From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Jennifer Shark
Nominee: Laura Zeidenstein, Midwife and Director of Columbia University School of Nursing’s Midwifery program
Laura has been the director of Columbia University School of Nursing’s Midwifery program for 10 years now. She was my mentor during my tenure as a student at Columbia, and I still consider her to be such. It is largely thanks to her that I learned to be a sensitive, patient midwife.
Whenever I am taking care of women, whether in the ambulatory setting or in the hospital in labor, I can feel her hands guiding mine. When I precept midwifery students, I hear her voice explaining how or why we do things the way we do, and how that makes us different.
Her love for her students and the women she cares for comes through in everything she does. She is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent people I have had the pleasure to learn from. These things, along with her commitment to the uphill battle that is improving women’s health, makes her my women’s health hero. I’d venture to guess that all of her students, past and present, share the sentiment.