Kybele Celebrates 20 Years
A look back on our beginning, in honor of International Women’s Day
In 1997, Medge Owen, M.D., was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach obstetric anesthesiology and neonatal resuscitation in Turkey, where she worked across language and cultural differences to be present with women during childbirth.
During that time, Dr. Owen was struck by the differences in care and the lack of pain management options. After her year in Turkey, Owen continued traveling and working with hospitals in low and middle income countries. More and more she realized that the disparities for women, especially in low-resource countries were impacting morbidity. “In some countries women dread going into a hospital to have a baby, because they know that they may not come out alive, or their baby may not come out alive.

Owen strongly believes that the right to safe childbirth is universal. She founded Kybele in 2001 to support that belief. In a 2020 podcast interview, Owen shares that “the moment of childbirth is filled with emotion. Fear, anticipation, physical and emotional vulnerability all escalate during this incredibly important moment for a woman.” Kybele exists to make that moment as safe as possible, to eliminate pain, to provide compassion and to reduce conditions that lead to high mortality rates for babies and for mothers.
Following Owen’s vision, Kybele’s partnerships and medical volunteers are making a difference. Kybele team members work alongside medical providers and administrators in host locations to build relationships. We listen and learn to understand specific situations and needs. And then we partner to develop a plan to improve outcomes within each environment. Our research shows that our approach is working – changing and improving birth outcomes, reducing fetal and maternal deaths, all while operating within a cost-effective framework.

As we recognize Women’s History Month, we honor all the women Kybele serves – mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, nurses, midwives, and physicians. Together, we create a web of caring that allows Kybele and our global partners to support women and babies through birth – saving lives through shared knowledge and trust.
Medge doing a resuscitation in Ghana.
Kybele Worldwide is a 501(c)3 organization. The ongoing support of individual donors provides stability and longevity to our programs, allowing us to continue to put our focus on preventing deaths of women and babies through safe childbirth practices. If you choose to give, your financial support may be tax deductible.
Copyright © 2020 Kybele, Inc. | 116 Lowes Foods Drive #170 - Lewisville, NC 27023 | 336.549.0774