Copyright 2017 The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.  All rights reserved.

Providers

Safe Sleep Awareness For
Every Well Newborn
(S.A.F.E.) Program

This program is designed as a comprehensive, innovative, replicable and evidence-based program for promoting, implementing and evaluating well newborn safe sleep practices for use in hospitals, ambulatory care settings, communities, and homes. The Safe Sleep Awareness For Every Well Newborn (S.A.F.E.) Program addresses a population-specific problem, safe sleep in well newborns, through nurse and parent education, development and dissemination of practice and education resources, and a community partnership with the Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) to implement a Multi-media Marketing program to increase population awareness of safe sleep practices.

 
Program Leadership

Project Director

 

Marilyn Stringer, PhD, WHNP, FAAN is a Professor of Women’s Health, Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Professor of Women’s Health Nursing in Obstetrics & Gynecology (Secondary), University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Stringer is a consultant in the Women’s Health Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she provides leadership to numerous research projects and evidenced based practice projects.  She is known globally for her expertise in the promotion of healthy pregnancies and newborns.  Dr. Stringer has a distinguished and sustained record of funding as a Principal Investigator and subsequent dissemination of research through publications and presentations.  Dr. Stringer has over 50 peer reviewed journal publications, book chapters, and evidenced based practice guidelines,. Most recently, Dr. Stringer’s team positioned the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to embark on a 3-year journey that culminated in the receipt of Baby Friendly designation in Fall 2015. During this journey, Dr. Stringer worked closely with the Maternity Care Coalition (MCC), our community partner with our Philadelphia Safe Sleep Awareness For Every Well Newborn (S.A.F.E.) Program.

Project Co-Director

 

Rosemary C. Polomano, PhD, RN, FAAN is Professor of Pain Practice, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care (Secondary), University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Polomano is also a Senior Nurse Scientist at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (HUP) where she provides leadership for numerous research studies and clinical projects. With more than 20 years of experience as nurse scientist, Dr. Polomano has expertise in the design, implementation and evaluation of survey methodologies and educational initiatives. She provided scientific leadership for the 2009 Delaware Valley Association of Neonatal Nurses (DVANN) analysis of sudden infant death syndrome reduction practices (Advances in Neonatal Care, 2010;10(6):332-342). As Co-director for the University of Pennsylvania National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPE), Dr. Polomano develops on-line pain education modules for health professional students and clinicians for national dissemination, and she collaborates on evaluation strategies to assess the national impact of this program. She has over 85 peer-reviewed journal publications including several national evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines, expert consensus reports, and practice analyses to evaluate alignment of clinical care to EBP.

Nursing Senior Project Leaders

 

Jessica Lazzeri MSN, RN, NEA-BC, is a Clinical Director at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), and in this position, she assumes executive leadership for four Women’s Health inpatient units and an outpatient perinatal evaluation center.   During her tenure at HUP, Ms. Lazzeri played a significant leadership role in the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program designation and redesignation. Building on these strengths, she also led a multidisciplinary task force to transform maternity care practices at HUP that resulted in the recent Baby Friendly Hospital designation. She is an active member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing, American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). She was selected to represent HUP as a 2012 AONE Nurse Manager Fellow. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. She is board certified as a Nurse Executive.

Joanne Ruggerio, MSN MA CMSRN RN, is Clinical Director for Women’s Health at Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH). Ms. Ruggerio has oversight of a 5,300 delivery program for the University of Pennsylvania. She is responsible for the daily nursing operations of a level III neonatal intensive care unit, an obstetrical delivery unit, postpartum units, as well as the family education center. Her expertise includes inpatient obstetrical care, as well as community obstetrical care. She recently published work on the effects of a discharge time-out to ensure safe transitions from hospital to home. She has served on several community-based task forces aimed at improving maternal and infant care in the community. As a member of the NJ Family partnership program, she was instrumental in guiding state-wide practices to promote healthy maternal and infant health and gained considerable experience in promoting continuity of care between hospital and community organizations. Ms. Ruggerio is a member of the Pennsylvania Maternity Care Coalition (MCC), and is positioned to strengthen collaborative partnerships among HUP, PAH, other hospitals in the Philadelphia region, and MCC in achieving the aims of this project. Ms. Ruggerio also leads women’s and infant’s health initiatives for PAH, which is a Baby Friendly designated hospital, and oversees the daily operations to ensure compliance with baby friendly requirements. 

