun, new merchandise.  This was our best year yet!

We Thank The Following for Their Support    support

SOAP Logo   WFSA Logo
Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology  |  The Obstetric Anaesthetists' Association     
The International Association for the Study of Pain  |  The Lacy Foundation  |  World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists

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 Overview of Our Work 

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.




AUGUST 16 and


11:00am - 2:30pm   

Board of Directors


Medge Owen, MD

President & Founder

Helen Akinc  

VP Strategy & Newsletter Editor  

Margaret Sedensky, MD 

VP Program Development

Frank James, MD 


Holly Muir, MD



Karen Bartoletti 

Ronald George, MD 

Shannon Koontz 

Virgil Manica, MD

Yemi Olufolabi, MD

Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD  

Michael Rieker, CRNA  

Robin Sizemore

Leigh Stanfield 

Kybele, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 humanitarian organization dedicated to improving childbirth safety worldwide through educational partnerships. The role of Kybele is to bring professional medical teams into host countries, to work alongside doctors and nurses in their home hospitals, to improve healthcare standards. Kybele volunteers provide hands-on training in medical techniques during the actual care of patients in labor wards and in operating rooms. Kybele volunteers model teamwork and compassion in real life and death situations, sharing knowledge when it matters the most.
If you would like to nominate a person or person(s) for the Board of Directors or would like more information about Board or Committee Membership, please contact a board or staff member.   3524 Yadkinville Road #124 Winston-Salem, NC 27106