The Fourth Trimester Symposium: Surviving and Thriving after Baby

by CWRU Postdoctoral Association


Thu, Nov 8, 2018

8:30 AM – 12 PM EST (GMT-5)

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Thwing Center, Ballroom

11111 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OHIO 44106, United States

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The United States has the highest rate of maternal morbidity and mortality in the developed world, with rates climbing rather than falling, and is the only developed nation without universal paid maternity leave policies.  

This symposium aims to demystify the postpartum experience, aptly named “The Fourth Trimester”, and will give women (and their partners) the tools to not only “Survive”, but “Thrive” after their pregnancy.  

The information discussed will target the entire Case Western Reserve (CWRU) and Cleveland communities, whether you plan to become pregnant, are pregnant, are a partner or family member, practitioner or a future practitioner!  This comprehensive program will leave you with the knowledge and tools to understand this topic which is pulled straight from the headlines.

8:30-9am:  Check-in and Continental Breakfast
Surviving the 4th Trimester (Moderator: Marie McCausland)
9-9:15:  Speaker 1: Marie McCausland, Motherhood Morbidity Experience with Postpartum Preeclampsia
9:15-9:30:  Speaker 2: Maria Shaker, OB perspective
9:30-9:45:  Speaker 3: Da’Na Langford, Racial Disparities, Midwife
9:45-10: Q&A for Speakers 1-3
10-10:15:  Break
Thriving in the 4th Trimester (Moderator: Sinem Balta Beylergil)
10:15-10:30:  Speaker 4: Kathyrn Willson, HR-FMLA leave
10:30-10:45:  Speaker 5: Mike Freeman & Vidya Ramachandran, Work/Life Balance
10:45-11:00:  Speaker 6: Avril Albaugh, Cleveland Regional Perinatal Network
11:00-11:15:  Q&A for Speakers 4-6
11:15-11:30:  Lunch
11:30-12:00:  Panel Discussion from Index Card Questions

This is a free event. 

We will be raffling FREE GIFT BASKETS!!

Presented by the CWRU Postdoctoral Association Women’s Initiative Committee

Sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Graduate Studies Professional Development Center, School of Medicine Office of Graduate Education, Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women


Thwing Center, Ballroom

11111 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OHIO 44106, United States


Kathryn Willson's profile photo

Kathryn Willson

Employee Relations Specialist


  Kathy has been with the university since 2000 when she was hired into the Human Resources’ Office of Employee Relations.  Having worked through a variety of support positions in that office, she is now a specialist consulting on a wide variety of employee and supervisory concerns, in addition to providing customized training sessions to various departments.  When not at work, she enjoys watching movies, especially documentaries, going to the international film festival here in Cleveland, and laughing at her pet cat’s crazy antics.

Da’Na Langford's profile photo

Da'Na Langford


Village of Healing

Da’na Michelle Langford is a Cleveland native, co-founder of Village of Healing, and has a passion for serving underserved populations. Da’na has a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine- Athletic Training and a Master of Science with a specialization in Midwifery and Women’s Health. While employed at a women’s shelter she felt a call to service women of the vulnerable population. 

With a host of experience working in hospital systems as a certified nurse midwife, for more than 10 years, Da’na is invested in serving the northeast Ohio community. Through her numerous committee positions, and panel discussion speaking engagements, she has committed her career to serving, educating, empowering, and advocating for black women.

Da’na is also founder of BHS Black Alumni Association, a group dedicated to raising scholarship funds for deserving African American Students at Beaumont and Benedictine High School. 

Her passion continues as she is looking forward to serving Cuyahoga County and growing a community that is able to tap into our own resources and power. We as a community have the answers, trust us.

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Maria Shaker


University Hospitals

Dr. Maria Shaker is a diligent and detail-oriented OB-GYN serving the community of Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Shaker attended Wright State University, where she received her medical degree and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals, Cleveland Medical Center. Dr. Shaker is a part of UHMG OBGYN. She sees patients for gynecologic exam, as well as other common and specialized reasons. Dr. Shaker is sensitive to the uniqueness of each patient's situation and adapts her consultations and treatment options appropriately to accommodate individual needs and concerns. She treats a range of conditions, and she is eager to help the wider community receive the care they deserve

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Marie McCausland

Postdoctoral Fellow

Case Western Reserve University

Marie McCausland, PhD, is a scientist, a mother, and an advocate for women’s reproductive health.  McCausland is currently a postdoctoral fellow at CWRU in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology researching HIV, Colon Cancer and Inflammatory Bowel disease. She serves as the co-president of the CWRU PDA and co-chair of the Women’s Initiative Committee. McCausland's passion for maternal health comes from a personal experience with postpartum preeclampsia, after the birth of her firstborn son, which nearly took her life in 2017.  McCausland has served as the spokesperson for Merck for Mothers from 2018-2019 and has won both the Mom Congress Advocate of the Year award in 2019 and the Merck for Mothers 2019 Maternal Health Maverick award.

Avril Albaugh's profile photo

Avril Albaugh

Project Director

Cleveland Regional Perinatal Network

Avril Albaugh is Project Director for the Cleveland Regional Perinatal Network (CRPN) and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University and an Honors Degree in Social Science from University of Cape Town, South Africa.

She has spent past 30 years working in the field of Maternal-Child Public Health with a focus on Maternal Mental Health.

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Michael Freeman


Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Michael Freeman is an Instructor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by postdoctoral training at the Trudeau Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and CWRU. Mike has a long-standing interest in understanding the mechanisms of T cell generation and regulation during persistent viral infections and chronic inflammation. He has been happily married since 2013 and is the proud father of a soon-to-be 1 year old.


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Vidya Ramachandran

Scientific Writer

Cleveland Clinic

Vidya Ramachandran is a scientific writer at the Cleveland Clinic who works with clinical researchers on creating content for grant submissions, manuscripts, and continuing education. She has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in Molecular Virology and Microbiology and after spending over 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University studying immune responses to viral infections, she followed her interest in scientific communication into the role of scientific writer. Since 2014, she has been with the Neurological Institute of Cleveland Clinic and has helped the institute garner over $33M in funding and several high impact publications. In addition to grant writing, Vidya is also involved in peer reviewing internal funding applications and developing a clinical educational program for young investigators. Vidya is also a mom to a sweet and charming almost 1 year old! In her spare time, Vidya enjoys hiking with her husband and daughter when Cleveland weather permits and baking!  


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