Close this search box.

The Priceless Benefits of International Participation – NANT 2014


Why do we make it a priority to provide an international scholarship to the
NANT Conference every year?

Because of people like Hemant, an occupational therapist from India who
traveled all the way to Atlanta not only to learn from us, but to teach us.

Because of the 2013 recipient from England, who attended last year then came
back as a presenter this year, research in tow.

Because of the neonatologist from Bangladesh, who did not receive the
scholarship but came anyway, seeking sound education for the staff in his NICU.
(Thank you for being eager to understand our perspective.)

As far as we can tell, there’s nothing else like NANT in the world. So it’s
fitting for the NANT Conference to be the global platform for neonatal therapy.
But that’s just part of what makes this scholarship and international
participation a priority.

The neonatal therapy community may be relatively ‘small’, but we have a huge
mission. We are charged with supporting neurodevelopment for neonates and
infants around the world, regardless of slight variations in practice and
sometimes huge variations in resources.

We have 2 choices about how to view our differences:

1. View the differences in our individual countries (and disciplines) as
barriers to this mission.

2. View the differences in our individual countries (and disciplines) as
conduits for communication, action and advocacy toward this mission. Hoarding
information rarely leads to global change for infants in the NICU. Sharing it

We’ve learned from our international attendees is that there are a few real
differences in scopes of practice even across the same discipline. But the
mission is the same. This commonality binds us. Teaches us. Inspires us. This
is the ‘buzz’ you feel when we’re all together.

(I heard this statement spoken countless times at the conference, “It’s amazing
to be with people who speak my language!” And they weren’t talking about
speaking English. ☺)

The bottom line is this: every infant in every NICU deserves to be cared for by
knowledgeable, competent, and passionate healthcare providers.
This matters not only in the short term but for the rest of our patients’

There are days when you may feel like a very small part of the puzzle. Nothing
is working out how you planned. Projects take longer than anticipated, teamwork
fails, patients don’t always respond the way you intended.

The priceless benefit of tapping in to this international group is that you are
never alone. You have friends and colleagues all over the world waiting to

Thanks to those that made the trek this year and to everyone who welcomed them
with enthusiasm. We’re all learning. Glad we’re in this together.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a
fire.” – William Butler Yeats

Burn on.