All posts by Steven Bowers

CMCF’s Impact on the Development of EUNPS

The Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (EUNPS), founded by Professor George Simbruner in 2006 in Vienna, Austria, is one of the premier international nongovernmental organizations advocating for the improvement of newborn care in Europe.

The Polish Neonatological Society, then headed by Professor Jerzy Szczapa, was one of the founders of this association. Every two years UENPS organizes congresses in a different European City selected by the UENPS Board and the Scientific Council. In the year in which the UENPS convention is not held, the ENPS European Neonatal Societies, organized by Pediatric Research, UENPS and EFCNI (European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants).

UENPS’s mission is to improve health care in neonatal and perinatal medicine in European countries. The main goals of UENPS are to improve the quality of perinatal and neonatal care by integrating, coordinating and adding efforts of national and scientific societies, promoting knowledge of perinatal care indicators and development of recommendations, guidelines, training for healthcare providers and any other tools to achieve the best healthcare for every newborn and the supervision of the rights of newborns, wherever they are born.

Continuing the mission of UENPS, in 2019 a department was created called “UENPS Hall of knowledge”. Its purpose is to collect all cultural experiences and activities developed over the years and offer a broader educational approach to hot topics of neonatology.

In the years 2010-2018, Prof. Katarzyna Borszewska-Kornacka was the president of the Polish Neonatal Society. During that time she organized the UENPS congress in Poland. In 2017, the UENPS Management Board choose Kraków as the venue for that year’s congress for its seat as one of the oldest universities in Europe (Jagiellonian University). The congress was held in a hybrid system that year and attracted participants from many countries in Europe and the rest of the world. Among the participants was a large group of neonatologists from Ukraine, whose participation was sponsored by CMCF.

5% of the registration fee that year was set aside for aid to Ukraine. The UENPS allocated EUR 10,000 for this assistance. Prior to the congress in Krakow, at the request of the Polish and Ukrainian representatives, From the Management Board made the decision to remove the the Russian Neonatology Society from its participation and reject the Russian woman’s lecture.

The three-day program was devoted to clinical and practical challenges in neonatology. It concerned the proceedings in the Delivery Room at the NICU and others in general neonatal issues. The congress was held in the Auditorium Maximum of the Jagiellonian University and attended by over 500 participants, including 255 neonatologists.

Many more participated in the congress virtually. The largest group of participants came from
Poland, Italy and Greece.

…aAnd a Nice Letter of Appreciation From a Congress Attendee 

Sincerely grateful for the opportunity to visit 12 th  UENPS Congress 2022
Everyday Practical Challenges in Neonatology, which took place on September 2-4
in the wonderful city of Krakow, Poland.

It was a good opportunity to learn about news in the field of neonatology and hear
reports from professionals from all over the world.

And I am also grateful for the opportunity to meet and communicate with respected
prof. Ryszard Lauterbach, President of Polish Neonatal Society, and respected prof. Maria Katarzyna
Borszewska-Kornacka.

It was extremely pleasant and important to hear from them words of support for
Ukraine and Ukrainians at this difficult time.

I especially want to single out the report Marietta Charakida (United Kingdom) –
Fetal Congenital heart disease This topic is very relevant for our hospital, as we have
a newly created department of pediatric cardiac surgery. There are great prospects in
the development of this department and prenatal diagnostics in general.

Reports about the management of multiple pregnancy were also informative,
especially Antenatal management of complications of monochorionic twins by
Ioannis Kyvernitakis (Germany) and Long term outcomes of monochorionic twins
by Enrico Lopriore (The Netherlands).

Inspiration and significant motivation to work I received from report
Juliette Kamphuis (the Netherlands) Growing up as a preterm infant who herself
was born prematurely and now shares her life path, difficulties and victories in adult
life.

Thanks to the CMCF Foundation for the opportunity to visit 12 th  UENPS Congress
2022 Everyday Practical Challenges in Neonatology, it was unforgettable.

