Global Health

Baby and nurse in NICU

Demonstrated Dedication to Global Communities

Tools and coaching for local improvement

Our long-term partnerships with health care providers in global resource-limited communities enables sustainable data-driven quality improvement.

VON faculty, staff, and volunteers develop deep relationships with doctors, nurses, and administrators to build skills in data analysis and increase capacity for quality improvement projects.

The African Neonatal Network was created through such a partnership with the African Neonatal Association. VON supports members of the data-driven improvement community with electronic data submission and real-time reporting in the Global Health Neonatal Quality Improvement Database and training in quality improvement methods.

Electronic Database

Global Health Neonatal Quality Improvement Database

In partnership with multidisciplinary colleagues in low and lower middle income countries, we created a data-submission tool for offline data entry and a reporting website that shows members real-time data in support of local quality improvement projects.

The VON Global Health Neonatal Quality Improvement Database was piloted with the twenty large public and academic hospital members of the Ethiopian Neonatal Network and now supports the growing number of centers participating in the African Neonatal Network.

Global Health Neonatal Quality Improvement Database Details
clinicians collaborating

Education and Training in Quality Improvement

We support education in quality improvement fundamentals by offering all members of the African Neonatal Network (ANN) an online course, Quality Improvement Foundations. The course provides a step-by-step, easily digestible roadmap to plan, prepare, and run repeated tests of change to optimize your improvement project

VON volunteers mentor colleagues in the ANN in a “train the trainer” system, which enables a growing network of doctors and nurses participating in data-driven quality improvement and adopting evidence-based practices.

Members of the ANN learn collaboratively from each other across centers in each country and from centers in other countries participating in the network.

Mentors and Fellowship

We have supported the fellowship training of neonatologists from low and lower middle income countries, including sponsorship of fellows in the African Pediatric Fellowship Program. These providers are advocates for evidence-based improvement and help train other neonatal care providers.

Volunteer faculty teach clinical skills and provide quality improvement mentorship, including assistance with scholarly projects and journal articles, and support the advanced practice NNP program at Addis Ababa University.

Phototherapy in Africa

Reduction in Exchange Transfusions for Acute Bilirubin Encephalopathy

Case Study

The neonatal team at Tikur Anbessa Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recognized they were performing exchange transfusions for acute bilirubin encephalopathy at an alarming rate, two to three times per day.

Through a failure analysis, neonatal team members and VON volunteers identified opportunities to improve identification of high-risk infants, surveillance, and monitoring efficacy of treatment.

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VON global health programs are supported with funding from our endowment investments, project-specific grants, and generous donations, representing our community’s long-term commitment to quality improvement in the care of all infants and families around the world.

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Resources for Global Neonatal Healthcare Providers

VON global health members, including members of the African Neonatal Network, can participate in live Grand Rounds webinars, build QI capacity with an online course, and see real-world examples of improvement in the VON Improvement Library.

QI Foundations

Quality Improvement Foundations

The VON Quality Improvement (QI) Foundations course is a step-by-step, easily digestible road-map to help you plan, prepare, and run repeated tests of change to optimize your improvement project.

It is designed to build a shared understanding of effective QI for all health care professionals and parent partners involved in newborn care.

View the Course (login)

VON Libraries

Our libraries provide evidence, improvement stories, educational videos, and data analysis to support improving care for infants and families.

Countless VON members and faculty have contributed to creating these resources and we continue to add to these libraries as more resources are developed through VON member programs.

Visit VON Libraries
Grand Rounds tile

VON Grand Rounds

Free webinar and discussion series to advance quality improvement in newborn care.

This webinar and discussion series is supported by the work of dedicated VON teams and faculty and informed by the VON Institute for Evidence-Based Practice, and are intended to advance evidence into practice through sound quality improvement methods.

Open for all to attend at no cost (no continuing education awarded).

Go to VON Grand Rounds

Mechanisms, Evidence, and Global Health Application of CPAP for RDS

VON Grand Rounds Session

The use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is critical to our efforts to provide noninvasive respiratory support and improve outcomes in very low birth weight infants. In this VON Grand Rounds webinar and discussion, we explore the mechanisms for how CPAP works, the evidence for benefits and harms of CPAP, and a case study of how CPAP has been introduced in a global context.

View the Grand Rounds Session (login)