Conference to Focus on Premature Birth

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Area nurses and health professionals interested in learning more about premature birth are invited to a special conference, “Premature Birth: Understanding the Causes and Coping with the Consequences,” Friday, Oct. 21, at the National Research Center for Coal & Energy at West Virginia University.

Featured Speaker Karla Damus is an associate professor and the director of community programs at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y.  In addition, she is the senior research associate in the Office of the Medical Director at the National March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, where she directs the national prematurity campaign grand rounds continuing education program.

Dr. Damus is a perinatal epidemiologist and a nurse, having received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley and two masters degrees from UCLA in Nursing and Public Health.  She is a consultant to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee Food and Drug Administration.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with an overview of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign. Other topics to be discussed include the causes and treatment of preterm labor, caring for premature babies and their families, and substance abuse and domestic violence during pregnancy. Afternoon sessions will include participation in one of three discussions: abuse during pregnancy; discharge and follow-up of the high-risk, preterm infant; and perinatal impact of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

West Virginia University Hospitals will provide 6.6 contact hours to those who attend all sessions and complete all activities. WVUH is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the West Virginia Nurses Association, which is accredited as an approver of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

After completion of this course, participants should be able to discuss the newest research on the causes of preterm labor, identify those at highest risk for onset of preterm labor, and describe developmental needs of the preterm infant vs. full term baby.

Participants should also be able to utilize developmental strategies to assess, plan and care for infants and their families in the NICU and after discharge. They will also be able to explain the risks associated with substance use during pregnancy and intervention methods. In addition, participants will be able to recognize the cycle of domestic violence and the increased risks during pregnancy.

The conference is sponsored by the WV Chapter March of Dimes, WV Chapter of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AHWONN), and WVU Children’s Hospital. The cost for the conference is $35 regular fee, $20 for AHWONN Members, and $15 for students.  For more information, contact The March of Dimes at (304) 720-2229.

- WVU -

For more information:
The March of Dimes, (304) ) 720-2229

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