Elizabeth Quigley, MSN, RNC, NEA-BC is the Nurse Manager for the Intensive Care Nursery at Pennsylvania Hospital.  She has been a Women’s Health nurse since 2006 and in the role of a nurse leader since 2012.  Her areas of past clinical practice include Neonatal Intensive Care as well as Labor and Delivery. Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Pennsylvania State University and her Masters of Science in Nursing from The University of Pennsylvania.  Elizabeth has a passion for quality improvement and has had success implementing improvement efforts focused on diverse topics including but not limited to: inpatient fall prevention, breast milk safety, the management of escalating behavior in the inpatient setting, and patient throughput.  Elizabeth also assisted Pennsylvania Hospital to achieve Magnet designation, Baby Friendly USA designation and the Joint Commission Perinatal Care Certification.  She is a board certified Nurse Executive and has completed the American Organization of Nursing Leadership’s Nurse Manager Fellowship Program. 

Project Coordinator

 

Bonnie Renner Ohnishi, BSN, RNC-MNN, has been caring for women and infants in Philadelphia for over 19 years. During her tenure with Penn Medicine, Ms. Renner Ohnishi has worked as a clinical nurse on the Maternal Newborn units at both Pennsylvania Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  She has also worked with Obstetric and Gynecologic patients in the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania.  Ms. Renner Ohnishi is a Certified Maternal Newborn Nurse and was an active member of the Baby Friendly Task Force at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  She also served as her unit's Patient Centered Nurse Report Champion and was Co-chair of the Unit Council.  Bonnie earned her Bachelor's of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nurse Experts & Educators

 

Allene Pulsifer, RN, MSN, CRNP, is the Supervisor of Medical Programs and the Advanced Practice Nurse Manager of the Newborn Nursery at Pennsylvania Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and went on to obtain her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of California at San Francisco. While obtaining her advanced practice nursing degree, she worked as a Registered Nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of California at San Francisco Hospital. In 2003 she joined the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for the Department of Pediatric Urology. She has also worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology. Currently, Ms. Pulsifer works for the Division of Neonatology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as the primary Advanced Practice Nurse in the Newborn Nursery at Pennsylvania Hospital.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whitney Zachritz MSN, CRNP, RN, is the Clinical Practice Leader in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) at the HUP. In this role, Ms. Zachritz is accountable for nursing practice, quality and patient safety, professional development and nursing research in the ICN. During her tenure at HUP, she has lead numerous quality initiatives in the ICN including: Improving transitions from the ICN, reducing ICN catheter-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI) rates, standardizing nurse hand-off communication processes, decreasing unplanned extubations and safe infant sleep. She also co-led the development and implementation of a successful Safe Sleep Program in the ICN. This body of work has been accepted at both the American Nurses Association Annual Conference 2016: Connecting Quality, Safety and Staffing to Improve Outcomes, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center 2016 National Magnet Annual Conference. Ms. Zachritz received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Michigan and her Master’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a board certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debi Ferrarello, MSN, MS, RN, IBCLC, NE-BC, is the Director of Parent Education at Pennsylvania Hospital.  She represents Penn Medicine and the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) on the HRSA-funded National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep and the US Breastfeeding Committee's Infant Safe Sleep Constellation and has participated in a multi-disciplinary work group about safe sleep at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She led a multidisciplinary task force to transform maternity care practices at Pennsylvania Hospital that resulted in the recent Baby Friendly Hospital designation. Ms. Ferrarello is the President of USLCA, and an active member of the International Lactation Consultant Association and AWHONN. She is a Board Certified Nurse Executive.

Physician Senior Project Leaders

 

Karen Puopolo, MD, PhD, is Chief of the Section on Newborn Pediatrics at PAH and Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. is a neonatologist who specializes in neonatal infectious diseases. She received her undergraduate degree in physics from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and went on to obtain her M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in molecular physiology from the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. She completed Pediatric residency and Neonatal-Perinatal fellowship training at Boston Children’s Hospital. Upon completing fellowship, Dr. Puopolo was appointed to the faculty of Harvard Medical School and joined the staff of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Channing Laboratory, where she was an attending neonatologist and researcher from 2000-2014. Dr. Puopolo began her neonatal research career as a laboratory-based scientist investigating mechanisms of virulence in Group B Streptococcus (GBS). More recently her research has focused on the epidemiology of neonatal infection, with an emphasis on molecular epidemiology and risk assessment. Recent publications focus on the results of NIH-funded research describing the results of the largest case-control study of risk factors for neonatal early-onset sepsis done in the era of GBS prophylaxis. Dr. Puopolo is a member of the editorial board for NeoReviews. In addition, she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on the Fetus and Newborn, whose members study issues and current advances in fetal and neonatal care and make recommendations regarding national neonatal practice. Dr. Puopolo is currently on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is a member of the Division of Neonatology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Section Chief for Newborn Pediatrics at Pennsylvania Hospital. 