With best regards,
Oksana Ostalska

Dariusz Patkowski-Pioneer of Minimally Invasive Pediatric Surgery 

 

Department of Pediatric Surgery and Urology Wroclaw Medical University is one of the well-known and most modern in Poland. We are the tertiary reference center of pediatric surgery and pediatric urology and the only neonatal surgery center in Lower Silesia district. Since 2022 we have been a member of ERNICA (The European Reference Network for Rare Inherited Congenital (digestive and gastrointestinal) Anomalies). Patient care started prenatally in the  Obstetrics Ward continues by Neonatal Department supported with Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Our multidisciplinary team of pediatric surgeons and urologists completes with orthopedics, neurosurgeons and cooperates with other pediatric  clinics (gastroenterology, cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology), genetic counseling, physiotherapy, and psychology teams.

We specialize in minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, endoscopy, also in newborns), and the Head of the Clinic, prof. Dariusz  Patkowski is a recognized world-class expert in minimally invasive surgery. He has extensive experience in endoscopic surgery, especially in the thoracoscopic treatment of esophageal atresia (he has operated on over 300 children with this defect, making him one of the world leaders). He develops the internal traction, a technique of endoscopic lengthening of the esophagus used in long-gap esophageal atresia. Prof. Patkowski is also the creator of a world-wide recognized method of laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery (PIRS – Percutaneous Internal Ring Suturing), currently utilized in at least 20 countries.

The clinic also conducts teaching and research activities. We train medical students and doctors – the department is accredited for specialization training in pediatric surgery and pediatric urology. Additionally, the Clinic Team runs a periodic “Intensive Practical Course in Endoscopic Surgery in Children” for other surgeons, and we had been the first center in Poland to host pediatric minimally invasive surgery course in 1997. We also organized numerous online broadcasts of advanced operations in real-time, with operator commentary and the possibility of asking questions (streaming both domestic and international).

CMCF Sponsors Ukrainian Attendance at 12th Annual UENPS Conference

 

Ten Ukrainian neonatologists from the cities of Lviv and Ternopil traveled to Krakow, Poland to take part in the 12th International Conference of the Union of Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS).

Organized by (and held at the auditorium of the university hospital home of) longtime CMCF partner, former CMCF Fellow and current Polish Neonatal Society President, Prof. Ryszard Lauterbach, this convening brought together many of Europe’s most highly regarded neonatologists to share insights on practical challenges of everyday neonatal care giving.

Dr. Zoryana Ivanyuk, Medical Director of Saint Nicholas Hospital in Lviv, and CMCF’s Country Managing Director for Ukraine took time away from her extremely busy schedule to attend the event along with 5 other physicians from SNH’s neonatology department.

Representing Ternopil at the event were Prof. Halyna Pavlishin, Chair of the 2nd Department of Pediatrics at Ivan Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University and three of her neonatology department staff.

 

CMCF Strengthens Its Support for Broader Breastfeeding Adoption

 

On September 30, 2022, the Polish Lactation Consultants and Advisors held its First Summit of the Coalition for Breastfeeding at the headquarters of the Warsaw Regional Chamber of Nurses and Midwives (WOIPIP) in Warsaw, Poland.

CMCF Vice President, Jolanta Martinoff, attended the event at the invitation of Prof. Maria Wilińska, Head of the Department of Neonatology at the Independent Public Clinical Hospital-CMKP, Warsaw, and one of Poland’s strongest advocates for increasing parental and public awareness of the many benefits of breastfeeding. 

Physicians from across the globe presented findings of their research on breastfeeding’s positive impact on everything from healthy child development to family budgets, to the healthcare system as a whole, to the global economy and even to the health of the planet.

Mrs. Martinoff addressed meeting attendees about the foundation’s history and aims and invited them to get in touch regarding potential financial support of initiatives they were spearheading. 

The first physician-advocate to take Mrs. Martinoff up on her offer was Prof. Barbara Królak-Olejnik, Chief of the Department of Neonatology at Wroclaw Medical University, who invited Mrs. Martinoff to tour her department the following week.

On that visit Mrs. Martinoff had the privilege of meeting Prof. Królak-Olejnik’s treatment team and getting a firsthand look at how it handled milk banking and other breastfeeding-specific patient support strategies and techniques.

Happy 45th Anniversary, Institute of Mother and Child!

