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Joseph Keane Fund Lecture sheds light on compassionate care and mental health impact at Yale New Haven Health hospitals

Tuesday, June 13, 2023


keane lecture

Photo (l-r): Dr. Stephen Thung, MD, chair, Ob/Gyn, Bridgeport Hospital; Julie Laifer, MD, Ob/Gyn; Elisabeth Schneider, Tim and Jessica Keane, Leslie Shanehan, Angela Montgomery, MD, director, neonatal ICU palliative care program, Yale New Haven Hospital; and Michael Berman, MD, Ob/Gyn, Mount Sinai Hospital.

BRIDGEPORT, CT (June 9, 2023) – The Hollander Auditorium at Bridgeport Hospital was the venue for a lecture that brought together speakers from Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Mount Sinai and Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH). The Joseph Keane Fund Perinatal Bereavement Lecture, focusing on perinatal bereavement compassionate care, witnessed the exchange of best practices across Yale New Haven Health, drawing an audience of 100 medical professionals, including representatives from Yale School of Medicine.
Steve Jakab, president of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation and Development at Yale New Haven Hospital, expressed admiration for the Joseph Keane Fund, stating, "It is an example of investment, innovation and impact. It has had a profound impact on our healthcare providers and families."

CDC research reveals the heartbreak of stillbirth or newborn loss affects approximately 44,000 mothers each year in the United States, and its impact extends far beyond. Lifelong consequences of this loss are felt by parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and the medical professionals involved.

Founded in 2012 by Jessica and Tim Keane following the stillbirth of their son Joseph after a full-term pregnancy, the Joseph Keane Fund is dedicated to promoting compassionate care and implementing standardized protocols for families facing perinatal loss. Jessica emphasized the importance of the work, saying, "Through our program's reach, we are collectively standardizing protocols and ensuring that every family receives the care they need." Tim Keane emphasized the long-term mental health impact, "The data paints a concerning picture, revealing that nearly one-third of grieving mothers will experience PTSD, suicide attempts are three times more likely, and divorce rates increase. This data opened my eyes, and it became our mission to take proactive steps to prevent becoming part of these statistics. The program is designed to not only provide support but also to actively mitigate the severity of mental health challenges faced by families and healthcare providers alike."
The Joseph Keane Fund Lecture, titled "Caring for Families and Clinicians Experiencing Perinatal Loss: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Care of the Family with an Intrauterine, Neonatal or Infant Death," delved into innovative advancements and unveiled new pathways designed to standardize best practices across the entire health system. Speakers discussed clinical pathways including a multidisciplinary approach, mental health support and perspectives from patients and providers.
Leslie Shanahan, perinatal bereavement coordinator, has spearheaded the sharing of resources among hospitals, stating, "The exchange of best practices and resources among hospitals is essential in providing comprehensive care to families experiencing perinatal loss." Elisabeth Schneider, a perinatal bereavement counselor, emphasized the impact of the perinatal bereavement program stating, "The program plays a crucial role in a patient's healing process and contributes to their overall well-being."
The speakers included the founders of the Joseph Keane Fund at the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation, Jessica and Tim Keane; Stephen Thung, MD, chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Bridgeport Hospital; Katherine Campbell, MD, medical director of Labor and Delivery at YNHH; Angela Montgomery, MD, neonatologist and director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Palliative Care Program at YNHH; Michael Berman, MD, from Mount Sinai Medical Center; Kristin Spengler, neonatal nurse practitioner at Greenwich Hospital, Elisabeth Schneider, perinatal bereavement counselor at Bridgeport Hospital; and Leslie Shanahan, perinatal bereavement coordinator at Bridgeport Hospital.

To learn more about the Joseph Keane Fund and how you can support it, or if you are a healthcare provider interested in the program or educational series for continuing medical education credits, please reach out for more information.


Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.

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