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In Memoriam: Felicia H. Stewart
Felicia H. Stewart
1943 – 2006
This page is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Stewart, a true pioneer in women's health, who died peacefully on April 13th in her home. Her vision and compassion inspired generations of professionals in the field of reproductive health. She was a mentor and friend to so many of us and she truly made a difference. This site contains some heartfelt words written by her friends, colleagues and protégés.
Read the Obituary from The Washington Post
From friends of Dr. Stewart:
Felicia served on our Foundation Board for many years and was an invaluable advocate for women's reproductive health.
I only knew her for a short time but from the moment I met her and she held my hand and looked into my eyes, I knew that I was in the presence of greatness.
So often doctors stay within the walls of their offices practicing medicine... not Felicia. She was a provider, a researcher, an advocate, and a pragmatist. She understood the role politics play in medicine and how women are hurt when politics trumps science.
It was Felicia the person, with all of her extraordinary talents that brought energy to the work we are all involved in. It was her passion, inspiration and optimism that kept us going. It was her authenticity, graciousness and respect for others that touched our hearts. It was her humor, her creativity and love of fun that lifted our spirits. It was her friendship that sustained us.
In my native Montana, there are not as many city lights and you can stand outside and see the billions of stars in the dark sky and the brightest stars shine like no others. Felicia Stewart is one of America's bright and shining stars in the galaxy of pro-choice leaders. We will miss her.
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Submitted on: Wed 6/21/2006 10:08 AM
Felicia Stewart had an extensive impact on the world of reproductive health and rights. I feel very fortunate to have known and worked with her for many years.
I first met Felicia when she was at the Kaiser Family Foundation. She funded a NAF symposium which looked at the role of advanced practice clinicians and their potential for providing abortion services. When we convened that symposium in 1996, advanced practice clinicians in only three states provided abortion services. Today, advanced practice clinicians in 15 states are providing abortion care.
This is only one example of where Felicia was ahead of the curve in seeing a potential way to expand abortion access for women. As you all know, she was passionate about the need for women to be able to access comprehensive, high quality, reproductive health care and was a tireless crusader for improved access to contraception, emergency contraception, and medical and surgical abortion.
Felicia later joined NAF's Board of Directors. We could always count on her intelligence and insights when it came to public policy, medical or organizational issues, both domestically and internationally. She was always ready to chart new territory to ensure that women had access to comprehensive reproductive health care. Her critical thinking and keen analytical skills helped us advance our mission to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care for women. Her ability to approach issues both as a provider and an advocate was invaluable. We were greatly saddened when her illness forced her to resign from our Board.
Two years ago we named the opening plenary of NAF's Annual Meeting in Felicia's honor to recognize her remarkable contributions to the field of reproductive health and medicine. And this year, we awarded her the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award, NAF's highest honor which recognizes significant, lifetime contributions in the field of abortion care or policy.
Felicia wrote to me over the winter and said that she didn't think she would be able to make it to the luncheon to personally accept the award. Instead, she hoped that one of her children would be allowed to accept the award on her behalf. Unfortunately, that proved to be the case. She passed away just weeks before the award presentation in San Francisco.
Presenters had many heartfelt things to say about Felicia's numerous professional accomplishments, but, most importantly, they spoke about how she had also personally touched and impacted their lives in so many ways. While it turned out to be a sad event, we were happy that Felicia knew she had received the award and that we were able to celebrate her life and her many contributions to the field with providers, advocates, her friends, and family.
All of us have benefited from knowing and working with Felicia as have countless women and families. She was a giant in our field and I know that I, along with all of you, will miss her.
Vicki Saporta President and CEO
National Abortion Federation
Submitted on: Mon 6/19/2006 7:30 PM
I was privileged to hear Dr. Stewart speak at numerous Contraceptive Technology Update Conferences over the last 15-20 years. She was an outstanding teacher. Her research gave me many great ideas. Felicia was also a great teacher on a personal level who always answered my questions and never acted too important or too busy to talk to just a participant at the CT conference. Her research and ideas live on in the policies and procedures of a group of rural family planning clinics in central Texas!
