Archived News at Hygeia...

January 20, 2009  Hygeia receives a donation of six Kicktraks from the Unisar Company to help families keep track of fetal movements-kick counts.

January 5, 2009    Read an Article in the New Haven Register about the Hygeia Foundation...

January 3, 2009    Read a Founding Parent Board Member's blog  >>

January 1, 2009    A 2009 New Year's Message

January 1, 2009     Please support our fund-raising campaign, 13 for 13... Thirteen Dollars for Thirteen Years...  Learn more >>

December 31, 2008     Read a published story of loss by a Hygeia Parent.

December 12, 2008      Connecticut support programs -New Winter schedule is now available

January 3, 2009 Read a Founding Parent Board Member's blog  >>

January 1, 2009 A 2009 New Year's Message

January 1, 2009  Please support our fund-raising campaign, 13 for 13... Thirteen Dollars for Thirteen Years...  Learn more >>

December 31, 2008  Read a published story of loss by a Hygeia Parent.

December 12, 2008   Connecticut support programs -New Winter schedule is now available

December 1, 2008 Consider participating in this University of Michigan research study about how parents cope with pregnancy and infant loss and the use of internet support sites. Click Here>>

November 8, 2008 Read a Grandmother's beautiful tribute to her grandchild and daughter

September 1, 2008 Please fill out this Survey about your experiences at Hygeia

sp.gif (833 bytes)The Women and Family Life Center in Guilford, Ct. has generously donated space for the Hygeia Foundation to conduct Peer-to-Peer  support programs to serve the families on the Connecticut Shoreline.  Check back here for dates and times and click on the logo above to visit the Women and Family Life Center.

sp.gif (833 bytes) October 7, 2007
Hygeia Foundation featured in New Haven Register

sp.gif (833 bytes) September 21, 2007
CiaoLapo Onlus becomes Hygeia's latest Affinity Organization

sp.gif (833 bytes) September 21, 2007
A Tribute to Dora

sp.gif (833 bytes)September 1, 2007
View Fall Schedule for New Haven Support Programs

sp.gif (833 bytes)April 4, 2007  Hygeia Foundation receives a Grant from The Connecticut Coalition of Taft-Hartley Health Funds, Inc.

sp.gif (833 bytes)April 1, 2007  Dr. Berman interviewed in the Hartford Courant.

sp.gif (833 bytes)March 31, 207    Hygeia Foundation's Second Annual Family FunFest was held on  and was a great success. 

     > Click here to view a slide show of the event

     > Click here to view our generous FunFest Sponsors.

    > Click here to Donate

sp.gif (833 bytes)March 31, 2007    Hygeia Foundation's Second Annual Family FunFest was held on  and was a great success. 

     > Click here to view a slide show of the event
     > Click here to view our FunFest Sponsors.
     > Click here to Donate

Dr. Berman interviewed in the Hartford Courant, April 1, 2007.

sp.gif (833 bytes) 11/1/06 SIDS is not a “mystery” disease, but has a concrete biological basis...

5/18/06  Hygeia Foundation awarded a Grant from the Dain Raucher Foundation

April 8, 2005  The Hygeia Foundation's first annual Family Fun Fest to support the establishment of the Hygeia Foundation's International Headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut, and advance its programs was held on April 8, 2006.  It was a great success.  Here are some photos of the event and the new office space(unfurnished).

The Hygeia Foundation to hold it First Annual Family Fun Day Fundraising event Saturday, April 8, 2006 at 5:30 pm. at the Stepping Stones Museum, Norwalk, Connecticut.  Please click here to learn more about the museum.

Dr. Berman interviewed by the Student British Medical Journal
Read more

Ephemeris Project accepted for publication by peer-reviewed journal, Technology and Healthcare.
[ More ]

Dr. Berman to present an Abstract about the Ephemeris Project at the World Congress on the Internet in Medicine, Prague, December 2005.
[ More ]

Dr. Berman invited to speak at International SIDS and Stillbirth Conference in Japan, 2006
[ More ]

May, 2005
Dr. Berman invited to speak at International SIDS and Stillbirth Conference in Japan, 2006

May, 2005
Hygeia marks its 10th anniversay

November 14, 2004.
Dr. Berman addresses American Medical Student Association in Boston
[ More ]

Dr. Berman elected to the Board of Directors of First Candle/SIDS Alliance.   First Candle/SIDS Alliance exists to promote infant health and survival during the prenatal period through two years of age. We do this through programs of advocacy, education and research. SIDS and Other Infant Death bereavement services are a critical component of our mission.

