36th Annual Gravens Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns


Gravens 2023 Agenda



Payment Policy: Payment by credit card may be done via online registration. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted. Payment is in US dollars only. Therefore, all credit card transactions are processed in US dollars and are subject to the current exchange rate.

Checks must be made payable to PACLAC (Perinatal Advisory Council: Leadership, Advocacy, and Consultation). Under Memo, please write Gravens

Address for mailing checks:
Attn: Aida Simonian
1010 N. Central Ave
Glendale, CA 91202

It is important that any check sent to PAC/LAC also come with clear identification as to whose registration is covered. This information may come via email as well. Without reconciliation, the registrant will show as unpaid, and not receive access to the event.

If payment needs to be by wire (bank) transfer, information required will pop up. If you have questions, contact Aida Simonian at asimonian@paclac.org.

Questions or Assistance:  If you have activity questions or concerns about claiming credit, please contact gpakhanyan@paclac.org.

Exhibitor And Sponsorship Opportunities

Ready to become an exhibitor or sponsor? Please download the registration form here (Exhibitor & Sponsorship Registration Form) Gravens 2023 Exhibitor Registration Form and mail your completed form and payment to:

1010 N. Central Ave.
Glendale CA, 91202

If you would like to pay by credit card, please complete the CreditCard_authorization form and email it along with the Exhibitor & Sponsorship Registration Form to asimonian@paclac.org.

Equal Opportunity & Accommodations for Disabilities: PAC/LAC is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action / Equal Access Institution.

For disability accommodations contact PAC/LAC at 818-708-2850, or email Gayane Pakhanyan at gpakhanyan@paclac.org  a minimum of ten (10) working days in advance of the event

Conference Background

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 36th Annual Gravens Conference.

Target Audience

This program has been developed to meet the educational needs of healthcare practitioners such as Neonatologists, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Neonatal Nurses (RNs, NNPs, ARNPs), NICU Therapists, Family Support Staff, Architects, Hospital Administration, Infant & Child Development Specialists, Social Workers & Counselors, Parents and Family members and other professionals working with high-risk infants, their families or their physical environment.

Call for Abstracts

The Gravens Conference is dedicated to providing a forum for the continuing education of NICU professionals. In particular, the conference focuses on the science of fetal and infant development, developmental care practices, NICU design, family support programs, and the influential role the NICU environment has on neurodevelopment of the infant, and the well-being of families and staff.

The conference committee invites you to submit an abstract for a variety of presentation options: oral abstract session (20-ish minutes), workshop session (75 minutes), or poster presentation, regarding NICU design, the study of creative approaches to developmental and environmental issues of the NICU, care practices and/or programs to assist staff, parents and families. We especially welcome abstracts that highlight evaluation of how the new Developmental and Family Centered Care Standards, Competencies and Best Practices have been implemented.

This conference offers an opportunity to share your work and experiences with colleagues.

The theme for the 2023 conference is The Future is Now for Babies, Families, and Systems. However, the abstracts may be on any applicable NICU topic.

In the spirit of The Future is Now for Babies, Families, and Systems, the 2023 conference is now in-person and hybrid event. If your abstract is accepted for oral presentation, you will be asked to pre-record your presentation. The posters will be available in electronic format, static as a PowerPoint slide, and a video if desired.

To submit abstracts, please visit 36th Annual Gravens Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns (fourwaves.com) 

For technical support, please contact mgoldstein@llu.edu 

Decisions by the abstract review committee are expected by early January 2023. The conference does not provide any support for abstract presenters, regardless of presentation outcome. Abstract presenters must register to attend the conference. 

Venue and Schedule

The 36th Annual Gravens Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns
March 8-11, 2023

Sheraton Sand Key Resort
1160 Gulf Boulevard
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Hotel Phone: (727) 595-1611

Sheraton Sand Key Resort


A limited number of rooms have been reserved for this meeting at a special rate of $223 (plus tax).

For reservations, call the hotel directly* at (727) 595-1611 (not the national sales office) and identify yourself as a participant of the Gravens Conference to receive the special group rate.
*If no one picks up at the local number, the call is automatically transferred to the national reservation line. The phone reps at the national reservations line will not know of the group and special rate. Continue to call the local number.

If you prefer to make online reservations, please visit: Book your group rate for Annual Gravens Conference (This will avoid the problems with reaching the national reservations line.)

The deadline to receive the group rate is February 12, 2023.  This assumes the block has not sold out. If so, you will be quoted the standard rate, which is considerably higher than the group rate. The hotel sells out every year. Do not wait until the last minute. (The status of the pandemic will impact how quickly the room inventory sells out. Still, better to reserve the room in advance. You can always cancel, so long as it is within the allowable window.)

The hotel sells out every year.
Do not wait until the last minute.

Dress is casual throughout the conference. Please bring a jacket to the meeting rooms, as they are often cold. Physical distancing will be observed. Masks are required.

The hotel has complimentary parking.

Airport & Ground Transportation

The two airports nearest the hotel are Tampa International Airport (TPA) and St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport (PIE). Both airports offer car rental.

Taxi fare from Tampa airport can exceed $60. Uber and Lyft average around $35 ish, before tips.

For more information on Tampa airport, and for information on the St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport, visit http://www.fly2pie.com/.