SPOTLIGHT ON EDUCATION: Perinatal Symposium Features Talk About Supporting Families Who Choose Life Amidst Loss
At the 42nd Annual Perinatal Symposium in Syracuse, we presented a plenary discussion, “Organ Donation: Life Emerging from Sadness.” Crouse Hospital, Upstate Medical University and the hospitals’ Central New York Regional Perinatal Programs sponsored the symposium.
The presentation focused on three areas of discussion, including the impact organ donation can have on a family after the loss of a child.
The Hospital Development and Family Services divisions of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) recently presented a plenary discussion, “Organ Donation: Life Emerging from Sadness,” at the 42nd Annual Regional Perinatal Symposium in Syracuse. The event was presented by Crouse Hospital, Upstate Medical University and the hospitals’ Central New York Regional Perinatal Programs.
The presentation included three areas of discussion, with an emphasis on caring for the pediatric patient and family:
- The basics of organ donation
- FLDRN’s Family Centered Care model
- The positive impact organ donation can have on a family after the loss of a child
Hospital Development and Family Services Manager Bill Sainsbury (RN, BSN) and Family Services Coordinator Judy Hess (LMSW) led the discussion. They were joined by donor mom Elena Santiago, who amid the loss of her newborn son, E’lani, chose to help others through the gift of organ donation.
Compassionate End-of-Life Care
The presentation began with a review of how organ donation works and the hospital’s role in the process. Attendees then learned how FLDRN coordinators work seamlessly with the multidisciplinary team to ensure compassionate end-of-life care when it is time for families to consider organ donation.
Working collaboratively with the primary care team, social work, chaplains and palliative care to support and meet the needs of the family is a critical component to end-of-life care.
The presenters also shared how FLDRN’s Family Services Coordinators remain at the hospital to assist the family through the donation process and provide them support services for at least two years after donation.
Ms. Santiago then spoke about her personal experience and how her decision to share her son’s gift of life helped her through her tragic loss. E’lani’s heart was received by a 2 week old baby girl.
To inquire about having Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network present to your hospital team or affiliation, please contact Bill Sainsbury (william_sainsburyurmcrochesteredu) or Patti Knapp (patricia_knappurmcrochesteredu) .
About the CNY Perinatal Program & Symposium
Together, Crouse Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical University provide the services of the Central New York Regional Perinatal Program in 15 counties. The Regional Perinatal Symposium focuses on identifying new developments in the care of the high risk mother and infant; and developing an overview of recent studies relating to high-risk pregnancy and complicated neonatal situations, including medical, ethical, and psychosocial aspects of care.
This year’s conference, “Advances in Clinical Perinatal Medicine,” focused on evaluating perinatal care in the evolving health care environment and recognizing, caring for, and working with the high-risk mother, fetus/newborn, and family. It was attended by nearly 200 obstetrical and pediatric physicians, nurses, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and related health care professionals.