The New Jersey Symposium for Physiologic Birth: 2018 Avoiding Cesarean hosted by the Midwives of New Jersey, LLC has a corporate goal of Improving Birth Outcomes in New Jersey. As part of that goal, they hosted their first Symposium last year, The Evidence for CHOICE. The conference was very successful in bringing together birth workers from around the state to examine the evidence, presented by Dr. Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth, specifically the evidence that supports Midwifery Care, Homebirth and Waterbirth.
The Symposium theme for 2018, Avoiding Cesarean, is a hot topic among healthcare providers, administrators and policy-makers alike. The federal government has set a goal of reducing c-section rates for low-risk, first-births to 23.9 percent. New Jersey has a NTSV rate of 30.3% and has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country. Hospitals and providers are seeking proven methods to reduce the number of cesarean births in their facilities.
Conference attendees can learn from experts who have been successful at reducing the cesarean rate in their practice, their facility and their state. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Shah, is attacking this nationwide epidemic from a unique perspective that most people have never considered.
Our speakers, all hailing from New Jersey, will present solutions to a complicated problem and bring together birth workers from around the state who share The Midwives of New Jersey’s vision for healthy births for all New Jersey families.
The Symposium will finish with a panel discussion presenting several other choices women can make to help reduce their chance for surgical birth. Dr. Shah will encourage all New Jersey Birth workers to support the March for MOMS.
** 6.5 Contact Hours are available for those who attend
This year, our Keynote speaker is Dr. Neel Shah. Neel Shah, MD, MPP, FACOG is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. Dr. Shah is listed among the "40 smartest people in health care" by the Becker's Hospital Review, and has been profiled by the New York Times, CNN, and other outlets. His team is currently collaborating with hospitals across the United States, and using methods from design, systems engineering, and management to reduce the epidemic of avoidable c-section. Dr. Shah will be discussing his work and recommendations at the conference.
The 2018 Symposium allows you to collaborate and gain innovative ideas from thought leaders at the forefront of improving maternal health outcomes and reducing unnecessary cesarean from a systems, provider and patient perspective.
The 2018 Symposium allows you to collaborate and gain innovative ideas from thought leaders at the forefront of improving maternal health outcomes and reducing unnecessary cesareans from a systems, provider and patient perspective.
Be a part of a dynamic movement to lower preventable maternal morality and unnecessary cesarean. You will hear from Dr. Neel Shah on how his team is currently designing and testing a solution to the global pandemic of unnecessary c-sections. You will also hear from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) on the methods they have employed to lower California's maternal mortality by 55%.
The federal government has set a goal of reducing c-section rates for low-risk, first-births to 23.9 percent. During the Symposium you will gain valuable resources and tools which can be used to effectively support your health system or practice to achieve its goals to lower unnecessary cesarean and maternal morbidity.
8:40-8:50am: Welcome Address, Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey
8:50-9:50am: Lecture Suzanne Spernal MSN, APN-BC, RNC-OB, CBC
Promoting a Pro-Vaginal Birth Culture on Labor & Delivery – One Hospital’s Success Story
9:50-10:20: Lecture Jill Wodnick MA, LCCE, CLC, IMH-E(III)
The Role of Preventing the First Cesarean on the First 1000 Days
10:45-11:45am: Lecture Christa Sakowski MSN, RN, C-EFM, CLE
California Takes on Cesarean: Initiatives to Lower California’s Cesarean Rate
11:45-12:15pm: Lecture Dr. Jessica Illuzzi, MD, MS, FACOG & Susan Stapleton, CNM, DNP, FACNM
Birth Centers: Preventing Preventable Cesareans
12:15-12:30pm: New Jersey Legislative Updates Jill Wodnick MA, LCCE, CLC, IMH-E(III)
12:30-1:45pm: Lunch/Exhibit time
1:45-2:00pm: Video presentation
2:00-2:15pm: Dr. Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA to introduce Dr. Shah
2:15:3:30pm: Lecture Dr. Neel Shah MD, MPP, FACOG
Reducing Avoidable Cesareans – A Systems Approach
4:00-5:00pm: Lecture Lisa Lederer, CNM, President Midwives of NJ, LLC
The Patient Factor: Helping Women Help Themselves
5:00-5:30pm: Panel Discussion: A Team Approach to Lowering New Jersey’s Cesarean Rate. Dr. Neel Shah, Vicki Hedley, CPM, CM, MA, Dr. Bret Hartman & Britt Sando, LCCE, CBS
6:00pm: Cocktail Reception
Suzanne Spernal MSN, APN-BC, RNC-OB, CBC
Suzanne’s discussion will look at one New Jersey hospital’s journey to reducing their cesarean section rate.