 

Michael Posencheg, MD is the Medical Director for the Intensive Care Nursery at HUP and Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. As a neonatologist, he is responsible for quality and patient safety for neonatology and completed the Improvement Advisor program as well as the Graduate Improvement Advisor Program at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) where he serves as the contract faculty. He has spearheaded numerous quality improvement (QI) projects that have demonstrated significant improvements in resuscitative care and admission temperatures for preterm infants, and reductions in unplanned extubations, decreases in MRSA colonization for Infant Intensive Care (ICN) babies, reductions in catheter-associated blood stream infections. Recently, Dr. Posencheg led an initiative focused on reducing the incidence of severe IVH in preterm infants < 30 weeks gestation. His work in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has generated a comprehensive tacking database for SIDS in Philadelphia. He is expert in simulation training in neonatal resuscitation, an innovative way of teaching cognitive, technical and behavioral skills in a safe environment, and studying retention time of knowledge and skills after simulation training. His work has been widely disseminated through national presentations and peer-review publications earning him a national reputation as a leader in his field.  

Community Liaison Project Facilitator

 

Pam Mack-Brooks, MSN, RN, is the Coordinator for Community Health Outreach for the HUP. In this role, she collaborates with varied health care specialists, and governmental, local and community agencies to address the self-identified health needs of the community in the service area of the HUP. Additionally, she serves on various boards within the community including the Gift of Life Multi-cultural Advisory Committee and American Diabetes Association Mission Delivery Committee. Ms. Mack Brooks maintains a strong connection and engagement with West Philadelphia African American and multi-cultural communities, and is familiar with the unique needs of HUP and PAH diverse populations. She provides leadership for many community initiatives such as the West Philadelphia Baby Shower that unites hundreds of local pregnant women in a health fair to promote healthy behaviors during pregnancy and after delivery. With over 25 years of clinical and administrative experience in women’s and infant’s health, she is well prepared to participate in this project

Mulit-Media Marketing Team

Maternity Care Coalition (MMC)

 

MCC is a community-based nonprofit organization serving Southeastern Pennsylvania. We work in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty, infant mortality and health disparities. Our mission is to improve maternal and child health and wellbeing through the collaborative efforts of individuals, families, providers and communities. MCC envisions a future in which all families receive solid support throughout the critical period of pregnancy through age three in a manner that enables lifelong health and wellbeing. MCC was founded in 1980 as an advocacy organization by professionals and community members concerned with the appalling rate of infant mortality in the region. MCC opened its first MOMobile site in 1989, providing critically needed support to pregnant women and families with young children. Since then, MCC has provided direct services to 100,000 families across the region. We currently serve approximately 5,000 families a year.

 

 

Marianne Fray, is the CEO of Maternity Care Coalition. Throughout her 30+ year career, Marianne has inspired diverse teams to do more together than they could alone. As the daughter of immigrant missionaries from Jamaica, Marianne grew up at a Rescue Mission in North Philadelphia. The Mission served the homeless in North Philadelphia, and it was here that Marianne’s commitment to service was born.  Marianne attended The Shipley School, Temple University, Bryn Mawr College and St. Joseph’s University. She held increasingly responsible positions in Sales, Marketing and Operations in the Publishing, Telecommunications, Consulting, Project Management and Healthcare industries. Marianne also earned multiple Sales Awards and professional credentials in Project Management and Association Executive Management.  Marianne established two successful cross-company industry communities that continue to drive business innovation in the project management and life sciences industries. Marianne also advised Fortune 100 companies on their Diversity and Inclusion practices. She is a Founding Member of a 501 c6 nonprofit organization called Women of Color in the Pharmaceutical Industry (WOCIP). Marianne is an active member of her local church, and serves on board committees for a summer camp program and her neighborhood association. Marianne has 3 adult sons and resides in South Jersey with her husband. She and her husband enjoy traveling the world.