Newborn Infant Network Florence Gathering 2018

Newborn Infant Network Florence Gathering 2018

NBO and NBAS International Trainers Meeting,

Florence May 24th-25th 2018

The Biennial NBAS and NBO International Trainers (the Newborn Infant Behavior Network) meeting was held at the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence, on May 24-25th, 2018.  Over 50 participants from 21 countries took part.  The meeting was graciously hosted by Gherardo Rapisardi, the Founder and Director of the Brazelton Centre at the Meyer Children’s Hospital. The meeting began with dinner at Harry’s Bar by the Arno river, and featured moving tributes to Berry Brazelton by many participants and the first showing of HeeJae An’s “Remembering Berry Brazelton” tribute film.  This was followed by the presentation of certificates, in recognition of life-long dedication to infants and families, issued by the Brazelton Institute and signed by Berry Brazelton and Kevin Nugent.  The awardees were: Hanne Munck, Marie Grenet, Gherardo Rapisardi and Constance Keefer.  Certificates were also awarded (in absentia) to Joao Gomes Pedro, Tomitaro Akiyama, Shohei Ohgi, Roberto Paludetto, Beulah Warren, Adrienne Davidson, Nittaya Kotchabhakdi, and Karin Stjernqvist, all of whom have served as trainers for three decades. 

On Friday morning, Alberto Zanobini, CEO, the Meyer Children’s Hospital, gave the welcoming address and offered an eloquent tribute to the work and legacy of Berry BrazeltonGherardo Rapisardi’s warm words of welcome followed.  Kevin Nugent continued by pointing out that the first of these meeting was held at the Free University of Berlin in 1986, before the Berlin Wall had fallen, so that this year’s meeting has a long and rich tradition. He welcomed Hanne Munck from the University of Copenhagen, who was present on that occasion over thirty years ago and paid tribute to Joao Gomes Pedro, Karen Sternqvist, Dieter Wolke, Ed Tronick, Fabrizio Ferrari and Annaloes Van Baar who were also present in Berlin in 1986 and to Berry Brazelton himself, who was at the centre of that meeting.

The morning session featured four speakers. 

  • Jessica Dym-Bartlett began by reviewing the research using the NBAS and NBO and while recognizing the growing body of evidence supporting our work, she challenged us to think what more needs to be done and to identify additional ways to collaborate internationally and cross-culturally.

  • Kari Slinning described the Norway NBO training model and role of the NBO trainer as leader. She went on to discuss the importance of maintaining on-going engagement with trainees throughout the training course, through video conferencing, logs and the use of web-based support. Leadership and Mentoring are seen as the twin pillars of the Norway Training model.

  • Susan Nicolson and Lise Johnson emphasized theory-building and theory-integration as a core challenge for the network. They discussed advances in our understanding our approach to parents in the context of the NBO with the Parent-AMOR framework and challenged us to continue to reflect on and refine our theoretical frameworks.

  • Susan Pawlby described the UK experience in terms of how they were able to influence public health policy. She pointed out that evidence-based public health requires that research provides policymakers with reliable and accessible information and this is a critical challenge we face at this point in our history.

Twenty countries were represented in our review of our work around the world, embracing Africa, Asia and Australasia, Europe and North America.  These research and training summaries will be featured in the “Around the World” section on our website.   We will also post the meeting posters on the website.  Incidentally, a poster, describing a longitudinal study of the NBAS by Jessica Shoaff, fittingly included Berry Brazelton as a co-author.

In the afternoon, the discussions took place in the beautiful hospital gardens.  Jessica and Natalie Duffy, Susan Nicolson and Lise Johnson, Unni Tranaas-Vannebo and Kristie Brandt and Susan Pawlby and Alicia Alvarez served as facilitators and recorders.  We do hope to have the summaries for you shortly, which hopefully will provide the framework for our manifesto, as we continue to be committed to the mission of creating a global community of practice to improve the care of children worldwide.  

All of us who were there felt that the Florence meeting contributed in no small way to expanding that vision.  We remain deeply grateful to Gherardo and his committee, Maria Luce Cioni, Adrienne Davidson, Viola Fontini for providing us with such a warm welcome and for making the meeting such a success.