Dayne Logan, Editor  |  Kimber Whanger, Designer  |  Comments or suggestions about our newsletter?   Contact Us.

Message from the President

Dear Friend of Kybele: 

An expectant mother at Ridge Regional Hospital.  Photo courtesy of Larry Hatteberg. 

Kybele is small in the scope of many multinational nonprofit organizations. We are small-- but mighty. We have a small staff, we work virtually, we narrow our focus to what we do well, and we make a difference. In this month's newsletter, I'd like to draw focus to a pivotal paper being published about our work in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. We worked hard on this. We toiled for over five years.

At the end of our project, we saved an estimated 245 maternal lives at Ridge Regional Hospital in Ghana. This work occurred between 2007 and 2011 through partnership and innovation on a shoestring budget. I am so proud and humbled by our small team with such talent and heart. We have proof that progress can be made. Women shouldn't die while giving birth. I'm grateful we are a part of the solution.

With gratitude,

Medge Owen Sig
Medge D. Owen, MD, President - Kybele, Inc. 
Professor of Obstetric Anesthesia 
Director of Maternal Infant Health Programs, Office of Global Health

Affiliate Faculty in the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity 
Wake Forest University School of Medicine  |  
NOTE:  Staff Change at Kybele

Kybele would like to recognize long-time staff member, Lynn Snyder for her dedicated service as Kybele Program Coordinator. Lynn works full-time as Program Coordinator for Global Health at Wake Forest School of Medicine and has served Kybele by helping to coordinate and communicate with hundreds of team participants for various program trips. She has now taken on additional responsibilities in the Office of Global Health and as of August 1 is stepping down her position with Kybele. At this time, Kybele Grants Manager, Erin Pfeiffer has assumed the role of Program Coordinator for team leaders and participants. Team Members can reach Erin at [email protected] or by calling 336.549.0774.

Thank you so much Lynn for your dedication and service to Kybele.   
Evaluating Change: Measuring Kybele's Work in Ghana

Article by Medge Owen

An expectant mother at Ridge Regional Hospital. Photo courtesy of Larry Hatteberg.
Kybele and Ridge Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana, have accomplished something together that is nothing short of extraordinary. Within a dilapidated old building with insufficient staff numbers, we have propelled Ridge forward to become a leader in innovation in hospital-based obstetric care in Ghana. This month's Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics highlights the progress made. Between the years of 2007 and 2011, there were 39,234 deliveries at Ridge. During this time, we significantly reduced maternal death from hemorrhage and preeclampsia, the leading killers of women during pregnancy. These were accomplished through the implementation of quality improvement processes. Ninety-seven quality improvement goals were developed based on deficits in clinical care observed over multiple team visits. We followed the implementation of these goals over five years. In the end, 30 goals were fully implemented, 61 were partially implemented, and six goals were not implemented. From the decrease in the maternal mortality ratio alone, 43 lives were saved. However, year after year, the number of deliveries and the risk profile of the patients increased. To account for the dynamic changes in baseline conditions, we conducted a risk adjustment, and through mathematic modeling, we estimated that 245 maternal deaths were averted.

You can read the full article in Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics here
Serbia Program April 2016 Trip:  A Rapidly Expanding Program

Article by Dr. Curtis Baysinger and Sebnem Ucer

The 5th Kybele trip began with the first international combined OBGYN and Obstetric Anesthesia Conference hosted in Serbia on April 21 and 22. The conference was organized by Dr. Ivan Velickovic, the director of obstetric anesthesia at SUNY-Downstate and the Kybele team leader for Serbia; Dr. Tihomir Vejnovic, director of the Institute of Perinatology Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Clinical Center of Vojvodine; and Dr. Borislava Pujic, anesthesiologist at the same hospital in Novi Sad and Serbian host for Kybele teams.

The didactic part of the conference involved many speakers, including six from the Kybele team, two anesthesiologists from Croatia and several anesthesiologists and obstetricians from Serbia, Romania and
Hungary.  Because the conference and Kybele team's visit were advertised in the northern part of the country's hospitals, a total of 60 participant physicians from seven surrounding hospitals in three countries (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro) attended to the conference. During the hands-on training part of the conference, all participants performed at least two regional blocks and one general anesthesia utilizing the Glidescope video laryngoscope.
Even though the recent changes in the anesthesia delivery system in the country have negatively impacted the availability of epidural analgesia, the Kybele team observed that 50 percent of the patients who undergo repeat Cesarean delivery receive regional anesthesia, five times more than four years ago in the Clinical Center of Vojvodine, Novi Sad.

The joint Kybele-Clinical Center effort to encourage the local anesthesiologists who teach residents has led to most expressing comfort in training residents neuraxial techniques. The standardized protocols for performing regional anesthesia that the joint collaborative developed two years ago are now a required part of the curriculum for the residents who rotated. The concept of the residents' hands-on work created a significant change in the nature of clinical education at the Central Clinic.
A standardized curriculum for teaching residents and a determination of their responsibilities for performing clinical work are still being developed in the Center. Kybele purchased a portable fetal Doppler monitor for use in the operating room and during deliveries, as well as a portable infrared temperature monitor for the Center. The team plans to develop a structure by which these monitors will be incorporated into practice in Novi Sad.
With the involvement of Dr. Shahla Namak, Dr. Tihomir Vejnovic and several junior members of the Center's obstetrical department, a study evaluating the impact of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) screening is being developed in the Clinical Center of Vojvodine, Novi Sad. The study's progress will be checked during the team's follow-up visit in September 2016.
During the first part of the Kybele visit, Pujic and Velickovic appeared on the "Good Morning Novi Sad" talk show and discussed options for pain relief in labor. Pujic and Dr. Curtis Baysinger were interviewed by a local television reporter on site at the hospital about pain relief in labor and the collaboration between the Central Clinic and the Kybele team.

