Nancy Comello, nurse-midwife and alumna of Frontier Nursing University (FNU)’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, is passionate about the health and education of new mothers in one of the world’s most vulnerable countries regarding birth statistics: Guatemala.
Nancy has traveled to Guatemala 27 times to assist in volunteer training. In 2018, she created Supporting Safe Birth, Inc (SSB) and continues to function as its president. According to Nancy, the goal of SSB is to build birth attendants’ capacity for providing evidence-based care to vulnerable women and babies, as well as to partner with other programs to increase the scope and coverage of care throughout Guatemala.
Supporting Safe Birth uses simple one-day programs with visual graphics, oral testing and interactive participation to equip a variety of learners, including those who may be illiterate, which is quite common among the indigenous population of Guatemala. Nancy is a master trainer for these programs, Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Survive, designed specifically for low-resource countries.
Helping Mothers Survive consists of four modules that address common issues such as bleeding after birth, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, and threatened preterm birth care. Helping Babies Survive is made of three modules focused on the essentials of caring for newborn and undersized babies.
SSB programs utilize mannequins for hands-on training that is easily translated into real-world situations. The program is self-sustaining and grows organically thanks to a “Train the Trainer” model, equipping those who complete training to in turn train others in their organizations and communities.
When she isn’t training in Guatemala, Nancy serves as a Professional Development Specialist at UnityPoint Health Meriter in Madison, Wisconsin. In this role, she works to train and educate teams in preparation for obstetric emergencies. She is also a certified instructor for Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics as well as the Neonatal Resuscitation program.
Nancy chose FNU to obtain her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) because of its reputation as an institution that equips nurse-midwives on a global scale. She needed to deepen her project management skills to implement a well-designed, multi-layered program in Guatemala.
She said, “The faculty and chairs at FNU were experienced nurse-midwives with significant global experience, which was key to the success of my project and greatly enhanced my learning.”
Thank you, Nancy, for your hard work that improves the lives of Guatemala’s mothers and babies!
To learn more about Supporting Safe Birth, visit www.supportingsafebirth.org.
To learn about the DNP program at FNU, visit frontier.edu/DNP.