 

On October 15th, 2022, medical luminaries from across Poland convened at Instytut “Pominik-Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka in Warsaw to celebrate 45 years of it providing country-leading pediatric care and cutting edge medical research that has played a prominent role in the transformation of pediatric and neonatal care worldwide. 

On hand for this nationally televised event was CMCF’s Vice President, Jolanta Martinoff, who was there to receive a Meritus Pro Nati award for her and her husband’s (CMCF President, Bjoern Martinoff) tireless dedication to the two institutions’ shared aims.

Mrs. Martinoff addressed attendees about the history and close collaboration between CMCF and CZD, one that dates back almost as far as the hospital itself. In her remarks, she reminded attendees that it was one of the Institute of Mother and Child’s early pediatric surgeons, Dr. (and later Prof.) Zygmunt Kalicinski, who conceived of, and did the crucial initial outreach that laid the groundwork for, the international medico-scientific exchange that would become the Children’s Medical Care Foundation.

In the intervening four decades, CMCF has sponsored supplemental specialized medical training for no less than 19 current and former Institute of Mother and Child physicians at some of the world’s finest medical centers, including UCLA School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Columbia University Medical Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. 

Along with their daily delivery of exemplary pediatric care, many of these outstanding physicians have hosted successive generations of CMCF Fellows in their medical departments. We are grateful to CZD-for the standard of excellence in pediatric care it has and continues to set-and for the vital training partnership we continue to rely on to this day.

CMCF Announces Historic Training Partnership

 

Notification of the selection of the offer

The President and Vice President of the Children’s Medical Care Foundation met recently with the Marek Migdal, MD, PhD, Director of the Children’s Memorial Health Institute, one of Europe’s largest pediatric hospitals, to discuss a new form of training collaboration which would see CMCF coordinating group supplemental specialized medical trainings at the facility’s vast medical campus in Warsaw, Poland.

The institute, also known as Instytut Pomnik Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka, or IPCZD, serves as both a scientific institute and a highly specialized children’s hospital treating children from throughout the country, as well as a large number of pediatric oncology patients currently being transferred there from Ukraine.

Among the many specialties for which IPCZD is renowned is organ transplantation. Its transplantation center is one of the largest in the world and has conducted many pioneering surgeries dating back to 1990 when it conducted the first liver transplant in Poland. Since then its physicians have also performed Poland’s first combined kidney and liver transplant, its first simultaneous transplant of the liver, small intestine, duodenum and pancreas and its first intestine transplant.

The training relationship between these two entities dates back to the foundation’s earliest days, when CMCF arranged for a fellowship at the UCLA School of Medicine for one of IPCZD’s pediatric surgeons and the co-founder of the foundation, itself, Prof. Zygmunt Kalicinski. Since that time, seventeen other IPCZD physicians have benefited from similar such observership trainings at leading American medical institutions, including Harvard Medical School, Columbia University Medical Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital. 

In fact, one of those pioneering fellowship recipients, the son of Zygmunt, Prof. Piotr Kalicinski, went on to establish and now head IPCZD’s transplantation center. Prof. Kalicinski has distinguished himself as one of the world’s leading pediatric transplant surgeons.

Particularly important to the training partnership is IPCZD’s state-of-the-art surgery simulation center where trainees can practice on special medical mannequins.  

Whereas the model in the foundation’s early years was to arrange for individual physicians to travel to often quite distant medical centers for stays of six weeks and longer, this new training partnership will involve entire medical teams for briefer periods of time. 

Along with being much more cost effective, this approach holds the potential to enable much more rapid improvements to health care standards and hospital treatment capacity, as every member of a visiting department’s treatment team will be able to observe how the host medical department, selected for its efficiency, manages patient flow and conducts caregiving operations.

Fundraiser for Ukrainian Children and Families Held in Southern California

 

 

 

 

Event organizer, Eddy Perez displays his cell phone as CMCF Country Managing Director for Ukraine, Doctor Zoryana Ivanyuk, speaks to attendees from Lviv by Zoom during a rally to support Ukrainian refugee families held at Bridgeport Community Park in in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Photo by Dan Watson of The Signal.

