News and Announcements

News and Announcements

Levels of Care Assessment Tool for Maternal and Infant Care is Launching in Virginia

LOCATeThis web-based tool, also known as the LOCATe tool, was developed by the CDC to help states classify their birthing facilities by facilitating self-reflection on the level of risk-appropriate care they can provide. Click the thumbnail to view a one-pager with more information.

If you think this tool could be useful at your facility, or you’re just interested in learning more, join us Thursday, November 17 from noon to 1 pm for an informational webinar. VHHAF, VNPC, and CDC representatives will be present to answer questions. The meeting can be accessed at this link.

The LOCATe tool is hosted on a secure online survey platform, RedCap. It can be accessed at this link.


Our 6th Annual Summit Attendees Listened, Learned, and Headed Home Ready to Make Change

VNPC 6th Annual Summit Group PhotoWe welcomed nearly 200 in-person and virtual attendees at the VNPC 6th Annual Summit, which was held October 23 – 24th, 2022. This year’s theme was “Listen. Learn. Change.” Our speakers covered topics from choosing words carefully to improve patient-provider interactions to point of care ultrasound testing. Our attendees ranged from community health workers to midwives to epidemiologists. Our vendors shared information about a plethora of products and organizations, such as a high-tech infant cradle or a nonprofit that holistically supports childbearing families.

Every year we are impressed with our speakers, attendees and vendors. However, this year was the first year we were back in-person after the pandemic and we were especially thrilled to see the level of engagement, friendliness, passion and openness to learning that they displayed. We’d like to thank everyone for coming and supporting this summit—we could not have done it without you all!

This summit was recorded and those recordings can be found on our YouTube channel.

We also had a graphic recorder, who drew visual representations of our speakers’ presentations in real time. This produced some spectacular artwork that perfectly encapsulates the spirit and meaning of the presentations shared at the summit. Check out a couple examples below, and see the rest on our social media: @thevirginianpc.

Pictures of the summit can be found on our social media or by using these hashtags: #VNPC6thAnnual and #VNPC6thAnnualSummit.

Words Matter

Effective Communication


VNPC’s Shannon Pursell featured on the VHHA’s “Patients Come First” Podcast

VNPC Patients Come First Podcast logoThis podcast is presented by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Each episode features a diverse spread of people in the health care community working to improve patient experiences in innovative ways.

Podcast episodes are available through these podcast apps and networks: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, SoundCloud, Blubrry, iHeart Radio, Deezer, Podbay, Overcast, Pocket Casts, the Virginia Audio Collective, the Public Health Podcast Network, the Independent Podcast Network, the NYC Podcast Network, and the Family Podcast Network.

The podcast can also be heard on the radio airwaves – episodes air each Saturday at noon and Sunday at 10 a.m. on 100.5 FM, 107.7 FM, 92.7 FM, and 820 AM across Central Virginia and 1650 AM in Hampton Roads, and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on 93.9 FM in Richmond.

Listen Now


Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Division of Death Prevention Receives Grant to Build Partnerships with Stakeholders to Address Maternal Mortality in Virginia

CDC logoThe Virginia Department of Health’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase surveillance efforts and create a partnership with the Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative (VNPC) to further address maternal mortality in Virginia.

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As maternal mortality rates rise in Virginia, health officials launch interviews into deaths

Newborn babies in nurseryThe Virginia Mercury reports on preliminary data showing the Commonwealth’s maternal mortality rate to have sharply increased between 2018 and 2020. The VNPC’s executive director, Shannon Pursell, weighs in on the matter along with state officials, who are committing to conducting ground-level interviews to figure out the cause of these poor maternal health outcomes.


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Refugee Mental Health and Adaptation with UVA

The Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative is collaborating with the UVA Division of Outreach on a free, virtual, 4-part series starting October 12 at noon. CME credits available for nurses, physicians, and physician assistants. See below for topics covered:

  • Understanding and ameliorating trauma
  • Somatization and the art of interpretation
  • Refugee family pressures counseling
  • Lived experience, from the refugee's point of view

Register Now


Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Virtual Series with UVA

The Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative is collaborating with the UVA Division of Outreach on a free, virtual 2-part series on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome sponsored by the VDH. This series will run on 9/14/22 and 9/28/22 from 12 pm to 1 pm. CME credits for nurses, physicians and physician assistants are available. See below for topics covered:

  1. Definition and overview of NAS in Virginia
  2. Provide mother-baby dyad care that supports the mother’s recovery process
  3. Overview of the Eat Sleep Console model, including medication regimens
  4. Plan for hospital discharge and follow up infant needs

Register Now


In light of the Formula Shortage, please reference these talking points:

  1. For those who are exclusively not breastfeeding:  Do not use “home” recipes for making your own formula, and do not dilute the formula in any way other than is on the package instructions as these practices can have severe, at times fatal consequences for the infant.
  2. Do not feed your infant younger than one year of age regular cow’s milk as it can lead to serious consequences such as iron deficiency which can harm cognitive development.
  3. It is safe to transition from one brand of formula to another if that is all you have access to.  (Note, if your infant is on a special formula for a medical condition, speak with your baby’s doctor and/or a pediatric nutritionist before making any substitutions.)
  4. Some parts of the world have better supplies than others, so consider your resources for safely ordering and shipping from a trusted source.  Do not purchase breastmilk or infant formula on the internet from anyone or any source that you are not familiar with and can completely trust.
  5. When feeding your infant, place only the amount that your baby will eat in the bottle, so as not to waste any of your supply.
  6. If you are partially breastfeeding, consider transitioning back to full breastfeeding while the shortage remains.  This is healthy for your infant and also will help lessen some of the demand on the current supply.  (Note, if you need help with increasing your production, seek consultation with a skilled lactation provider and/or an expert in Breastfeeding Medicine. (Ref AAP and CDC Breastfeeding in Disaster Guide and ABM protocol)
  7. If you are not breastfeeding and your infant is around 6 months of age, talk with your baby’s doctor about the timing and appropriateness of introducing solid foods no more than 2-3 times/day in place of a bottle feeding.
  8. If you are currently pregnant or expecting a baby, consider potential infant formula shortages and risks when making your decisions and plans about infant feeding.  Seek prenatal breastfeeding education, and connect with health care providers and hospitals that are supportive of breastfeeding.
  9. Consider re-lactating.  Re-lactating is the process by which a person who has given birth may ramp-up milk production after a period of not lactating or partially lactating. (Ref AAP and CDC Breastfeeding in disasters guide, and ABM protocol).
  10. Consider pasteurized donor human milk if you have the means and an availability to purchase.
  11. Avoid informal milk sharing with anyone you do not know, online platforms, or with anyone that you do not completely know and trust.  Wet nursing, and close family members and friends breastfeeding is a way in which some societies and cultures have fed infants historically and in modern day. (Note, this should only be done with trusted family members and friends, and ideally the donor would have had testing to make sure they were free of any transmissible diseases. (Ref ABM statement)
  12. For additional information, please reference the resource tab.