Linda Byers, RNC, CNS
Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner
Submitted on: Mon 6/19/2006 12:51 PM
"What an amazing woman" I thought the first time I met Felicia at one of those occassions where she was giving a scientific presentation, but started it by handing out packs of oral contraceptives, with hand typed instructions on how to use it as emergency contraception! This was the first of many conversations and at every one of them I admired her wit, intelligence, charm, humor and incredible dedication. I miss her, we all miss her and we all owe a great deal to her! I am very sorry not to be at the celebration of her life, but thoughts of her spirit keep me going.
Susan F. Wood, PhD
Former Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health
US Food and Drug Administration
Submitted on Fri 6/16/2006 5:19 PM
Felicia could be an inspiration even to those of us who didn't know her well personally. She never seemed afraid to "put it out there" for discussion, even if some of her ideas weren't always mainstream within the family planning community! No matter how long she'd been involved in these issues, she brought to every speech, every presentation to a small group, even back hall conversations, her infectious passion for issues surrounding reproductive and women's health. My only hope for her legacy is that she has inspired some to the same levels of fearless feelings.
Lisa Kaeser, JD
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Submitted on: Mon 6/12/2006 1:51 PM
A phenomenal woman. That was my quick opinion when I first met Felicia in a meeting of medical students against the Vietnam War. It was in the fall of 1966, a time of growing restlessness for many of us. She was outraged long before most of the rest, but anger didn't paralyze her. Nor did it snuff out her sense of humor or her warmth. Without fear of isolation, she said what she believed. And I loved her every word.
A whirlwind romance followed, and we married within the year. For both of us, life then was a blur of activism, philosophical debate, and—oh yes—medical studies. We knew that the major illnesses in our society were not caused only by microbes, errant membranes, or organ failures. We tried to prepare for the deeper healing needed.
We probably didn't take enough time for healing and helping each other. Does anyone ever do that right? Our marriage didn't survive, but my admiration for Felicia did. I imagine that if we lived in the same community during the recent decades we might still be good friends. But the years and a wide continent made that unlikely. From my remote place and time, I think I can hear her reminding us that we have to keep struggling.
Henry Kahn, MD
Submitted on: Thu 6/8/2006 10:12 PM
Felicia was such an inspiration. I too remember the Soap Summit, but more I remember her generosity to younger people in the field. I met her when I was just starting out, and she was always encouraging, always available. She was also so supportive of our work at SIECUS when she was the DASPA and never shied from controversial issues. I am very saddened by this news.
The words of Corita Kent always comfort me. She wrote:
"She who we loved and lost
is no longer where she was.
She is now wherever we are."
Rest in peace, Felicia. And thank you.
Rev. Debra W. Haffner, MPH, M.Div
Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing
Submitted on: Wed 6/7/2006 2:40 PM
Having had the good fortune to interact with Felicia for nearly three decades, I don't know where to begin. I can only say that I will miss very much the dedication and the passion that she brought to the pursuit of better reproductive health for women and men.
Henry L. Gabelnick, PhD
Submitted on: Tue 6/6/2006 4:09 PM
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I feel honored to have worked and collaborated with Felicia for nearly 20 years. I had a unique opportunity to know Felicia through a number of major professional transitions-from leaving Sacramento to becoming the Director of the Office of Population Affairs in Washington, DC-the most important Family Planning role in the country (by the way, government bureaucrats had major discussions about changing the name of the Office during the Clinton years!!); to her shift to the world of Foundations when she became a Vice-President at the Kaiser Family Foundation; to her transition into academics, the development of the joint Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy and the collaboration in our research for the past 5 years.
Felicia taught me a great deal-and some of those lessons I wish to share with you now. . .
Live a life of personal integrity. Felicia had an internal compass-perhaps a "BS Meter" would be more appropriate. Her "can do," no nonsense attitude was evident throughout all of her life. She had the uncanny ability and personal insight to recognize what had to be done, how to go about doing it, and when to let go and move on. Such was the case with her experience with the federal government and even the foundation world, when it was clear to her that she would not be able to accomplish as much as she wanted to in these settings, she recognized that she needed to find another setting where she could accomplish her agenda; such a safe haven was UCSF.
