The Balkans Team Members come together via weekly Zoom video-meetings in order to continue their work during COVID-19 travel restrictions. The team includes Kybele Team Leaders and obstetric anesthesiologists, Dr. Ivan Velickovic , from SUNY-Downstate, Dr. Curtis Basinger , from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Medge Owen , from Wake Forest University and Drs. Borislava Pujic from Novi Sad, Slavica Krusic from Belgrade and Nada Pejčić from Niš.

Working through the COVID-19 pandemic during a global travel ban can be a challenge for international organizations. Thanks to modern technology, our Kybele team members are still able to connect! Our Kybele Balkans team leaders Ivan Velickovic (New York, NY) and Curtis Baysinger (Nashville, TN) have been using Zoom to connect with colleagues in Serbia and Macedonia.
Hospitals in Novi Sad and Belgrade have had several COVID-19-positive patients who have successfully finished their pregnancies. The southern part of Serbia however has been more on par with New York City, where Dr. Velickovic resides. The main hospital in Niš was forced to recruit anesthesiologists from surrounding parts of the country to assist in providing intensive care during this time of crisis. These communities have had high numbers of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring intubation. In neighboring Macedonia, several COVID-19-positive patients have presented for labor and delivery.

Dr. Curtis Baysinger, the team leader from Vanderbilt University, is working with Dr. Atanas Sivevski , an obstetric anesthesiologist from Skopje, Macedonia in writing a case report on the care of one of these patients. Fortunately, the anesthesiologists on the front line in Serbia and Macedonia have adequate protective equipment and testing. We will continue to be supportive and remain connected, while apart, anticipating the day this is all behind us.

We are grateful for the technologies that allow for face-to-face interactions as we continue to work toward improving birth outcomes around the world.
Childbirth doesn't stop for COVID-19.
Babies are still born every day around the world.

The work of Kybele continues despite these new challenges as we persist in supporting, communicating with and advising our program country partners. Please consider a financial gift to Kybele in honor of Mother's Day to help us continue our vital work amid this crisis. Any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Curtis Baysinger, M.D., obtained his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and currently works as a professor of anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Much of his 38-year career has been spent working in anesthesia for women’s care and obstetric anesthesia. A Kybele Board Member, Curtis acts as the co-team leader for the Serbia project and has also served in Bosnia and Ghana. He enjoys using both didactic and hands-on teaching to improve the capacity of healthcare professionals around the world.
Dr. Ivan Velickovic, M.D, FASA, is a native of Serbia and Director of Obstetric Anesthesiology practicing in Brooklyn, NY at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He has been in practice for more than 20 years and is a graduate of Medicinski Fakultet in Nis. Ivan serves as a co-team leader on the Balkans project and is an active member of The Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP).
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Curtis Baysinger
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