Perinatal loss focus of inaugural Keane Lecture at Bridgeport Hospital

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
(l-r) Jean Tornatore, MD, medical director, Labor and Delivery; Eileen Tarney, RN, assistant nurse manager, Labor and Delivery/Antenatal Testing Unit; Elisabeth Schneider, director of family services, Tiny Miracles Foundation; Kelley Reddington, RN, nurse manager, Labor and Delivery/Antenatal Testing Unit; Tim and Jessica Keane, lecture benefactors; Michael Berman, MD, keynote speaker; Leslie Shannehan, perinatal volunteer coordinator; and Elizabeth Cunningham, RN, clinical nurse specialist
BRIDGEPORT, CT (June 20, 2018) – Over 125 physicians, residents, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, nurses and social workers from across the state attended the inaugural Joseph Keane Lecture for Perinatal Bereavement June 7 at Bridgeport Hospital.

Presented by the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation’s Joseph Keane Fund and spearheaded by the hospital’s Perinatal Bereavement Nursing Committee, the interdisciplinary lecture covered the history and physiological effects of perinatal loss on parents, focusing on emotional care and support during and after their loss.

The keynote speaker was Michael Berman, MD, professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine and chief patient safety officer at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Other presenters included Elisabeth Schneider, a licensed family therapist and program manager for Tiny Miracles Foundation, which provides mentorship, support and resources for families of premature infants in Fairfield County, and Leslie Shannehan, perinatal volunteer coordinator in Labor and Delivery and a member of Hope After Loss, which provides support groups and outreach to parents experiencing perinatal loss.

In addition to a clinical presentation, three families shared their personal stories about losing an infant. Their experiences provided suggestions for healthcare providers to support mothers and fathers in the first moments after a loss and beyond. The presenters urged attendees to return to their respective institutions and educate their staffs about this issue, which is sometimes overlooked in clinical training and rarely spoken about.

The lecture is named after the son of Tim and Jessica Keane of Fairfield who passed away at full term. The Joseph Keane Fund has served over 200 families through the purchase of memory boxes, support books for parents and assistance with funeral expenses for patients.

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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