Grace under fire. Felicia was the consummate professional; her graciousness, her personal drive to persevere, to fight the good fight was inspirational. She was strategic in her thinking and relied on a number of you in planning one of what I consider to be one of her signature pieces-bringing to light the current administration's efforts to dismantle science in the area of reproductive health by spearheading ARHP's Preserving Core Values in Science initiative. She continued as a leader when the Union of Concerned Scientist's (UCS) Integrity of Science Initiative moved this issue into the national spotlight. Felicia was there every step of the way to remind us that these attacks-both frontal and subtle-are not only occurring in reproductive health and women's rights, but in so many other aspects of American life-from the environment to the approval of drugs. It was through her leadership and vision-among many other courageous leaders-that brought this campaign to national prominence.
Be Bold. Anchored in science, shielded by evidence-based research, she showed her sense of leadership over and over again. . .whether it was access to abortion, contraception, emergency contraception, or other medical and health care services that she knew women needed. She was not afraid to speak her mind-and she did not have to shout to get your attention. In fact, her sense of properness garnered her respects from all sides of the debate. She did not need to be shrill to be heard by millions because so much of her message was imbued in the information people needed and were hungry to know.
Nurture and Mentor the next generation. Felicia often shared her delight with me in being with so many of the "young" (and here I include all of us!), brilliant new generation of researchers in our field. She fiercely believed in you and received great satisfaction in knowing that she was helping to shape and influence your lives. Most important to her were her children-Matthew and Katherine-the love you showed, particularly during the last years of her life brought her tremendous peace-and for that I will always be so grateful. Through all of her mentoring, she remained "ego-less" in her need for your thanks. Just knowing that you would continue to be invested, dedicated, and work in the field of reproductive health-assuring that both men and women had access to the care that they needed-receiving evidence-based care-were so vital to her being. As with a number of us, she saw this mission not only impacting women's health, but impacting the deeper issue of social justice.
Excel in communication. Felicia had the master touch in teaching and communicating the latest scientific research to any number of different audiences-from teens and their moms; to policy makers in Congress; to faculty and researchers here and across the world. One of my happiest memories was sharing the panel with her when we had the opportunity to speak to soap opera writers and producers regarding their incorporating responsible messages into their television shows! Felicia had produced and brought with her special buttons with the message, "What could be more moral. . .?" making the case in point that planning for and deciding how many and when in your life you would have children was one of the most moral decisions we make in our lives, and that the 'right to life movement' had no monopoly on morality.
I wore the pin to my last farewell visit to Felicia, relishing the memory with her, and knowing that I will always cherish not only the pin, but all that it represented. I will always cherish you, Felicia. . .
Claire Brindis, DrPH
Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy
University of California, San Francisco
Submitted on: Tue 6/6/2006 12:13 PM
I knew Felicia 36 years ago when I was a second year medical student and she was an intern in Boston. She was looking for a roommate and graciously allowed me to be her roommate for that year and later turned the apartment over to me when she moved to California. I was active in the women's movement and trying to survive the hostile environment of medical school. Felicia was a support, an inspiration, and a role model. We never saw each other again after that year, but she remained an example to me of a pioneer who was willing to fight ferociously for what she believed was right for women.
When I told my friend Marji Gold last fall that Felicia and I had been roommates, she told me that Felicia was sick. I sent off an email to her last November and got back the kind of warm, supportive, and gracious response for which Felicia was known. She wrote back: "I have such good memories of the intense political days, and our shared life." Now is our chance to share our good memories of HER intense political days. You can really say that Felicia Made a Difference! I'm sorry not to be able to be at the Memorial event.
Lucy Candib, MD
Family Health Center of Worcester and University of Massachusetts Medical School
Submitted on Tue 6/6/2006 9:34 AM
I first met Felicia Stewart by reputation, by reading her books. I was thrilled to meet her in the flesh, so to speak, along with Gary and Bob and the gang, when I began attending the annual Contraception Technology conferences.
She had a wacky, wonderful way of communicating information, which made it both pleasant and interesting to take in. And as Felicia got older the focus of her talks got "older" too. One year we were listening to contraception lectures-the next year as Felicia was going through menopause, her topics changed to reflect that and her new research in that field. She could laugh at herself as she was showing slides and having hot flashes.
