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2017 Birth Institute: Come for the Education, Stay for the Vacation

Posted By Kelly W. Shaw, Monday, May 22, 2017

Come for Education, Stay for Vacation

The Birth Institute is shaping up to be a great way to earn CEUs, network with movers and shakers in the birth center industry and have fun with your friends and family.

Ten years ago we chose Alaska for our national convention and it was just as good of choice now as it was then. So join us in “the last frontier” to learn and enjoy all the amazing area has to offer.


·        Major speakers – By now, Neel Shah is pretty much a household name in the birth world.  In case you have been busy helping moms and growing your business, Neel Shah is an OB/GYN from Harvard that has spoken and written about both the high cost of health care and how the design of a hospital can greatly reduce the number of c-sections.  He is on the Board of March for Moms and recently spoke at their event on Mother’s Day.  He is a huge supporter of birth centers and joins us in Alaska to talk about the challenge of too much medicine. 


We are also excited to bring you Father Michael Oleska who will talk about how our culture influences the way we understand each other - something all birth center owners, staff and providers must consider.  Mickey Sperlich also joins us.  She is a midwife and expert on changing the narrative of how trauma and mental health challenges can affect a woman’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting.


·        Important topics – We have timely topics this year in both the clinical and administrative tracks.  Clinically, you will be able to hear presentations about the best practices in water birth, trauma informed care for midwives, risk criteria and risk management and urogynecology across a woman’s lifespan.

In the administrative tract we have a panel discussion about collaborating and competing with birth centers in your area, ethical and advanced billing, women’s health care in uncertain political times, open and closed staffing models for birth centers and communicating the value of working in birth centers.

·        Pre and post conference workshops – We have added several sessions this year based on your requests!  The How to Start a Birth Center Workshop is perfect for someone looking to create this model in their community or a new employee at a birth center.  There is a workshop on getting started with the Perinatal Data Registry (PDR) and another one on getting the most out of this data set.  Do you need to get recertified in NRP?  We are offering that as well. 

After the convention we are offering two half-day sessions.  One is a breastfeeding symposium where four major topics with be discussed including: breastfeeding as a popular health topic, failure to latch protocol, diagnosing nipple pain and making more milk.  There is also another half-day hands-on session sponsored by the Industry Relations Committee to help birth centers engage employers, purchasers and insurance plans to include birth centers.

·        Invaluable networking – This is THE convention to meet the clinical and administrative leaders in the birth center industry and we give you many opportunities to connect whether that’s the Director’s Networking meeting, several receptions, every lunch, the exhibit hall and of course the birth center tour and progressive dinner of Anchorage’s finest birth centers. For some this is the major reason they attend – to learn something from other attendees.  Maybe it’s a revision of your BMI protocol, maybe it’s a better staffing schedule, maybe it’s a stronger method to collect from insurance companies.  Come network!



We have exciting excursions planned for you so you can enjoy all that Alaska has to offer while you are there.

·        Resurrection Bay Boat Tour and the Alaska Sea Life Center – Full day trip.  I don’t know about you, but there is something about whales that both soothes me and makes me extremely curious.  And being able to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat is more than special.  Just to be able to breathe in the crisp sea air and stand out on the deck of a boat in the pristine waters off the coast – sign me up. 

Then spend a little time seeing Alaska’s other sea creatures – otters, seals and sea lions as well as octopi, crabs, sea urchins and the cutest puffins. This center not only showcases a wide variety of Alaska’s sea creatures, it is also involved in research into depleted and endangered native animals as well as teaching all visitors about habitats and breeding programs.

·        Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – You won’t want to miss this half day trip!  Do you want to meet bear, bison or reindeer?  Do you want to feed birds of prey or porcupine?  This non-profit organization houses and cares for orphaned or injured animals with the intent of releasing them back into the wild.  Those that cannot be released are given a permanent home in their over 200 acres of habitat. Learn about what they do and visit with some of Alaska’s feathered and furry friends!

·        Byron Glacier Trail Hike – This hike is in conjunction with the above Conservation Center trip.  This one mile, one hour hike is designed to be easy, even for children.  It’s not as popular as some of the more famous glaciers so you will have the opportunity to get closer, see more and not have to fight off as many fellow hikers. And the views are simply stunning!

·        Flattop Mountain Hike – This half day trip lets you independently hike for three hours, whether you want to wander and gaze at the views or race to the summit.  You’ll be hiking close to the off season so it will more than likely be very quiet and peaceful. And because it’s that swing season, wear layers to keep warm!

So join us in Alaska in October.  Registration is open now and Early Bird discounts end July 20th!

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