October 1, 2004

Hygeia receives HON Code of Conduct (HONcode) for medical and health Web sites.

[More ]

July 16, 2004

The Hygeia Foundation, Inc. and the Greater New Haven FIMR Program held a fund raiser on July 30th. and raised over $2,500 to support indigent families bury and memorialize their stillborn babies.
[ More ]

March 27, 2004

Hygeia will be working with the School-based Health Centers in the New Haven Public Schools, New Haven, Connecticut in order to help Teens(and their parents) more easily access health care facilities.  This initiative, Get the Healthcare You Deserve or Get Care at Hygeia, a program of the Hygeia Foundation, Inc. is an effort to advocate for those women, teens and families who need health care services and/or information  but have no healthcare provider or do not know where to turn.

March 1, 2004

Hygeia Nominated for a Tech Museum Award.    The Tech Museum Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., is a unique and prestigious program that honors and awards innovators from around the world who use technology to benefit humanity The Tech Awards is an annual program that honors individuals and organizations that are creatively applying technology to improve the human condition.

February 28, 2003

Hygeia becomes a charter member of the International Stillbirth Alliance.The International Stillbirth Alliance is a new coalition created to enhance and increase the effectiveness of individuals and groups already working to promote stillbirth research, education and awareness. We welcome any and all organized efforts to understand stillbirth.

December 4, 2003

Dr. Berman has mader a presentation about Hygeia at the 8th. World Congress on the the Internet in Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland, December 4th-8th., 2003


MEDNET 2003 is an international meeting bringing together researchers, developers and users of applications of the Internet in Medicine. Health On the Net Foundation (HON) will host MEDNET 2003 in Geneva from 4 to 7 December 2003, in connection with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS - 10 to 12 December 2003).

MEDNET is an opportunity to review recent developments and meet the innovators responsible, to reflect on ten years of the Web and how it has changed the world, and to look ahead to bringing the benefits of new information technologies to communities around the world. MEDNET welcomes participants from the many disciplines which together have made the Internet an important new tool for the promotion of health. The theme of MEDNET 2003, "Internet in Health for All" covers principally: Access to health and medical information; trustworthiness, security and legal Issues of online medical information; Online health information and the consumer; and International cooperation in Internet medicine. MEDNET is the annual conference of the Society for the Internet in Medicine (SIM) first held in 1996 to build a network of Internet players and users sharing the latest research developments and up-to-date tools in Medicine, health and the Internet.


Hygeia Foundation Launches New Service To Improve Healthcare Access For Women


Announces Advocate Physician Leaders and Affiliate Institution Program


NEW HAVEN, CONN.  – Oct. 2003 -- The Hygeia® Foundation today announced the launch of an innovative new service designed to improve access to healthcare and pre-natal services for women. The Foundation also announced the service’s first advocate physician leaders and a program for affiliate healthcare institutions.


According to recent statistics, over 43 million people in the United States lack access to primary health care; perinatal and neonatal loss among women is up to 50 percent greater in this population.


The new service, called Get Care at Hygeia (, is designed to address this issue. Get Care at Hygeia helps women and their families access existing networks of healthcare providers committed to minimizing disparities in access to healthcare and pre-natal healthcare services for underprivileged women. The service has been introduced in the New Haven region and will expand nationwide as additional institutions register to participate.


 “Get Care at Hygeia offers the underserved and most vulnerable women in our region access to advocacy and referrals to women’s and maternal health services to improve their healthcare and that of their children,” said Dr. Michael R. Berman, founder and president of the Hygeia Foundation. “Improving access to healthcare programs which serve the uninsured and provide health promotion and preventive care can improve women’s health and ultimately reduce society’s overall healthcare costs.”


The Get Care program is unique in using the Internet and other communications technologies to reach underserved women and help them receive the care they need. Women wanting to participate in the program would register with Get Care at Hygeia through the Internet, by phone, or by mail.  Once this confidential registration is received, Hygeia then provides a physician signed, personalized letter of introduction and guides the woman with this introductory letter to a participating healthcare resource for care. The Hygeia Foundation will advocate for its members should they encounter barriers to getting care.


Get Care at Hygeia addresses shame, diminished self worth and feelings of isolation and alienation that at-risk women might experience when pregnant, without place or professional to turn for immediate care, counseling and advocacy,” said Berman. “This service intends to reduce the barriers that would keep them from getting early prenatal healthcare, general women’s healthcare and from entering specifically designed services such as early cancer screening programs.”


