Message from the President
Tuesday, April 19, 2018

We have started 2018 with intensity and purpose. Kybele is ecstatic to announce that we have received a $200,000 gift, our largest contribution to date. And the timing couldn't have been better.

We are expanding our efforts within the Balkans to include training in numerous institutions across Serbia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are additionally grateful for recent donations of epidural and spinal anesthesia supplies by Epimed and IMD, Inc. These supplies will assist us greatly in our training efforts.

Our program in Ghana continues to thrive and continues to develop its youth-led service component, "The Bridge Project."

Finally, we've been asked to conduct site visits for potential new programs in Mongolia, Ukraine, Uganda, Rwanda, and Siberia. The opportunities for new program development were all recently discussed at the fourth Kybele Team Leader Summit held February 11-13 in La Paz, Mexico. 

Kybele is also making a difference via its research. A novel obstetric triage system we developed with our friends in Ghana has already been featured in two publications. The improvement platform dramatically reduced the time patients waited for evaluation after they arrived at the hospital. There is great potential for this methodology to improve patient care in many high-volume, low resource facilities. We are currently exploring opportunities to take this promising approach to scale in Ghana.

During February and March, we co-hosted the second Global Health Workers Symposium with Novant Health at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and presented our work at international conferences in Durban, South Africa, and in New York City at the IHI African Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

We have been very productive, indeed. Please read more about these activities in the newsletter, and don't forget to join our Mojito Tasting Event and fundraiser at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) in Miami, Florida, on May 11.

With gratitude,
Medge Owen Sig
Medge D. Owen, M.D.
President, Kybele, Inc.
Professor Obstetric Anesthesia
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Director of Global Health
Novant Health Maya Angelou Women's Health and Wellness Center
Kybele Receives Major Gift
Kybele has been blessed to have received a $200,000 gift from the estate of the late Jean Fisher. Jean was an extraordinary woman. She was a savvy business woman with a love for the arts, service and adventure. Please see her bio below.
M. JEAN FISHER 1921-2017
By Dr. Carl Westphal, Successor Trustee

Jean Fisher was born in 1921 to a Kansas farm family and grew up during the "Great Depression." In spite of substantial economic hardship, she completed high school in 1939. She moved shortly afterward to Palo Alto, California, to live with her father. Jean liked to tell the story of getting off of the train with two dresses and one pair of shoes. She found employment as an office clerk and not long afterward borrowed money from a cousin to attend a two-year business school. She studied for the CPA on her own and passed it on her first effort. She gradually worked her way up to higher levels of responsibility, eventually becoming the administrative assistant to the president of California Bell.

Jean became interested in stock investment through an investment club and also began to buy small pieces of property in what is now known as Silicon Valley. Over the years she became financially successful and, remembering her own childhood poverty, became committed to providing opportunity for others and to supporting medical research, the arts, conservation, public broadcasting, and service to others. She developed a love for world travel and eventually visited every continent, including Antarctica (most recently in her late eighties). She particularly loved Africa and the Galapagos Islands. Through her travel, she became passionate about conservation and conservation education.

She has left a legacy of generosity that will continue to contribute to education, research, the arts, conservation, and service to others. Those of us who knew her well miss her sense of humor, passion and candor.

Mojito Tasting Event at SOAP
If you are attending the SOAP meeting in Miami, you can't miss the Kybele sponsored Mojito Tasting event! This fun event will be a great way to celebrate Kybele, mingle with friends, sample Cuban hors d'oeuvres, and embrace the local vibe. Who knows: you might even get a Mojito named after you!  Tickets start at $40.  Sponsorship opportunities are available for $250, $1,000 and $2,500.  Can't make the event?  Please consider a donation in lieu of your attendance.  Click on the image below for more details. 

The Bridge Project
By Dayne Logan

Odoi Atsem being rebuilt.
A true example of students serving students, the Bridge Project aims to improve educational opportunities and outcomes in Ghana. Founded by a group of North Carolina teens, Bridge has the secondary missions of combatting poverty and supporting infrastructure improvements to ensure equal educational opportunities for students in Ghana.
To date, Bridge has worked in five schools in five communities. It has made a lasting impact on each community, none more so than a co-ed primary school in Accra called the Odoi Atsem Memorial Preparatory School. At Odoi Atsem, Bridge volunteers have raised funds to construct a school roof, provide running water, repair the school's outhouse and build a library complete with books and computers. They have shared music, dance, art and educational lessons on health and life in the U.S. Through their work, Bridge volunteers have built a relationship with the school and the surrounding community that is producing quantifiable results.

The Bridge Project team members, Martha Dean and Jozy Unal painting the interior with students at Odoi Atsem Memborial Preparatory School - November 2017.