Over the years I found her to be very approachable. I work in college health, and there were several times when I was stumped by a question from a student. I know I could always call Felicia in her office in Sacramento, and get an answer, and her wisdom and input.
I've always brought peer counseling students to the CT conferences, and have always prefaced their registration form-filling-out with the admonition to attend any lecture in which Felicia Stewart was speaking, so they could hear the master. I am sorry that future students of mine will not have that privilege and honor, and grateful that I did, for so many years.
"Somewhere I heard that one voice couldn't make a difference. I spoke anyway." Boy, did that apply to Felicia!
Klotz Student Health Center
California State University Northridge
Submitted Mon 6/5/2006 5:58 PM
All of the girls in my family, when I was younger, received copies of Understanding your Body. It wasn't until 3 three years ago and being 28 years old I finally asked Felicia for a personal signed copy. I was thrilled. What a wealth of knowledge for a man, and any woman for that matter. Since then I have given out multiple copies to friends. Felicia was a great person and will be missed very much. I am grateful for the brief moments of health guidance and friendliness extended towards me and my family.
Nephew of Dr. Stewart
Submitted on: Mon 5/08/2006 8:15 PM
I am forever grateful to Felicia. She was my mentor and friend over the past six years at UCSF. She was my role model for how to change the world--be tough, maternal, honest and driven.
Hugs to her children and to all of us.
Diana Greene Foster, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Submitted on: Thu 4/27/2006 12:40 AM
I first encountered Felicia when I was a volunteer on the Planned Parenthood Hotline in Chicago. When I would take calls from women and men with their myriad questions and concerns, I would always consult my trusty copy of Contraceptive Technology. I'd often think, maybe one day I'll get to meet this Felicia Stewart and thank her for her work.
As luck would have it, my first job out of college was at the Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP), on whose board Felicia Stewart served for many years. During my time at RHTP, I had the pleasure of working with Felicia; watching her make the world a better place one cycle of birth control pills at a time; observing her as a role model to so many advocates, healthcare providers and policy makers; and enjoying her gentle spirit, characteristic laugh, and overall gusto.
Most of all, Felicia has inspired me to see the godlinesss of this work and to persevere no matter what, with intelligence and relentlessness. Women everywhere lost one of their most fervent advocates and believers.
Arielle Lutwick, MPA '07
Submitted on: Sun 4/23/2006 9:55 PM
I read of Dr. Stewart's passing this morning in the Seattle newspaper...I remember her from days past when I worked at Sutter Surgery Centerin Sacramento, where both she and her sweet husband, Dr. Gary Stewart, did cases. She was always at the forefront, even then in the 80s, of women's rights and she indeed will be missed. We needed her then and even more so now. I pray her energy and clear vision lives on in others she has influenced. Rest in Peace, Felicia...
Peggie Grieve, RN
Worked with Dr. Stewart in Sacramento
Submitted on: Sun 4/23/2006 11:47 AM
Felicia was one of those rare individuals who was both an insightful and strong leader, while also being a nurturing and loving mentor. As with some many others, she has inspired me to follow in her footsteps. We will miss her greatly.
And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love
- The Beatles
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Submitted on: Sun 4/23/2006 10:59 AM
I first worked with Felicia when I was a counselor at Cathedral Hill Medical Center in San Francisco in 1973. We became reacquainted twenty-five years later when I became involved in the Association of Physician Assistants in OB/GYN (APAOG). She was an excellent role model in how to sincerely care for her patients and a wonderful friend and educator to all PAs who provide care in women's health. I will personally miss her and offer our deepest respect from the board members of APAOG.
Linda Burdette, PA-C, MPAS
Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Submitted on: Fri 4/22/2006 10:20 PM
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Dr. Stewart. She and I served on many committes together. Over the years, I came to know her as a focused fighter for the rights of women and families. I know that she will be missed by all of us who are associated with ARHP and are in the field of reproductive health.
Michael A. Thomas, MD
University of Cincinnati Medical Center
ARHP Board Member
Submitted on: Fri 4/21/2006 6:42 PM
Felicia was the dang nicest person I have ever worked for! I do not lie or exaggerate! She made herself available to me to chat about nothing, make fun of of everything, and educate me about a whole bunch of stuff.
