North Carolina AHEC Program
spring 2010 newsletter | home
by Mona Brown Ketner and Chris Jones, Northwest AHEC (photo: right)
The Perinatal Post is a biannual newsletter used for communication with perinatal care providers in Northwest North Carolina. It was previously published through the Perinatal Outreach division of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine beginning in 1984. During its early years, the newsletter was mailed to nurses and physicians involved with women’s health care and focused on concerns like fetal monitoring instruction methods and prematurity risk scoring. The North Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes provided generous grant funding for the publication and mailing of the newsletter for several years.
In subsequent years the following were included in each issue: 1) a topic of clinical interest such as the use of 17 P injections (17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate) for preterm birth prevention or the treatment of preeclampsia with magnesium sulfate; 2) an update on resources like the Northwest AHEC online tobacco cessation course; 3) information about legislative updates such as NC STI (sexually transmitted infection) laws related to pregnancy; and 4) a calendar of regional upcoming perinatal continuing education events. During the 2009 calendar year, the newsletter evolved into an electronic document and was made available on the OB/GYN departmental Web site. Perinatal Outreach funding was eliminated by the NC Department of Health and Human Services as of October 2009.
Mona Brown Ketner RN, MSN was the perinatal outreach education coordinator for 15 years, and served as the newsletter’s editor. As she transitioned into a nurse educator role at Northwest AHEC as of January 1, 2010, a decision was made to continue the Perinatal Post. This mutual decision between the OB/GYN Department and Northwest AHEC will continue to provide valuable information for regional professionals twice per year – January and July. The current issue of the newsletter is a collaborative effort between these two departments of the WFU School of Medicine. Featured information in the first issue of 2010 includes the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina’s first maternal health initiative of eliminating elective deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation in North Carolina, an update related to preeclampsia/eclampsia, and a new maternal-fetal medicine contact telephone number. Also spotlighted is the North Carolina Perinatal Association, a professional organization of care providers in the state.
In January, 2010 the Northwest AHEC converted the newsletter to an electronic format so that it could be sent to 656 physicians and nurses within the Northwest AHEC 17-county region via email blast. In addition, the publication is being marketed in the Northwest AHEC monthly Course Catalog Newsletter. To date, the January eBlast of the Perinatal Post has resulted in 78 visits (11%) to northwestahec.org, two event registrations and $90 in revenue. Web site guests from this promotion spent an average of 3 minutes 40 seconds on the site.
Future plans include adding a short post test and offering Northwest AHEC contact hours for reading the content. Recipients who do not have profiles in CASCE (the statewide NC AHEC database) will be encouraged to create them in order to continue receiving the publication.
The Perinatal Post is currently available to all providers at http://northwestahec.org by clicking the Perinatal Post image in the top spotlight section. Providers interested in receiving the Perinatal Post biannual newsletter should register here: http://nwahec.org/?30054_ncahec.