Stacking bare library shelves with donated books. 
In the Ghanaian education system, students must pass an examination at the end of their primary education in order to continue to junior high school. When Bridge first arrived at Odoi Atsem in 2012, only five Odoi Atsem students attempted the junior high entrance exam, and of those five, only two (40%) passed the exam. After four years and several Bridge visits, those numbers had improved to 19 test takers and a 100% pass rate.
Miss Martha Dean presents results from The Bridge Project at the CUGH meeting in New York City March 2018.
And Bridge is having a positive impact on its volunteers, as well. To date, nine North Carolina stude nts (aged 10-16) have traveled to Ghana as part of the Bridge Project; six have made multiple trips. These students have raised more than $30,000 and collected over 4,000 pounds of books and school supplies. These experiences have shaped the students into servant-leaders with the power to bring about real, meaningful change. They are big thinkers who are determined to use their Bridge experience as a springboard to even more ambitious careers and service projects.

In March, high school senior, Miss Martha Dean, presented this work at the 9th Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference in New York City. She will attend Duke University in the fall of 2018 and will continue pursuing her interests in global health.

A villiage chief in Assin Adadientum admires the books delivered by The Bridge Project Team.
The Bridge Project Team displays the gifts of gratitude  
given by the school staff - November 2017. 
Global Health Worker Symposium
By Medge Owen and Doris Paez
Drs. Chere Gregory and Shahla Namak introduce panel to discuss refugee health withing our local community.

On Saturday, March 3, Novant Health and Kybele hosted the Second Biennial Global Health Worker Symposium at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. The daylong event included speakers from a broad range of specialties and focused on global health at home and abroad. The event included networking opportunities and hands-on activities. The speakers addressed t he keys of establishing successful global health partnerships, the nuts and bolts of global service, and how global health affects the local community. Dr. Julie Linton, a nationally known expert and local pediatrician, delivered this year's keynote address entitled, " Global Health at Home: How to Be an Advocate for Immigrant Families." The symposium was well-received, and attendees provided generous donations of medical supplies, which will be used to support several global health programs.
Kybele Receives Donations from Epimed and IMD, Inc.
Kybele has received a generous donation of medical supplies from Epimed and IMD, Inc. The donations include hundreds of epidural kits and spinal needles and will be used by Kybele volunteers to teach safe anesthesia techniques to physicians in Serbia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kybele wishes to thank these companies for their gracious support!

Kybele Team Leader Summit 
By Elizabeth Colburn
Kybele Team Leaders and board members discuss outcomes and opportunities.
From February 10-13, fifteen members of the Kybele team convened for the fourth Kybele Team Leader Summit in La Paz, Mexico, to discuss current work and future directions of Kybele. Costa Baja Resort and Spa provided an idyllic background for team leaders who have led Kybele trips abroad to present outcomes and updates on the many incredible accomplishments they have made. Topics included:
  • Exciting news about Kybele being featured on the cover of Anesthesiology.
  • Current research that is presently underway.
  • Ways to strengthen Kybele's marketing and social media.
  • Ways to optimize our outreach and effectiveness as an organization.
  • Most excitingly, team leaders considered promising new opportunities for potential program sites that Kybele could bring its life-saving work to in the future.
In addition to discussing the work of Kybele, team members had the opportunity to explore the vibrant Mexican culture in La Paz. Team leaders enjoyed Mexican cuisine, local entertainment, and explored the beautiful natural and urban areas of La Paz. We are especially thankful for Darren Owen of Sea of Cortez Adventures, who was extraordinarily welcoming and provided opportunities for excursions, entertainment, and extensive knowledge of the area that made the trip unforgettable for those who attended.
Since Kybele's work is spread around the globe, the Team Leader Summit offers a wonderful opportunity for the incredible men and women involved in Kybele to reconnect in one place and create exciting new paths to pursue in the future. We are so thankful for the commitment and dedication of our team leaders and cannot wait to see where the productive conversations of this meeting will take our organization in the future.

Board of Directors and Staff
Medge Owen, MD - President
Holly Muir, MD - Vice-President
Curtis Baysinger, MD
Fiona Bryce, MD 
Lisa Councilman Corbett, MD
David Goodman, MD 
Lawrence Fordjour, MD
Ronald George, MD
Matt Hatch, MD 
Melvin Seid, MD
Ann Smith, RN 
Leigh Stanfield

Sebnem Ucer, Accounts Manager
Erin Pfeiffer, Grants Manager/Program Coordinator
Kimber Whanger, Marketing & Admin
Elizabeth Colburn, Administrative Assistant
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.