Congratulations to Stephanie Welsh, CNM, MSN, for being named a Hartford Business Journal Health Care Heroes Award finalist. Mansfield Ob/Gyn Associates, a Women’s Health CT practice, nominated Stephanie for her tireless devotion to women’s health.
Congratulations to Stephanie Welsh, CNM, MSN, for being named a Hartford Business Journal Health Care Heroes Award finalist. Each year, Hartford Business Journal honors outstanding leaders in the healthcare industry who embody the word "hero" through excellence in their field and by helping others. Mansfield Ob/Gyn Associates, a Women’s Health CT practice, nominated Stephanie for her tireless devotion to women’s health.
Stephanie hadn’t always planned on becoming a midwife– she began her career working as a photojournalist. While on her way to Kenya to complete an internship at a newspaper there, she read Alice Walker’s "Possessing the Secret of Joy." One of the book's characters had undergone the practice of female genital cutting. “I was completely unaware that this was practiced in Kenya," says Stephanie. "It was something that was talked about in hushed tones, not in public."
While working as a general photojournalist, she aligned herself with women’s organizations working to eradicate the practice and set out to do a story of her own. “It was during that process that I had to witness birth, because birth sees the most difficult complications of genital cutting. I never had any interest in nursing or medicine, but when I was in a room watching a birth, just incidentally for the story, I was transfixed. That the female body could undergo such violence and still survive and thrive and reproduce was fascinating to me. Through that process, I became interested in women’s health.”
Once published, Stephanie's photographic essay earned significant recognition. She was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1996.
In 1999, Stephanie left photojournalism to pursue a career in midwifery. She now provides both GYN and obstetric care to women of all ages and is pursuing her doctorate degree. A clinical instructor at Yale University, Georgetown University, and UCONN Schools of Nursing, she has lectured widely on issues of women’s health and bodily integrity. Reflecting on her career change, she says: “As a midwife, I feel like I do the same thing. I am an advocate for women having control over their health, their birth experiences, and their bodies in a way that feels very similar. It is such a gratifying job. I feel so fortunate to be present with women at a time when they’re most vulnerable, but also most joyful, and I’m grateful that they allow me to be part of that.”
This year’s final Health Care Heroes Award winners will be announced at a luncheon at the Hartford Marriott on December 7th. To learn more about Stephanie or to request an appointment, visit the Mansfield Ob/Gyn Associates page.