Topics that will be discussed include:
The Role of Preventing the First Cesarean on the First 1000 Days
Jill Wodnick MA, LCCE, CLC, IMH-E(III)
New Jersey maternal health continues to make media headlines more than ever, as issues of racial disparities, maternal morbidity and poor outcomes get amplified. Concurrent, with greater awareness of perinatal health, are private & public funding priorities for the first 1,000 days which is a significant placeholder consensus statement for health, well-being, and early education.
NJ stakeholders at today’s symposium have a unique and essential role in communicating the impact of the method of birth on the first 1,000 days. The First 1,000 Days is an umbrella term used by government, philanthropy and organizations to document the critical window of brain development, lifelong health and relationships that occur within the first 1,000 days. Bridging to optimal physiologic maternity care, the First 1,000 Days is posited by politicians and public media outlets moving health, early learning and community development out of silos into integrated, sustainable systems with an emphasis on equity. Thus, it is imperative to address the overuse of low-risk cesarean births impact with public health programs, early childhood initiatives and community health priorities. Come learn about federal, state and local ways to scale up physiologic birth with an emphasis on health equity craft partnerships for collaboration.
At the Conclusion of the Session, Attendees Will Be Able to:
1. Explain the phrase "First 1,000 Days" that is used in birth to early childhood programming and by grant makers with an emphasis on the impact of the method of birth on maternal infant health outcomes.
2. Define health equity in maternity care with an emphasis on shared decision making and family engagement.
3. Evaluate the impact of overusing cesarean births on breastfeeding.
4. Communicate strategies for scaling up physiologic birth in NJ local communities through resources and data.
Christa Sakowski MSN, RN, C-EFM, CLE
In order to help clinicians measure the number of low-risk, first-time mothers having a cesarean section, CMQCC developed the Nulliparous, Term, Singleton, Vertex (NTSV) Cesarean Birth Rate quality metric. Data from the California Maternal Data Center demonstrates that there are large variations among the NTSV rates across California hospitals -– from 11% to as high as 77% -- indicating substantial improvement opportunities.
In 2016, CMQCC published the Toolkit to Support Vaginal Birth and Reduce Primary Cesareans, as well as The Implementation Guide to help hospitals put the recommendations from the evidence-based toolkit into practice. CMQCC is also currently leading an outreach collaborative across hospitals in California to help them lower their NTSV rates to the Healthy People 2020 target of 23.9 percent, and is in the process of developing web-based labor support tools for clinicians.
Benefits of Hospital Participation in the Collaborative:
Participating hospital teams receive training materials, educational webinars, detailed real-time data reports and on-site assistance from experts. Hospitals network with teams across the state that are also participating in this effort.
Other Benefits Include:
Dr. Neel Shah, MD, MPP, FACOG
Every American should be able to start or grow their family with dignity. This requires systems that deliver care that is supportive, safe, and affordable. Currently, in nearly every social segment and geographic corridor of our country, our systems fail to deliver on these goals reliably--from Trenton, New Jersey to rural Washington. The result is a largely invisible epidemic of avoidable suffering among birthing families. This talk will discuss how we can create better role clarity among those of us best positioned to help, and then redesign our systems of care to ensure every birthing family gets the care they deserve.
1. Articulate a comprehensive set of goals in helping to support and care for birthing families
2. Describe how system engineering principles can improve the reliability, precision, and accuracy of clinical decision making in childbirth
3. Understand the role strategic advocacy to sustain these improvements at scale
Lisa Lederer CNM, President Midwives of NJ, LLC
Healthcare workers cannot significantly lower cesarean rates without involving the patients in the process. Women can assume some of the responsibility for the outcomes of their pregnancies when they are asked to share in the decision-making from the start. This individualized care helps pregnant women understand that they are heard and valued which also improves compliance with lifestyle and educational goals.
Many risk factors in pregnancy can be mitigated when proactively managed and birth outcomes can be improved by involving the women and their families in the process. Lisa will discuss the simple tactics her practice has employed to include women in their prenatal care and birth plan to ultimately lower cesarean rates.
Not only was the 2017 Symposium chock full of great information for birth professionals and childbearing families alike, but it was an amazing opportunity to talk and connect with a variety of providers from all over NJ. The event was beautiful, informative, and inspiring- I can’t wait to attend this year.
Britt Sando, CD, LCCE
The 2017 Symposium for Physiologic Birth brought together best practices of research and resources desperately needed for NJ families! What stood out to me were the participants: nurses, nurse managers, lactation professionals, physicians, midwives, childbirth educators and parents participating in this transformative learning. I am looking forward to the 2018 program with great anticipation and excitement for this type of collective impact for improving birth in NJ.
Jill Wodnick, MA, LCCE, CLC, IMH-E®(II)
Our exceptional group of speakers have all called New Jersey their home.
