Established in 1979 as an outreach initiative, the Regional Perinatal Program has evolved and grown, and today forms a key part of the Maternal, Newborn, Child and Youth Network.

Who We Are

Since it began, this program has aimed to provide continuing maternal/newborn education, consultation and health promotion services for perinatal health care providers practicing in our partner organizations. Our Vision is that all mothers and their babies will have timely access to integrated perinatal care that is patient and family centred, standardized, based on current evidence and regionalized across the MNCYN geographical area. Effective and efficient management and coordination of maternal and newborn services is facilitated by the collaboration, cooperation and communication amongst our regional partners.

In support of our regional efforts, members of the Regional Perinatal Program team are also involved with other Provincial and National Maternal / Newborn Programs and organizations, for example:

Better Outcomes Registry Network (BORN) Ontario

Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses (CAPWHN)

Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS)

Acute Care of At-Risk Newborns (ACoRN)

Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

Canadian Perinatal Programs Coalition (CPPC)

Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH)

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC)

Women & Children's Health Educators Nework (WCHEN)


To see how the Regional Perinatal Program fits into the overall MNCYN timeline, please visit the History section on the Who We Are page. The articles below offer deeper insight into our roots:

LFP Two Perinatal Nurses in Halifax to study program – article

CMAJ Feb 1991 Vol 144 no 3 is perinatal care in sw ontario regionalized – article

Dimensions Apr 1985 Perinatal Outreach the sw Ontario experience – article Haun and Chance

Dimensions May 1985 Continuing Ed for Nurses – article Haun and Chance

Canadian Nurse Oct 1984 Nursing Care during Labour – article

What We Do

The MNCYN Regional Perinatal Program offers the following services:


Nursing educational sessions are offered at least annually based on identified learning needs for each of the partner hospitals. Nursing education is also provided to support new regional initiatives such as the Period of Purple Crying ™, etc.

In order to facilitate standardized perinatal nursing orientation, regional Competency Indicator Tools have been developed for:

  • Maternal Newborn care
  • Level II Nursery care

Courses and workshops are also offered regularly for:

  • Fetal Health Surveillance (see Calendar of Events)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program ™ (NRP) (Instructor Courses and Updates)
  • Acute Care of At-Risk Newborns (ACoRN)

Additionally, interdisciplinary education is offered through the following:

  • Perinatal case reviews for individual hospitals
  • Skill drills
  • Annual Conference
  • Additional conferences / workshops supporting special initiatives, for instance:
    • Level II Nursery workshop
    • Labour Support
    • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Newsletter / News Bulletins


  • Telephone consultation is available as needed to all of our regional partners
  • Hospital perinatal reviews are offered every five years and upon request to provide recommendations regarding:
    • Facilities and physical layout
    • Equipment
    • Human Resource management
    • Staff education
    • Policies / procedures
    • Documentation


Perinatal health promotion is facilitated through collaboration, cooperation and communication among all partner organizations. The Regional Perinatal Program supports this endeavor through:

  • Semi-annual Regional Perinatal Nurse Leaders meetings
  • Regional chart forms
  • Newsletter

The Regional Perinatal Program staff have also collaborated with representatives of our partner organizations to support regional initiatives, such as:

  • Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI)
  • Electronic Perinatal Order Sets
  • Perinatal Capacity Assessment
  • Period of Purple Crying TM
  • Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy

Who We Serve

We serve professionals and organizations in the perinatal health care sector, as well as the families they care for, including:

Perinatal health care providers practicing in our region (primarily Southwestern Ontario)

Nurse practitioners

Mothers and their babies, along with their partners and families

Educators and academics in perinatal health disciplines

Program Staff

Jordan Schmidt, MD, FRCSCObstetrical Co-Director
Kevin Coughlin, BScH, M.D., MHSc, FRCPC, FAAPNeonatal Co-Director
Gwen Peterek, RN, BScN, PNCCPerinatal Professional Practice Consultant
Jocelyn Patton-Audette, RN, BN, IBCLC Regional Nurse Consultant
Henry Roukema, MD, MSc, FRCPCNeonatal Medical Consultant
Kendra SavageProgram Assistant