Gravens Conference

In a perfect world, there would be no need for a NICU. Yet our reality is that babies continue to be born too sick, too soon, and with medical conditions requiring hospitalization. Activities in the NICU have a profound impact on the babies, their families and the staff. What you do matters. Your work has the potential to impact a neonate’s health outcome, as well as that of the family and staff in the NICU.
Since the 1980s, neonatal care providers have worked to mitigate the stress experienced by babies, parents and providers. Doing so has involved change and its inherent struggles, but eventually we have adapted our NICU culture, policies and approach. We strive to nurture the developmental needs of babies and the emotional and informational needs of their parents through evidence-based knowledge in neurodevelopmental science, developmental care, healthcare design, and family support. This work continues at The 34th Annual Gravens Conference.
Join us in Clearwater Beach, Florida, on March 3-5, 2021, as we explore research, learning and practice to examine Resiliency and Change in the NICU. The most current science, state-of-the-art research and leading practices will be presented over the course of two and half days.

Target Audience

This program has been developed to meet the educational needs of healthcare practitioners such as Neonatologists, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Parents or Families, Neonatal Nurse Clinicians / Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists,  Family Support Staff, Architects, , Hospital Administration, Infant & Child Development Specialists, Social Workers & Counselors, and other professionals working with high-risk infants, their families or their physical environment.

Learning Objectives

As a result of participating in this activity, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify current research that contributes to understanding neurodevelopment, neuroprotection, emotional and mental health, and the role of nurturing in the NICU.
  • Interpret the impact of NICU-related practices on parents, infants, and staff. 
  • Compare and contrast several ‘best practices’ for improving family support policies 
  • Develop strategies for applying current information to clinical practice in the NICU environment.
  • Integrate strategies for cultural change in the NICU, including intrapersonal, interpersonal, clinical, environmental, and system change. 
  • Integrate the various components to consider when renovating or creating new construction of a NICU.
  • List three new professional and/or parent contacts that have the potential to collaborate on current of future projects, or to assist with problem-solving.

Learning Objectives apply to all professions in the target audience.

Competencies to be addressed

Patient Care and Procedural Skills; Medical knowledge; Systems-based practice; Professionalism; Interpersonal and communication skills

New in 2021

  • The 34 th Annual Gravens Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns will be a hybrid event in 2021.
  • At the time of this writing, the plan is to invite those that are comfortable traveling to join us live in Clearwater Beach, FL for two and a half days. The usual agenda format has been changed for 2021 to make better use of the time away from home.
  • Physical distancing will be observed, and masks are required.
  • Presentations may be in person, live-streamed, or pre-recorded.
  • The live streamed events will be recorded, and the pre-recorded presentations will be available for on-demand viewing.
  • There may be some in person presentations that are not live-streamed or recorded.
  • Categories for attendance will be live, virtual (in real time), and virtual (on-demand, called ‘enduring’ in CEU-speak).
  • Posters will be live (if desired), and all will be virtual.
  • Exhibit Hall will be live (if exhibitors desire), and also virtual.

The foray into the hybrid world is new to all of us, and the design is still a work in progress. Details will be shared/published as they are known. If you have any questions, contact Bobbi Rose at