Dr. Neel Shah
Dr. Neel Shah, MD, MPP, FACOG is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. Dr. Shah is listed among the "40 smartest people in health care" by the Becker's Hospital Review, and has been profiled by the New York Times, CNN, and other outlets. His team is currently collaborating with hospitals across the United States, and using methods from design, systems engineering, and management to reduce the epidemic of avoidable c-section.
Christa Sakowski, MSN, RN, C-EFM, CLE, Clinical Lead California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC). Christa has 20 years of experience in healthcare. She has worked in a variety of roles including perinatal nurse, nursing faculty, Certified Nurse Midwife, and nurse education specialist. This has given her the opportunity to work in numerous settings from very low-risk women delivering at home to high-risk women in tertiary care centers. She completed her BSN at The College of New Jersey in Ewing and her MSN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Christa has experience implementing CMQCC toolkits within a healthcare system and has been involved with CMQCC's collaboratives since 2011. In her role as Clinical Lead, she works directly with hospital teams, mentor nurses, mentor physicians, and the entire CMQCC staff to assess and improve care delivery in the state of California. Christa also engages with the rest of the country as the California nurse representative for the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) and serving as a resource for the use of CMQCC Toolkits.
Suzanne Spernal, DNP, APN-BC, RNC-OB, CBC, earned her bachelor’s and masters of nursing degree at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and her doctorate in nursing practice at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J. She has 25 years nursing experience at Monmouth Medical Center and is an advanced practice nurse for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves as the Administrative Director of Women Services. Suzanne is an advocate for improving maternal health with a focus on reducing the cesarean section rate. She has presented on this topic both locally and nationally including the 19th Annual National Patient Safety Congress. Currently, she is co-leading the New Jersey Perinatal Quality Collaborative NTSV reduction initiative working with hospital teams to adopt key practices to promote primary vaginal deliveries.
Commissioner Dr. Shereef elnahal
Dr. Shereef Elnahal is New Jersey’s 21st Health Commissioner. He joined the Department on January 25, 2018 and quickly established a new vision for the Department with specific goals: Eradicating the opioid epidemic; decreasing maternal mortality and improving access to women’s health care; reducing disparities in public health outcomes, increasing access to health coverage and mental health care; expanding the medicinal marijuana program; and expanding telehealth and interoperability. Women’s health is a key priority for Dr. Elnahal. Early in the Murphy Administration, the Governor signed legislation and had the Department restore $7.5 million for family planning. Dr. Elnahal also directed the re-alignment of funding for a new Healthy Women-Healthy Families Initiative, focused on increasing healthy births and decreasing black infant mortality in communities with the highest black infant mortality rates. Dr. Elnahal has also overseen significant reforms in the medicinal marijuana program, which has reduced patient and caregiver registration fees, allowed dispensaries to add satellite locations and added mobile access so that patients, caregivers and physicians can register, make payments and upload documents on their Smart phones and tablets. Prior to his nomination, Dr. Elnahal worked as a physician executive in the largest health care system in the country—the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Quality, Safety, and Value, he managed a workforce of hundreds, and a budget of more than $180 million. He was appointed to the VA by former President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow in 2015. During his time there, he spearheaded unprecedented efforts around transparency in access and performance, as well as standardizing best practices that prevent opioid dependency, improve women’s healthcare, and enhance access to care for veterans. He grew up in Atlantic County and is the son of Egyptian doctors who immigrated to New Jersey. He graduated summa cum laude from Johns Hopkins and earned both his medical degree and MBA with distinction from Harvard University.
Lisa Lederer, CNM, President of the Midwives of New Jersey, LLC. Lisa became a Certified Nurse-Midwife in 1994 after attending the University of Medicine and Dentistry’s Midwifery program. She founded The Midwives of New Jersey in October of 2010 with the intention of promoting the growth of Midwifery and Improving Birth Outcomes in New Jersey. Lederer currently leads a practice of 7 Midwives that delivers babies at 2 hospitals, a birth center and patients’ homes. Lisa introduced “Natural Cesarean” to Morristown Medical Center in 2011. The Midwives of New Jersey specialize in facilitating physiologic birth using the Midwifery Model of Care. The practice had an 8% primary cesarean rate and overall cesarean rate of 10% in 2017. Lisa believes that women themselves are a large part of the solution to the Cesarean epidemic. Her practice has focused on individual empowerment and education of their clients which has resulted in their extraordinary birth outcomes in a state that has one of the highest cesarean rates in the country. Her book “Avoiding Cesarean: A Patient Guide” provides detailed information that enables women to navigate the American maternity system with confidence. They will Avoid Unnecessary Cesarean Birth by taking responsibility for the health of their pregnancy and birth.
