Remembering Loretha Weisinger
Connecting Communities | February 2022
We honor Loretha Weisinger, who passed away after a courageous fight with cancer. Loretha worked as a Doula for Marillac St. Vincent Family Services for over 25 years before she retired several years ago. She was a pioneer in the Maternal Child Health Field and leaves behind a great legacy. She was a role model, mentor, teacher, friend, confidante, nurturer, advocator and cheerleader all rolled into one. We are forever grateful for her commitment and dedication and to her family for letting her share her gifts and talents with so many.
The MSV Doula Program, part of Project Hope, started as a pilot program to bring Doula services to pregnant teens and their families. Loretha was a volunteer at MSV for 10 years prior to becoming one of the first Doula’s in the country to work with teen parents. Loretha participated in a 3-month training from Health Connect One to become certified as a Doula. Over the years, she worked with hundreds of young families and attended over 900 births to bring babies safely into the world. She worked with the young moms, fathers and extended family members, empowering those in the MSV Programs to find their voice in planning for the birth of their child. There has not been a low birthweight baby in Project Hope for years.
Loretha was committed to the success of these young families and even helped guide them after the birth. She visited their homes providing guidance on a host of topics such as breastfeeding, taking care of themselves, developing goals, child development, and even made referrals when needed. From her first day of training, her mantra became – Doula Power, Nurture the Mother so She can Nurture Her Baby. She taught the young moms that no matter what happened in their lives before, as new moms, they can start fresh and make a huge difference in their child’s life.
Loretha’s impact goes beyond Marillac St. Vincent as an influential leader among the Doula and Maternal Child Health Field community. She traveled throughout the country and internationally presenting at conferences and workshops about the importance of Doula work. Loretha starred in the documentary A Doula Story, which followed Loretha and 5 young moms over a period of 3 years. It premiered at the Harris Theatre on April 27th, 2005 and tells an amazing story. Loretha felt that being a Doula was what she was meant to be.
Maureen Hallagan, MSV’s Chief Operating Officer had the honor of working with Loretha for over 25 years. “We developed a strong friendship over the years. She inspired and humbled me in her love of young families and the mission of MSV. Her work will live on through Project Hope and in the Maternal Child Health Community.”
Please join us in sending your prayers and best wishes to Loretha’s family. Marillac St. Vincent plans to have a special celebration of Loretha’s life and legacy at the end of March or April. Please stay connected for updates.
Help support young families at Marillac St. Vincent through Project Hope.
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