SARAH VERBIEST

Looking Forward , Sarah Verbiest, founder of Every Woman Southeast, reflects on the new year and what it holds.
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goalsIn the last couple of months, I have been to at least five different conferences and meetings in Kentucky on various Maternal and Child Health issues. At these conferences, I’ve heard some really excellent speakers, been exposed to new ideas, participated in brainstorming sessions, and even celebrated how far we’ve come in our efforts to reduce premature birth. After each conference, I leave feeling motivated to make improvements, full of ideas, and excited about the things I can do to help. But…I have to admit that as I sit at my desk reflecting on these meetings, I’m still a little discouraged by how far we need to go to improve services for all moms and babies.

At most of these meetings, the same issues continue to surface: How can we ensure that pregnant women deliver full-term healthy babies? How can we make sure that every mom has access to care and transportation to every prenatal visit? What can we do to reduce the number of pregnant women smoking or abusing drugs? How can we reduce early elective deliveries? What can we do to reduce infant mortality? It seems almost overwhelming all the things that need to be done right now and all at once to provide the best possible care for moms and babies.

So, as I’m making goals for 2015, I’m wondering where to start? While looking back over my notes from the most recent conference hosted by the Kentucky Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, I’m struck by a statement made by Jennie Joseph, Executive Director of Commonsense Childbirth, Inc. Jennie has created an Easy Access Clinic, a prenatal and postpartum care clinic where no one is ever turned away, in central Florida. At the conference, Jennie said, “It doesn’t cost any money to be nice and treat people well.”

I think that is some really excellent advice and a great starting point for my 2015 goals!! What are your goals for 2015?

 

KaraBrownWritten by Kara Brown: Kara is the Associate Director of Program Services for the March of Dimes Greater Kentucky Chapter and Leadership Team member and Co-chair of the Education and Communications Committee with the Every Woman Southeast Coalition.
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