Message from Executive Director, Dr. Medge Owen
Our Kybele family sincerely hopes that this newsletter finds each of you, and your families, in good health. Throughout the world, communities are taking unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Schools, places of worship, and business are closed. Hospitals, however, remain open, and they are getting busier by the day. Fortunately, Kybele remains operational, in that our staff and teams already work remotely, and we have systems in place to remain connected to, and supportive of, our partners around the world.

For our healthcare teams caring for pregnant women and babies worldwide, I would like to share several important links to guidelines for providing care during this stressful time. Also, please enjoy a few of our recent highlights. To our friends around the world – stay safe! We must remain positive and committed to the safety of our mothers and babies, those whose care cannot be “put on hold”.  
Information for healthcare professionals
Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists
March 18, 2020
Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology
March 15, 2020
Welcoming Sharon Nelson!
Kybele is delighted to welcome Sharon Nelson to our staff team to serve as Development and Strategic Communications Manager.

Sharon brings a diverse range of expertise and will lead Kybele’s future planning, development, and communication strategy. With more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit leadership — nine of those in healthcare — Sharon comes to Kybele with capabilities in professional development, culture change, coaching, facilitation, communications and operational efficiency. She supports high-integrity organizations and small businesses, which align with her values around equality, access, and personal well-being. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., Sharon is a mountain-bike enthusiast, a total travel bug, and a mom to one daughter, Kira, who graduates spring of 2020 as a future teacher. Welcome, Sharon!
Kybele's 2020 Team Leader Summit
Team Leader Summit 2020—(from left to right) Oleg and Kate Turkot, Melvin Seid, Curtis Baysinger, Lawrence and Tatiana Fordjour, Sebnem Ucer, Ann Smith, Shahla and Shahriar Namak, Ferne Braveman, Gillian Abir, Kimber Whanger, Fiona Bryce, John Unal, Medge Owen, Jozy Unal, and Dayne Logan (not pictured Ivan Velickovic and Erin Pfeiffer)
By Erin Pfeiffer, Kybele Grants Manager
Fifteen Kybele staff and team leaders met in La Paz, Mexico, February 6-8 for Kybele’s fifth Team Leader Summit. This dynamic convening provided the opportunity to review recent accomplishments, ongoing and emerging initiatives, and upcoming opportunities, as well as to assess Kybele’s strength-based assets and engage in strategic planning for next steps.
Kybele Founder and Executive Director Dr. Medge Owen shared that since 2003, Kybele has had 354 individuals from 103 institutions volunteer for a collective total of 977 trips to 15 countries. This has included 117 in-country programs or site visits and 44 major meetings. Owen also noted numerous manuscripts published or accepted in the past year as well as several others in process. She commended the team for an unprecedented number of recent grants and awards, including the Grand Challenges Saving Lives at Birth award, funding from Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, numerous Fulbright Scholarships by Kybele team members, SOAP-Kybele Outreach Grants, an ASA Humanitarian Award, and endowed lectures at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University.
Team leaders shared exciting updates from each of Kybele’s active project sites that are a part of the mission to improve childbirth safety through educational partnerships worldwide. Dr. Curtis Baysinger and Dr. Shahla Namak highlighted Kybele’s recent work on the Balkans. This work includes anesthesia and Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics training in Serbia, obstetric anesthesia quality improvement efforts in two sites in Bosnia, and Kybele’s new efforts in Macedonia. Dr. Oleg Turkot led discussions about Kybele’s latest initiatives in Ukraine, which have included capacity building in regional anesthesia for labor and C-section deliveries, maternal hemorrhage, preeclampsia treatment, and neonatal resuscitation.
Kybele’s impact in Ghana is expanding exponentially. Dr. Lawrence Fordjour expanded on Kybele’s emerging neonatal project, and Dr. Fiona Bryce updated the team on the progress made in scaling Kybele’s innovative obstetric triage package in Ghana as a part of the Saving Lives at Birth initiative.
Frontline health workers in Ghana circle around Kybele’s tabletop simulation activity to replicate real life scenarios for patient admission and triage.
Dr. Shahla Namak leading Serbian health professionals in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics training.
Kybele Team Leaders Dr. Oleg Turkot, Dr. Gillian Abir, and Dr. Ivan Velickovic in Tuzla, Bosnia.
The meeting also marked the anticipation of Kybele’s 20 th anniversary in 2021, and plans are underway to tell Kybele’s story over the past two decades!
Kybele Loves Mothers
Do you follow Kybele on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Be sure to like our page and follow for upcoming news about our 2020 Mother's Day campaign! We'll be sharing stories from our Kybele global health community as well as celebrating and recognizing moms from around the world. We'll ask you to help by adding your own experiences and sharing our posts along the way!
Kybele Board of Directors
Fiona Bryce
Curtis Baysinger
Lisa Corbett
Stan Dean
Lawrence Fordjour
David Goodman
Shahla Namak
Melvin Seid
Ann Smith
Kybele Staff
Medge Owen , Founder & Executive Director
Sebnem Ucer , Accounts Manager
Erin Pfeiffer, Grants Manager & Program Coordinator
Sharon Nelson , Strategic Communications Manager
Kimber Whanger , Marketing & Admin
Dayne Logan, Editor
If you would like to nominate someone or would like more information about Board Committee membership,
please contact a Kybele staff person.
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