Hygeia Foundation Appoints Leaders of its Advocate Physician Network

In conjunction with the launch of the Get Care program, the Hygeia Foundation also announced the appointments of Dr. Asia Goodwyn and Dr. Pinar Kodaman in the leadership role of co-directors of the Hygeia Advocate Physician Network.  Drs. Goodwyn and Kodaman are Senior Residents in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital. 


“Drs. Goodwyn and Kodaman share the highest regard and concern for the underserved and vulnerable population of families reached by the Hygeia Foundation,” said Berman. “As co-directors of the Advocate Physician Network, they will share and propagate the mission of Hygeia to other qualified and dedicated Housestaff, nationwide and globally.”


Affinity Healthcare Institution Licensing Program Launched

Hygeia Foundation, Inc.® is a 501-c3, non-profit organization funded by donations. The rollout of its new and innovative program, Get Care at Hygeia will initially be funded by annual licensing fees (hospitals, clinics, healthcare providers) and by in-kind strategic alliances.


Two levels of Healthcare Institution participation are offered:


  • Level 1:  Standard listing as an participating Healthcare Institution.
  • Level II: Preferred Affinity Healthcare Institution, a status which will enable these strategic institutions to co-brand and co-market the programs and services offered by Hygeia, display its logo and receive recognition as a Preferred Hygeia Affinity Healthcare Institution in the public database.  Exclusive listing opportunities are available in select healthcare markets.


All Institutions to which Hygeia Members will be directed must qualify as a “Center of Excellence” as determined by the Hygeia Foundation Board of Directors, be listed as a participating facility by the United States Bureau of Primary Health Care, participate in State or Federally Funded healthcare programs or provide “free care” to eligible women in their community..


About The Hygeia Foundation

The Hygeia Foundation was founded in 1995 and was among the first programs to provide comfort and solace and information to families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy, newborn or infant child. Since its inception, Hygeia® has become the leading global Internet community for pregnancy loss and neonatal death, and an important resource for maternal and child health. It maintains the largest online database of families now approaching 24,000 registered members and adding new members at a rate of 300-500 per month.


Hygeia® has been featured in several media reports, among them, the New York Times, The Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle. The founder of Hygeia, Dr. Michael R. Berman, has been interviewed about his work by Katie Couric on the NBC Today Show and by Lisa Birnbach on the CBS Early Show and on ABC’s The Discovery Health Channel. Hygeia ® was honored as finalist in the International Information Technology Competition, The Stockholm Challenge, Stockholm, Sweden, 2002. Visit Hygeia  on the Internet at .

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 Business News

Doctor uses the Internet to improve womens’ health care
Pamela McLoughlin , New Haven Register Staff 11/30/2003
NEW HAVEN — Dr. Michael R. Berman knows the power of having M.D. after his name and he wants to use it to get care for women and teenage girls.

Berman also knows the power of the Internet, so he’ll use that, too.

Berman, a private practice obstetrician/gynecologist is launching a program that uses doctor’s credentials and the Internet to bridge the healthcare gap for underserved women.

On Thursday, Berman will publicly unveil his "Get Care at Hygeia" program in Geneva, Switzerland at the 2003 Annual World Congress on the Internet and Medicine.

The program he’s been dreaming of for more than a year will become reality Dec. 15 and begin serving women and teens in New Haven. He hopes to bring the program to Bridgeport, Hartford, and then other major cities nationwide.

"I want to do something proactive to get patients healthier," Berman said. "I have a belief in providing ethical, competent and caring care for my patients and I’ve always been involved to some degree in public health service … I’m hoping this will make a dent."

Steps to become part of the Get Care program are simple, although the philosophy behind it is complex.

Here’s how it works for patients: Any woman or teen in need of health care, prenatal or otherwise, registers by logging onto Berman’s Web site,, and provides information on her need, using a first name only. Berman then writes a "letter of introduction" for the woman to bring to an accredited health care institution in her area or to use in obtaining an initial appointment. If the woman or teen encounters a barrier to getting care, the Hygeia Foundation will advocate for the patient.

Although he hopes people will use the Internet, Berman also set up a toll-free number, (800) 893-9198 and mail-in form for those without Internet access. Pamphlets on the program, to be distributed in the city and in schools, let women who don’t have home computers know that they can access the Internet in some public places such as libraries or schools.