Supporters of Ukraine came together in Southern California this past Saturday for a humanitarian charity rally to raise funds to aid children and families affected by the war raging in that country. The event featured musical performances in a variety of styles sung in both Ukrainian and English, impassioned appeals to support the Children’s Medical Care Foundation’s efforts to assist children and families in Ukraine and even a Zoom call from Ukraine.
Among those invited to speak were Santa Clarita City Councilman Bill Miranda and State Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares. The event’s organizer, who also served as Master of Ceremonies, was Eddie Perez, a Santa Clarita resident whose wife is Ukrainian.Mr. Perez’ voice cracked as he shared with the crowd a telephone conversation he had days before with his niece in Ukraine in which she asked her uncle-when are you going to come get me? This broke Mr. Perez’ heart. He didn’t know what to say. Nor, as he knew had to be true for so many others, did he know quite what he could do to be of help in this most trying and traumatizing time. He only knew he had to do something, and within days he pulled together an ambitious event which provided a way for those who shared his sorrow to turn that feeling into real help.We cannot thank Mr. Perez enough for his initiative-it was he who approached our foundation with the idea of organizing an event to raise funds on our behalf-and for the enormous amount of effort it undoubtedly required of him to realize it. To date the event has generated over $16,700.00.

Human Milk Banking in Poland

On October 14, 2021, CMCF Vice President, Jolanta Martinoff was invited to take part in the 6th International Congress of the European Milk Bank Association.

CMCF wishes to express its sincere gratitude to Aleksandra Wesolowska, President of the Milk Bank Foundation of Poland and Associate Professor at the Laboratory of Human Milk and Lactation Research on Regional Milk Bank in Warsaw, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland for the invitation to participate and for her leadership in this area.

Below is an in depth interview of Assoc. Prof. Wesolowska which appeared in Miris Interviews.

CMCF Vice President Jolanta Martinoff Renews Memorandum of Understanding

On October 21, 2021, in Kiev, Ukraine, Jolanta Martinoff, CMCF Vice President, signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding with Viktor Liashko, Ukrainian Minister of Health, renewing both parties’ commitment to improving the quality of newborn care.

This agreement builds on the longstanding partnership of the two parties and further clarifies the roles of each moving forward.

In particular, the memorandum provides for:

  • development of a family-centered approach of neonatal care in Ukraine
  • learning the world experience of providing assistance to prematurely born children and children with acquired or congenital surgical and somatic pathology
  • improving the legal field in the field of neonatology and child surgery
  • neonatological service development
  • implementation of international forms of analytical reporting and statistics
  • holding compatible meetings on perinatal aid policy
  • involvement of leading industry specialists, in holding conferences, seminars and trainings for doctors
  • organization of team training staff and ensuring effective communication

Below are images of the historic agreement itself, along with photos of its signatories; CMCF Vice President Jolanta Martinoff, and Viktor Liashko, Ukrainian Minister of Health as well as Rostyslav Tistyk, deputy of the Verkhovna Rada.

Donated Medical Equipment Cleared for Official Use in Ukraine

Children’s Medical Care Foundation is proud to announce that at long last, 54 pieces of advanced medical equipment it was able to secure the donation of from Polish pediatric hospitals in 2018, have finally been cleared for official use at pediatric medical centers throughout Ukraine.

Obtaining licensing to enable official use of this equipment, which included orthopedic beds, anesthesia machines, bactericidal and manipulation lamps, a trolley, a laboratory dryer, a respirator, an electromyography device, closed incubators, and resuscitation tables for newborns-the crucial final step in this multi-stage humanitarian aid shipment process-proved more challenging than initially envisioned, and would likely not have been possible without the help of a number of key allies-a few of whom we didn’t know we had-throughout government and the medical establishment.

Among those who deserve special thanks are Rostyslav Tistyk, deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Orest Chemerys, Director of the Health Department of the Lviv Regional State Administration as well as the Health Department of the Lviv City Council.

And as with all foundation initiatives and efforts in Ukraine, we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

We are pleased to also report that as word of the successful donation continues to spread throughout the pediatric medical community in Poland, several medical institutions have begun to approach our foundation to inquire about future participation, which warms our hearts and reaffirms our commitment. We look forward to facilitating future such donations.

Please direct all shipment-related inquiries to Jolanta Martinoff, foundation Vice President, at jolanta@cmcf.org.