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Regional Perinatal Outreach Coordinator for SBUMC Receives Highest Honor from NYS Perinatal Association

Regional Perinatal Outreach Coordinator for SBUMC Receives Highest Honor from NYS Perinatal Association

Adriann Combs, RNC, Stony Brook University Regional Perinatal Outreach Coordinator, recipient of the 2009 New York State Perinatal Association L. Stanley James Award.

STONY BROOK, NY, July 7, 2009 – Adriann Combs, RNC, Regional Perinatal Outreach Coordinator for Stony Brook University Hospital, has received the L. Stanley James Award from the New York State Perinatal Association (NYSPA), which is the association’s highest honor.

The award is named for the founder of the NYSPA, Dr. L. Stanley James, widely considered one of the founders of modern perinatology and a pioneering researcher in the physiology of newborn infants. His research on the condition of newborn infants and the fetus saved the lives of thousands of children. Nomination and selection criteria for individuals to be considered for the award include a sustained history of unique and exceptional contributions to the field of maternal and child health in areas such as scientific medical research, clinical care, legislative initiative and/or patient advocacy. Recipients display the personal attributes of the late L. Stanley James, including his unwavering tenacity, insightfulness, creativity, humility and history of self-sacrifice. 

Combs was nominated by Dr. Edmund F. LaGamma, Director of Neonatology at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Westchester Medical Center – New York Medical College, and selected by the NYSPA Board. She accepted the award on June 11 at the New York State Perinatal Association (NYSPA) Meeting in Albany.

“L. Stanley James, MD is the father of modern perinatology,” Combs says. “His work in fetal well being and newborn resuscitation is the science that guides what we do today in the delivery room. It is one of the greatest honors I could receive.”

According to Ronni Schultz, RN, MA, Associate Director of Nursing Women’s and Children’s Services at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Adriann has been an advocate for women and infants health since she began her career as a nurse in the NICU. Among her many contributions has been the development of a neonatal transport team, training of numerous staff and physicians in neonatal resuscitation, the development of a lifesaving maternal hemorrhage protocol (Code NOELLE), and the development of a Maternal Obesity protocol. She has been a  frequent guest lecturer at local, state and national forums, has been involved in research and has published in the professional literature. 

“The L. Stanley James award recognizes health care practitioners who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of women and children,” said Schultz. “I can think of no other person more deserving of this award than Adriann. Advocacy, passion, creativity, intelligence and commitment are just a few of her many positive qualities.”

Combs celebrates her 25th year at Stony Brook this year. She is a registered nurse who works in the area of neonatology and perinatology. She has held the following positions at SBUH: clinician, educator, clinical trial coordinator and is currently the Perinatal Outreach Coordinator. She has published medical and nursing literature in the areas of newborn resuscitation, retinopathy of prematurity, thermoregulation and disaster planning. Combs also chairs the Nurse Advisory Committee for the New York State Chapter of the March of Dimes. 

In December 2007, Combs and several coauthors received the prestigious Ellison Pierce Patient Safety Award for developing Code NOELLE – the highest award given by the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. In 2005 she was awarded the Maternal Child Health Award for Clinical Excellence by the Nurse Advisory Board of the NYS March of Dimes.

Combs resides in East Setauket with her husband Tom and their two daughters, Lauren, 22 and Madeline, 18.

Staffed with a team of seven perinatologists (doctors specializing in the care of women with high risk pregnancies), six neonatologists (doctors who specialize in the care of newborns), 11 neonatal nurse practitioners and more than 100 specially trained nurses, Stony Brook University Hospital is home to Suffolk County’s only Regional Perinatal Center caring for up to 50 critically ill newborns at a time. Each year, the NICU admits more than 825 premature, sick and injured babies; 400 of those admissions were less than 37 weeks gestation and 456 of them were less than 2500 grams. More than 150 infants and 125 high risk pregnant women are transferred annually from other hospitals in the region to the Regional Perinatal Center. For more information, call Stony Brook University HealthConnect at 631-444-4000.

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