She welcomed my calls to her home to invite myself over for lunch and play with her cat, re-fill my pills, and once called in a script for a raging bladder infection that I had. She even bought me a sweater and took me to hear Ira Glass. Why? I don't know...She was kind to groupies like me. I think of her often when I go to the Farmer's Market carrying the big, canvas bag she gave all her staff when she left UCSF. It's a great bag.
I and the Reproductive Rights Movement will miss her willingness to challenge the patriarchy, say the word "feminism" loud and proud, and check-mate our opponents with grace and humor.
The scenery has less color without her. I miss her.
Beth Brown, MA, MPA
Submitted on: Fri 4/21/2006 3:43 PM
I can't quite remember the first time I met Felicia, but it must have been at an EC Jamboree meeting in New York City. She would have been seated at the head of the table, with Jim Trussell on one side. What a force of nature! With insight and decisiveness she charmed the roomful of unruly and passionate into a coherent, respectful working group. And her closing statement could weave together all the disparate threads and left us all feeling almost as smart as she.
On a much more personal note, Felicia learned I was facing a major surgery, and she wrote me such a tender note, offered the help of a colleague in Europe who might be up on the latest research and could help me make an informed decision.
I feel lucky to have been inspired by her. She will live on in so many of us.
Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project ACLU-PA
Submitted on: Fri 4/21/2006 11:33 AM
Felicia Stewart was one of the most committed physicians/obstetricians in the world dedicated to women's sexual and reproductive health and rights. Her advocacy and ability to communicate her beliefs was truly remarkable. And she was able to use the several very important positions she held to make certain her messages were heard. On a personal note, she was an extraordinary friend to so many people, who will be greatly missed by all who knew her. I am honored to have been one of her close friends and colleagues.
Allan Rosenfield, MD
Dean, Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University
Submitted on: Sat 4/22/2006 10:21 AM
I am profoundly personally saddened by the passing of Felicia Stewart. She has been a colleague for many years and always a mentor, role model and friend. Even then, I didn't realize the extent of her accomplishments until the last few years. She truly was a staunch and passionate advocate for women and women's health.
When, as a representative of ACOG I testified for the FDA to make Plan B over the counter, I was sure that we would succeed. It was a great comfort to have Felicia in the audience that day, listening to the hearings and giving me the "high sign" after my presentation. We were giddy with the sense that emergency contraception would finally be easily accesible and available. I am sorry that she will not live to see that happen in the way that we had wanted. I hope that as in her life, we will continue to be encouraged and motivated by Felicia and that we will champion this and other causes which she believed in and advocated for—they are indeed the causes of and for women everywhere.
I will miss Felicia—there are none other like her.
Vivian Dickerson, MD
Immediate Past President, ACOG
Submitted on: Fri 4/21/2006 3:09 PM
Felicia Stewart exemplified the unique passion and energy that inspired me as a young person working in reproductive health. In my early 20s, I landed the task of revising the American Medical Women's Association's model curriculum in reproductive health for medical schools. Felicia was one of the founders of AMWA's Reproductive Health Initiative and the original creators of the curriculum. It didn't take me long to realize what an amazing group of women (and a few men!) had made this curriculum happen, and their motivation for addressing medical education. Felicia had a significant impact on my professional development, confidence, and courage to stand up for what's right. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to cross paths were her, particularly in my formative years working in the field.
She not only talked about the value of education and the next generation of leaders, she walked the talk by empowering, trusting, and valuing those just starting out as colleagues right along side all the leaders we were constantly in awe of. She was uncompromising politically, and her courage on that front was also an inspiration and makes me feel her loss all the more in these difficult times.
Someone else mentioned her "Teaching the Why as well as the How" article - to me, her life and leadership demonstrated this crucial part of the work we all do. I know her legacy will continue to inform our work and we will be stronger and more successful for it.
Sarah Wilhelm, MPH(c)
International Training and Education Center for HIV/AIDS
School of Public Health
University of Washington
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 6:29 PM
I have been thinking so much of Felicia and her impact on myself, the staff at ARHP, and the entire reproductive health community, and I have been trying to come up with my strongest memory of her. Or rather, I have been trying to get PAST my strongest memory of her and think of something profound and appropriate.