Berman considers himself a virtual health care advocate.

"I like to think of myself as dedicated early to narrowing the digital divide with the Internet because of its power of bringing people together," Berman said.

There is no charge to women and Berman does not make any money for the service.

The idea, he said, is that women who may normally hesitate to seek treatment — and may or may not be indigent or insured — will feel empowered by having a letter from a doctor and direction to a specific facility. The care is not free, but the hope is that if a patient doesn’t have private or government insurance, they will be directed to a clinic or social service agency to help them get coverage.

His philosophy is that psychology figure into everything from a teen in need of prenatal care to a senior citizen getting a breast lump checked.

The pull of shame, fear, isolation, denial, overwhelming burdens and other emotions often keep women from getting care, he believes.

"I believe emotions play a role in all healthcare. I’m trying to reach vulnerable, alienated women and teens who are not getting the healthcare they need," Berman said.

Berman, president and founder of County Obstetrics and Gynecology Group, will not see patients who use the new Web site. But he will write letters of introduction — less personal than a referral for a patient he’s seen — addressed to a provider from a network he is setting up in New Haven.

Dr. Edmund F. Funai, Chief of Obstetrical Clinical Services at Yale-New Haven Hospital, said he expects Get Care to dovetail nicely with existing services and ultimately save money and lives. Treating a crisis or a premature baby will cost much more than women getting proper care, he said.

"It’s an adjunct that could be woven into a fine tapestry to get women what they need," Funai said. "The way medicine works, when physicians communicate with physicians, things go more smoothly. It opens the door a crack for women."

To make the contact for his "virtual" clients more personal when they visit the Women’s Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Berman has enlisted help and support of two residents there, Dr. Pinar Kodaman and Dr. Asia Goodwyn.

The residents will help the center get information on Get Care clients.

"We thought it (Get Care) was a great vision and we’re happy to help spread the word," said Kodaman, who along with Goodwyn, will introduce the program concept to the house staff at other hospitals in the state. "When they (women) present that letter, they’ll be treated with the dignity they deserve."

Berman will work within the existing healthcare system, making use of the clinic at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Fair Haven Community Health Center and Hill Health Center. He is hoping the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven will also come on board.


The hospitals pay a yearly fee to his non-profit Hygeia Foundation to participate, but that money will go back into program development, including outreach through pamphlets, billboards and other advertisements that will be in English, Spanish and eventually, other languages. He does not charge the clinics to participate.

Ultimately, Berman would like to find a celebrity to act as spokesperson.

Berman said that nationally, between 85 and 90 percent of white, middle class women in the United States get prenatal care in the first trimester. For black, Hispanic, Native American women and teens, that number dips to 50-60 percent, he said.

In New Haven, those numbers are less, he said, because the city has good healthcare availability, but he wants to narrow the gap further.

Dr. Brian Karsif, an obstetrician-gynecologist who is coordinator of the Greater New Haven Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Board project, said fetal and infant death is "very much" related to women’s health issues. Premature birth is one of the biggest problems and often is related to a medical problem in the mother, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Other non-medical factors include stress that could be brought on by trouble paying the rent or an abusive partner.

Karsif, who knows Berman and has worked with him as part of the review board, said it’s important to address the population Berman has chosen — those who "slip between the cracks" and often wind up in a freestanding clinic or emergency room.

Although Get Care may be new, Berman is going on much more than a hunch that the concept will work.

Seven years ago, he began a unique Web site for sharing his poetry about miscarriage and infant loss that were inspired by experiences with his own patients. Others were invited to share their expressions of loss. The Web site met with phenomenal worldwide success as a comfort and resource to those who had experienced loss. Since then, the Web site has evolved into a resource for maternal and child health. Berman has long been sending letters of introduction to women throughout the country, so they can receive healthcare in their state.

The Web site has more than 24,000 registered member families from around the globe and adds new members at a rate of 300-500 per month. Berman also is the author of the book "Parenthood Lost."

Maria Damiani, director of women’s health for the New Haven Health Department, said she’s excited about Berman’s new program and will get word out in the schools, so that any teenage girl struggling with pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease or other healthcare issue can sign on and get care.

"He’s such an amazingly compassionate physician," Damiani said. "So rarely do you find someone who is so touched and moved by these issues."
©New Haven Register 2003
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Michael R. Berman, M.D.
Founder and President
Hygeia Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 3943

New Haven, CT 06525
Phone: 1-800-893-9198
Fax: 1-800-893-9198