Dr. Jessica Illuzzi
Dr. Jessica Illuzzi is the Section Chief at Yale School of Medicine as well as the Medical Director of the Vidone Birthing Center at the St. Raphael Campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital, the home of a collaborative faculty practice of obstetricians and certified nurse midwives who provide individualized care, supporting physiologic birth, vaginal birth after cesarean and family-centered cesarean. Dr. Illuzzi is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed her OB/GYN residency here at Yale-New Haven Hospital. In 2004, she was named a Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar supported by a career development grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development. In 2006, she completed a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology at the Yale School of Graduate Studies. Dr. Illuzzi’s research examines the use of obstetric interventions and their impact on maternal and neonatal outcomes, especially among low risk women. Topics include prophylaxis to prevent vertical transmission of group B streptococcus, innovative models of maternity care, and safe prevention of primary cesarean delivery. In addition to her research, Dr. Illuzzi also serves as Director of Medical Studies in Obstetrics and Gynecology; she regularly lectures, leads seminars, and is actively involved in curriculum design with strong emphasis on evidence-based teaching in reproductive health.
Susan Rutledge Stapleton
Susan Rutledge Stapleton, CNM, DNP, FACNM. Founder and former director of Reading Birth & Women’s Center, attending birth center, hospital and home births for 25-years. Former Chair of the American Association of Birth Centers’ Research Committee and Data Coordinator for the AABC Strong Start for Mothers & Newborns Initiative. Co-investigator for one, and primary investigator for a second, national prospective, multi-center studies of outcomes in freestanding birth centers in the United States. Currently Chair of The Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers, and has previously served on the board of directors of both the American Association of Birth Centers and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Jill Wodnick, MA, LCCE, CLC, IMH-E(IIII) works at Montclair State University as a childbirth educator. Prior to her current work at MST, Jill led a Community Doula Program in Hudson County, NJ for Medicaid enrolled women. She has been part of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's Global Prenatal Initiative as well as on local and statewide programs for improving maternity care. Jill is also a community herbalist and honors the interdependent web of caring for our earth and caring for families. Jill teaches medical providers at grand rounds, graduate students and professionals, but learns the most from listening to women and the sacred ecology of giving birth and being born.
Vicki Hedley, MA, CPM, CM, MANA President, Treasurer is the mother to five children and three grandchildren. She has been attending births since 1996, first as a doula, doula trainer, and childbirth educator and since 2008 as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). In 2010 she also became a Certified Midwife (CM). Her learning occurred through the apprenticeship model in many different settings with beautiful and wise midwives who taught the art of midwifery through their example. She continues the tradition of mentoring others through study groups and apprenticeship training. Before becoming a midwife, Vicki had a private accounting practice for sixteen years, midwifing her clients through the stresses of finances and taxes. She received her Master’s in Maternal Child Health Systems through Bastyr University in 2017. Vicki has been on the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) board of directors since 2013, first as the Treasurer and currently as the President.
Dr. Bret Hartman
Dr. Bret Hartman received his Bachelor’s degree from Pace University before going on to obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University. He specializes in working with children, pregnant women, and families and is certified in the Webster Technique. For over 10 years Dr. Bret has been president of the Jefferson Township Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he maintains active memberships in the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) and the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (ICPA). When he is not working directly with patients, he enjoys promoting the wellness lifestyle through targeted advocacy efforts and by offering educational workshops on natural health, natural birth, nutrition, and immunity.
Britt Sando, CD, LCCE has worked as a DONA-certified birth doula since 2001, supporting families through labor on their own terms. Having attended many families during their births brings a real-world element to Britt’s evidence-based classes, with information that empowers tempered with pragmatism and humor. With practical tools and techniques, frank discussion, and extensive knowledge about birth, she helps parents anticipate birth as an experience to be treasured, not feared. Britt is currently expanding her credentials by working toward becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBLCLC).
As a sponsor of the 2018 New Jersey Symposium for Physiologic Birth: Avoiding Cesarean you have the unique opportunity to be a part of the movement toward improving birth outcomes as we bring together thought leaders from across the country that will share strategies, define best practice and collaborate on tools and resources that will help facilitate better neonatal and maternal health outcomes.
Your conference sponsorship allows you to be part of this dynamic environment, elevating your brand via multiple platforms and opportunities and being seen as a leader in helping to address one of the most pressing issues facing maternal and infant health today.
For the organization looking for maximum exposure leading up to and during this year’s Symposium. One (1) New Jersey Speaker Sponsor will have the opportunity to support our exceptional group of speakers who have all called New Jersey their home.
One Cocktail Reception Sponsor will have the opportunity to provide conference goers with a time to connect after the impactful, informative day.
One Lunch Sponsor will have the opportunity to help us set the tables for a delicious luncheon showcasing your organization's logo on the tables and napkins.
One Breakfast Sponsor will help start the conference right by sponsoring breakfast during registration.
One Coffee Service Sponsor will keep everyone alert all day through your organization's sponsored coffee service.
This is your opportunity to present your company to the many birth workers at the conference.
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