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Emory School of Nursing, Emory Ethiopia Office care model designated as an American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner
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Melanie Kieve
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A collaborative care model designed by Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing faculty members and Emory Ethiopia Office clinicians to increase survival among low-birthweight infants in Ethiopia has been designated an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing.

The Collaborative Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) model was co-created by associate professor John Cranmer, DNP, MPH, MSN, BSN, ANP, CPH, EBP(CH); Lynn M. Sibley, CNM, RN, PhD, FANM, FAAN; Abebe Gebremariam Gobezayehu, MD; Lamesgin Alamnih, BSc, MPH; and Mulusew Lijalem Belew, MHS, BS, AD. It was among 11 innovative models of care to be tapped for the honor.

Edge Runners are nurse-designed, innovative models of care or interventions with significant, demonstrated outcomes to improve health, impact cost and influence policy. Each of these programs highlights nurses’ ingenuity and collaboration in developing new methods to provide care and promote health equity.

“Drs. Gebremariam, Sibley and Cranmer and team showcase how all global health is local,” says Kim Dupree Jones, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN, who serves as associate dean of academic advancement at the School of Nursing. “Nearly a quarter of Ethiopian newborns in this region is low or very low birthweight. Their evidence-based interventions are applied directly in the most at-risk communities and are saving lives of the most vulnerable citizens.”

The Collaborative KMC model was formerly known as Kangaroo Mother Care when it was first developed in 1978. It is a feasible, high-impact, low-cost intervention for increasing survival among low birthweight newborns. There is vast evidence to support KMC’s benefits for survival, yet fewer than 5% of eligible infants globally receive this type of care.

The Collaborative KMC model uses transdisciplinary collaboration and cocreation strategies to expand access and use. It was designed, tested and implemented within Ethiopia’s hospital system to maximize sustainability and scalability. The model was optimized using one specialized, one general and three primary hospitals in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

“This model was developed collaboratively with the government health system and delivered by workers who were part of the health system, with input from our scientific team,” says Cranmer. “The implementation of the Collaborative KMC model has resulted in high KMC coverage (63% of eligible newborns at the population level), high KMC quality (16 hours of skin-to-skin contact) and 87% overall survival among KMC-initiated newborns. These numbers represent the preservation of precious lives in the Amhara region. This research can impact low birthweight survival throughout Ethiopia and beyond. Our team is honored to have this important work recognized by the Academy as an Edge Runner.”

“The Academy is proud to designate these unique and timely programs as Edge Runners. The diverse focus of these models highlights the wide range of services, vital support, and team-based approaches that the nursing profession provides,” says Academy President Kenneth White, PhD, AGACNP, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN. “In particular, these models highlight nurses as leaders in innovation for improving care and equity in our health systems.”

The program leads for each of these innovative models of care will be honored at the 2022 American Academy of Nursing Health Policy Conference, taking place Oct. 27-29 in Washington, D.C.

About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing produces nurse leaders who are transforming healthcare through science, education, practice, and policy. Graduates go on to become national and international leaders in patient care, public health, government, research, and education. Others become qualified to seek certification as nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives. The doctor of nurse practice (DNP) program trains nurse anesthetists and advanced leaders in healthcare administration. The school also maintains a PhD program in partnership with Emory's Laney Graduate School. For more information, visit

About the Emory Ethiopia Office

The Emory Ethiopia Office was established in 2010 to support a major Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) project on maternal and newborn health funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership project has laid the groundwork for more than a dozen grants in the maternal and newborn health space over the past 12 years.

About the American Academy of Nursing
The American Academy of Nursing serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Academy Fellows are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally. With more than 2,900 Fellows, the Academy represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia.

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