ROANOKE, W.Va. — The annual WV Perinatal Partnership Summit was held at Stonewall Resort on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14.

A variety of top professionals from around the country gathered to discuss different ways to promote healthier pregnancies and babies in the state.  

Keynote presentations were given on a ton of topics, some included:

  • Providing Compassionate and Appropriate Care for LGBTQ+ Patients
  • Supporting Breastfeeding in WV
  • Practices for Parents and Pregnant Patients with Substance Use Disorders
  • Preparing Providers to Fight Tobacco Harms for Mothers and Babies

WVPP director, Amy Tolliver, said, “our program features local and nationally recognized faculty and experts who will encourage participants to consider new research, best practices, collaborative and innovative strategies in perinatal health policy and education.” 

Grants from the following sponsors helped the Summit come to fruition for the 2022 year:

  • West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
  • Division of Health Sciences
  • West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Behavioral Health and Bureau for Public Health
  • Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health
  • Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
  • Other partners

Kimberly Farry, WVPP board president and OBGYN at St. Joseph’s Hospital, talked about the importance of meeting with other perinatal healthcare professionals in person. She said, “well we’ve all learned during COVID, where we could see each other virtually, that the real important relationship things happen when you’re in person. And those ties, collaborations, and introductions to new people can only be done in person. So gathering this group together is more important for those kinds of things than seeing each other virtually.”

One thing that the group has identified is that there are multiple areas in West Virginia that do not have much access to care. There is a grant opportunity that is currently going on in the middle of our state, which has very few maternity care providers. It is called the “our moms collaborative” and they discuss how they can help patients in a better way in surrounding them with things like doula breastfeeding and WIC.

They have already been awarded the grant for the next four years in which they have already finished the first year of work consisting of data gathering. This year they will be working on training and upgrading the opportunities within’ counties in need with the proper care.

If you want to know more about the summit, you can find its website here.