Dr. Owen resuscitates baby in Ghana
...for safe childbirth worldwide
Medge Owen, MD, Professor of Obstetric Anesthesia uses her medical training and passion for foreign travel to work worldwide improving maternal and newborn safety during childbirth. Worldwide, nearly 600,000 women die during childbirth each year. Most of these deaths occur in developing countries and could be prevented.
Dr. Owen is involved in global outreach at many levels including the Obstetric Anesthesia committee of the World Federation Societies of Anesthesia, The American Society of Anesthesiology Global Humanitarian Outreach Committee. In addition, she spearheaded and chaired the International Outreach Committee for the Society for Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology and is still a committee member. She has also been named the Director of Global Maternal and Infant Health Programs at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Owen believes that women worldwide deserve the right to safe and comfortable childbirth.
In 2001, Dr. Owen established the non-profit organization Kybele, Inc., to promote obstetric anesthesia and neonatal resuscitation. "Kybele" was the goddess of childbirth in ancient Anatolia, now modern day Turkey. Owen was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey (1997-1999) and helped establish an obstetrical anesthesia service at Uludag University. In September 2004, Owen returned to Turkey with a delegation of 8 obstetric anesthesiologists from prestigious universities throughout the US and UK to teach regional anesthesia for childbirth. She also co-authored the first textbook of obstetric anesthesia which was published in Turkey in 2004.
Kybele creates healthcare partnerships. The organization brings US, Canadian, Australian and European healthcare professionals together to work in teams that travel to host countries. Once there, they work along side doctors and nurses in their home environments. Kybele team members donate their time and experience to provide hands-on training in techniques that improve healthcare safety. Kybele's goal is to prevent childbirth related injury and death which affect millions of women and newborns each year. Kybele integrates the doctors they train into the teams that go to other countries, promoting a spirit of equality and cooperation within their global network.
Since 2004, Dr. Owen and her Kybele Team Members have conducted medical training in Turkey, Croatia, Ghana, Georgia, Armenia, Romania, Eqypt, Mongolia, and Brazil (15 Site Visits and 25 Team Trips). Kybele has sponsored 16 major in-country medical conferences and has trained hundreds of doctors and nurses. Kybele has received national television and newspaper coverage in each host country, demonstrating the importance of their mission.
As of December 2010 Kybele programs have enlisted nearly 300 medical volunteers from 60 institutions in 8 countries worldwide from 10 medical and nursing specialties including anesthesiologists, obstetricians, neonatologists, internists, nurses and midwives. To date, 9 WFU faculty members and 5 WFU Fellows have been Kybele Team participants.
Dr. Owen and Dr. Emmanuael Srofyenoh
(Head of OBGYN at Ridge Hospital,
Accra - Ghana) discuss patient care.
Dr. Owen conducts interview questions
during an SRNA Exam. Kybele was
instrumental in developing a new nurse
anesthesia program at Ridge in 2010.
For more information, visit www.kybeleworldwide.org
(Photos by Yesim Unal, courtesy of Kybele, Inc.)