On the second part of the trip, Velickovic and Dr. Ferne Braveman traveled to "Dr. Dragisa Misovic Health Center"
in Čačak, a town of approximately 100,000 people in central Serbia. The hospital has about 1,400 deliveries each year, and 30 percent of them are done by Cesarean section. Use of regional anesthesia for C-sections is not very common in Serbian standards; and only 24 labor epidurals were given last year.

During Kybele's team visit between April 21 and 27, 2016, the team performed four combined spinal epidurals for C-sections, three labor epidurals and one cerclage under spinal (the first cerclage under spinal in Čačak). The team also helped with one ortho case (spinal), one vascular case (spinal/general anesthesia) and two colectomies (general anesthesia/epidural). Additionally, they demonstrated the use of remifentanil for labor analgesia. Based on the positive feedback from the host, a preliminary agreement has been made to revisit Čačak in September to work on initiatives such as increasing the number of labor epidurals, oxytocin administration during Cesarean Sections, use of convective warming devices, utilization of the recovery room, anticoagulation in the perioperative period and enhancing the recovery program.
SOAP Meeting Update

Article by Kimber Whanger

The Kybele merchandise table always attracts many buyers during the SOAP Conference.   
From May 18 through 22, many members of the Kybele team were in Boston to attend the annual Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) Conference. For the past decade, Kybele has been privileged to participate as a vendor by displaying and selling our handmade, locally purchased merchandise that helps raise funds for our medical programs. The Kybele table is a vibrant "meeting place" for friends and colleagues around the globe to reconnect, purchase gifts, hear the latest Kybele news and find out about volunteer opportunities. This year was no different as hundreds of conference-goers stopped by to talk with us. We sincerely appreciate our relationship with the SOAP organization and its fantastic staff.

Kybele dinner guests enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by Morton's Steakhouse in a beautiful setting.
Dr. Curtis Baysinger
In honor of 2016 being Kybele's 15th Crystal Anniversary, we were delighted to host an anniversary fundraising dinner in a beautiful atrium space adjacent to the SOAP Conference Hotel. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and a seated dinner provided by Morton's The Steakhouse. Live entertainment was provided by six members of the Boston Conservatory of Music during after-dinner cocktails. The performers provided a musical theatre/cabaret style performance and were greeted with a standing ovation following their outstanding show. Dr. Holly Muir and Dr. Medge Owen provided comments on Kybele's work in developing countries, and participants were recognized for both their volunteer and financial contributions to the organization.

It was a beautiful event that both celebrated past successes and looked forward to the next 15 years of providing safe childbirth.

Musical Theatre students from The Boston Conservatory performed during the Kybele dinner.

Below is a list of Anniversary dinner sponsors, and we thank them again for their continued support.

Meet Tesia Oliver

Article by Erin Pfeiffer

Kybele is pleased to introduce Tesia Oliver, Kybele's summer research assistant. Tesia is a medical student at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, and her research proposal was selected for funding by the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity. Throughout June and July, Tesia has focused her research on Kybele's work in Ghana by providing important analysis and interpretation of datasets related to the triage and continuous positive airway pressure initiatives at Ridge Regional Hospital in the capital city of Accra. The following interview highlights Tesia's expertise and contributions to Kybele.

What is your academic background, and how did you get interested in this field?
I graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Biomedical Science, and I am currently a second-year medical student at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. I have always had a profound interest in global health, and this spring I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti to serve at two clinics in Port-Au-Prince. My experience abroad in Haiti helped show me that global health is a field I will always have a passion for.
How did you first get connected with Kybele, and what are you working on now? 
When I entered medical school, I knew I was interested in health care in Ghana. I decided to work with the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) for their medical student summer research program. I also have an interest in anesthesiology, so when I was searching the MACHE faculty website I came across Dr. Medge Owen. I looked up her research endeavors, and it just so happened that she was doing work in Ghana, and she is the founder of Kybele. I thought to myself, "This must be fate!" After meeting with Dr. Owen, we decided that I would work on a variety of projects with Kybele, and I am currently analyzing data on the impacts of continuous positive airway pressure on infant survival rates in low-resource settings.

What are you learning about global health through your work with Kybele? 
My most compelling learning experience thus far was realizing that the smallest interventions, things most people in America take for granted, can make a large-scale improvement and huge difference in low-resource settings, where access to basic health care resources is scarce.
We are thankful for Tesia's support of our organization and wish her the best as she continues to pursue her passion for medicine! 
Ghana Operating and Recovery Room Nurses Visit NC

Kybele sponsored four senior nurses from Ghana in April for a two-week visit to observe patient care practices at Novant Forsyth Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, and Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, NC. This was part of an ongoing capacity building program to strengthen maternal and newborn care within the operating room. The nurses, Helen Dagadu, Lucy Addy and Ruth Antwi (operating and recovery room) and Melody Agyei (nurse  
anesthetist), reviewed best practices and participated in simulation drills. All four clinicians are leaders within the nursing staff at Ridge Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana where they have already implemented numerous improvements following their visit.
Kybele Receives Major Support from the Following:

Quick Links

Board of Directors and Staff

Medge Owen, MD - President

Holly Muir, MD - Vice-President

Curtis Baysinger, MD

Ronald George, MD

Matt Hatch, MD

Yemi Olufolabi, MD

Nancy Pearson, RN

Rohit Ramaswamy, PhD

Melvin Seid, MD

Leigh Stanfield


Sebnem Ucer, Accounts Manager

Kimber Whanger, Marketing & Admin

Erin Pfeiffer, Grants Manager/Program Coordinator

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. | | 336-713-9182 | 116 Lowes Foods Drive #170 | Lewisville, NC | NC | 27023