The fact remains; that when I think of her—and I will always—what will come to my mind is the moment we shared in the ladies bathroom during a particularly difficult meeting. The two of us were dealing with a bit of a thorny situation and had just about run out of patience with the hodgepodge of folks around the table arguing about women's health. She had been quiet for a bit, listening intently with the intense stare she seemed to be the master of, and then she called for a break.
As she and I sat in our respective stalls doing the polite, silent, ladies room "thing", she called out "hang in there Liz, we'll get through this crap somehow." And then she walked back into the meeting, took her seat, seamlessly took control, and made everything somehow...all right.
Not only was I proud to be in her company in that bathroom, but I also was forever awed by this powerful and influential woman's ability to make every situation so very pleasurable.
Consultant, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 4:27 PM
Felicia was a remarkable woman. She was a talented clinician, teacher, and leader who I was honored to consider a friend. I have to admit, my initial reaction to the photograph attached to this site was "but that isn't her!" because I don't think I ever saw Felicia without a smile. Despite the challenges ever in front of us, Felicia always had the good humor and perspective to remember that things could always be worse, that in fact, things are at any given moment worse for many on the planet, and that we must remember, every day, that we have truly been blessed.
Her offices (thanks in large part to the fabulous individuals she inspired to work with her) were an oasis of insight, wisdom, beauty, and peace, where one could envision almost any dream coming true. Felicia could always be trusted to "think globally, and act locally," with fearless determination. She was compassionate and kind, and she never wavered in her conviction that God wants us all to tell the truth and do what is right.
Among Felicia's greatest gifts to me was her gentle reminder that I must treasure the time that I was pregnant...that for all of the inconveniences and ackward discomforts of pregnancy, pregnancy remains a magical experience that must be savored and should not be taken for granted. To me, this more than anything, conveyed Felicia's profound appreciation of the miracle of life, and the great faith she felt must be placed in women's wisdom to decide if and when to expand their families.
I know she thought of her own children as among her greatest treasures and accomplishments, and have no doubt that her visions and insights will shape generations to come.
Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS
University of Pittsburgh
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 12:17 PM
I was twelve years old when I got my first period. My mom was raised on a farm in North Carolina, and my dad was raised on a farm in Missouri. They had never discussed puberty or the dreaded "s-e-x" word with me. It wasn't that they didn't want to, or didn't feel it was important. They simply didn't know how or where to start. My mom came into my bedroom with a bright-red face and plopped a book down on my bed. She said, eyes on the floor, "I bought this book for you. If you have any questions, you can ask me." But, I got the strong feeling she'd be relieved if I didn't ask. The book was My Body, My Health: A Concerned Woman's Book of Gynecology by Felicia Stewart, MD, Felicia Guest, MPH, Gary Stewart, MD, and Robert Hatcher, MD.
This book was clearly not meant for twelve-year olds. It discussed, with plenty of medical terminology, reproductive organs, self breast-exam, methods of contraception, pregnancy, abortion, fertility problems, rape, and much more. But to a precocious girl yearning for information about her changing body and the secretive world of sexuality, it was a treasure trove of knowledge. In the years to come, it was a constant reference and a reliable source of unbiased information on topics that were, and still are, all-too-often taboo. That book was also an inspiration; it was the reason why I volunteered for Planned Parenthood during college, ultimately starting my career in, and passion for, public health.
Later, when I was working for the newly-formed UCSF Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy, I learned that Felicia Stewart was coming to join the center as Co-Director. I thought to myself, "It can't be the Felicia Stewart. She's famous! She's the co-author of Contraceptive Technology, on the shelf of every family planning clinic in the country!" The next day, I was introduced to Felicia by Nancy Padian. I asked Felicia if she was the author of My Body, My Health, and she said she was. I immediately started gushing like a rock band's most faithful groupie. I told her how that book, given to me by my mother, had been a guiding force in my life. Beaming, she turned to Nancy and said, "I swear I didn't pay her to say that."
When I learned today that Felicia had passed away, I knew that there would be no shortage of tributes in her honor. Felicia had many roles in life, personal and professional--mother, daughter, wife, friend, co-worker, doctor, author, researcher, director, and champion. She will undoubtedly be praised as a pioneer, a part of the bedrock of reproductive health and reproductive rights. She was and will continue to be all this and more. To me, Felicia's presence and impact will live on. As a pebble drops into water and creates ever-expanding circles, so too will her influence continue to spread.
