Photo caption: From left, Still Missed Clinical Coordinator Rosmarie Roose, Dr. Lanny Wilson and Nancy Schmitz, board member with the Alliance of Perinatal Bereavement Support Facilitators, following presentation of the Bruce Conley Excellence in Caring Award.
Hinsdale – From the start of the Still Missed
program 25 years ago, Dr. Lanny Wilson had a great deal of respect for the nurses and staff who supported patients whose newborns had died.
But it was a loss of his own that deepened Wilson’s involvement with the organization.
Nearly 20 years ago, Wilson’s daughter Lauren was killed at a railroad crossing in Hinsdale. She was 14 at the time.
“That changed my world,” the Hinsdale resident said. “I always had compassion for people who have lost children, but after that, it gave me a special insight that I think you can only get by living through such a tragedy.”
When Still Missed approached Wilson a few years later about becoming a member of its board, Wilson agreed.
“I took my place as a wounded healer to help others heal,” he said.
In October, for his work with Still Missed as well as perinatal families throughout Illinois, Wilson received the Bruce Conley Excellence in Caring Award, given by the Alliance of Perinatal Bereavement Support Facilitators, Chicago region.
The award recognizes individuals or groups that provide excellence in perinatal bereavement care. As a member of the Alliance, Still Missed Clinical Coordinator Rosmarie Roose nominated Wilson for the award.
“For more than 30 years, Dr. Wilson has demonstrated excellence in delivering wholistic, compassionate care to all of his OB patients,” Roose said. “He can often be found leading a prayer circle around a patient’s bed, bringing comfort and strength to the bereaved, and thanksgiving to a new birth.”
Wilson joined the Still Missed Advisory Board 15 years ago as the medical staff representative, and worked tirelessly with the Illinois Medical Board to bring about legislation to simplify hospital disposition to families who have experienced a miscarriage.
“He has participated in our memorial services, sharing a beautiful homily last year, spoken at parent support groups and attended other special events and presentations,” Roose said. “His expertise and support has been invaluable.”
Despite all he has done, Wilson wishes he could do more for the group. Doctors are not often trained on how to support families who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, he said, so when Still Missed was founded, its services were welcomed by all.
“The loss of a child extends from the time of conception all the way until they’re adults,” Wilson said. “We don’t expect to lose our children before us. They’re supposed to outlive us.”
That is why he worked to get state law changed in regards to miscarriages. In the past, doctors had to sign a death certificate before hospitals could offer a comforting option of group burial or cremation for families who had experienced a miscarriage, if parents wished. That is no longer the case, and the process has been simplified.
“That’s been very helpful to the grieving process,” Wilson said.
Still Missed offers a variety of support services for families, including four support groups, peer parent support, annual memorial services and memorial garden plantings, an extensive library of written resources and trained bereavement counselors who provide phone follow-up. For more, visit the group’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/stillmissed
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals. Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, firstname.lastname@example.org; (630) 856-2354.