I hope each of us will continue the ever-expanding circles by choosing our own personal way to remember and honor Felicia. It can be anything--volunteering for the American Lung Association, mentoring a young person, donating to Planned Parenthood--anything. However Felicia made a difference in your life, pass that on, and then she is always with us.
Jessica Bowen Bazyl, MPH
Former UCSF employee
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 11:51 AM
In late 1992, my husband and I transferred back to Sacramento from the Bay Area. I contacted a former supervisor who now worked for a large medical foundation. She put me in contact with Felicia, who needed an administrative/research assistant for her private practice. I had been a patient of hers during college so I knew of her accomplishments and was appropriately intimidated!
What touched me the most about Felicia was her uncanny ability to put people at ease. She treated everyone with the same compassion and respect regardless of age, experience or credentials. I was used to people being unable to see beyond my hair color and youth, but Felicia was different. She encouraged, challenged, educated, protected and respected me as an employee and as a friend. She was supportive and understanding through my very difficult pregnancy even though I was unable to perform my duties effectively for several weeks.
When Felicia moved on to Washington DC, she asked me to come with her but it wasn't possible for my family to make the move. Before she left she worked to develop a clinical research department for the Medical Foundation, which provided me the opportunity both to coordinate the program and to avoid having to find another position elsewhere!
Although we lost contact over the years, I will not forget the positive influence she had on my life. Felicia, you are dearly missed.
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 11:26 AM
I am very sorry to hear of her death. Felicia Stewart was my hero for many years and still is. She was professional, funny, caring, and incredibly talented. Every time I order ECP I think of her inspiration. I feel so honored to have known her. She will always be a hero to me and all the women I see.
Jo Ann Woodward, RNC, BSN, NP
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 10:51 AM
Felicia Stewart was a leader in supporting womens rights to control their bodies. She was a warm. compassionate, caring person with great knowledge of contraception and elective pregnancy termination. During her lifetime she served as a role model for many people interested in contraception. Felicia was a strong supporter of the journal Contraception, and made many valuable contributions to this jounal. Her presence will be greatly missed.
Dan Mishell, MD
Lyle G. McNeile Professor and Chair
USC School of Medicine, Dept. of Ob/Gyn
Editor and Chief, Contraception: An International Reproductive Health Jornal
Submitted on: Wed 04/19/2006 6:41 PM
She was my doctor for a short time and I remember her as a very nice and caring person.
Sandra Tyler Duncan
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 9:45 AM
One of the great things of our work is meeting and becoming a friend of a person like Felicia. She had so many professional and human qualities. She was an MD who never forgot that serving others is at the core of being an MD, at the same time she was a scientist, always on top of the latest knowledge. She was so committed to women's rights and women's reproductive health. We would not be where we are now without her. I was always amazed of her knowledge and sensitivity for all cultures. She understood so well and cared so much for the needs of vulnerable women.
Roberto Rivera, MD
Family Health International
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 9:11 AM
Felicia's death is a profound loss; her life a profound message. She will live on in precious memories for those of us priviledged to know her, to work with her. She will live on in legacy as her pioneering, caring work is magnified by its influence on the future of reproductive health.
Here in California she was a gift to our statewide family planning program, Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care and Treatment) and to the poor, uninsured clients it served. I was with the program until 2004 and was blessed to have Dr. Stewart as a program advisor and as my friend. She had a unique fervor about a client's right to quality care delivered by competent clinicians. From provider education, to practice standards, to state of the art services including access to all family planning method options - she viewed issues from a client perspective and had ideas to shape the "system" to get it done. She walked the talk.
Felicia, thank you for your passion, your inspired leadership. Thank you for showing us how a clever phrase and disarming wit dressed in good humor shed hope and light on challenge. May we honor you by seeking to emulate your example.
Janet N. Treat PHN, MN
Chief of Clinical Services (Retired)
Office of Family Planning
California Department of Health Services
Submitted on: Thu 4/20/2006 1:51 AM
I never met Felicia. But the words of her friends and colleagues inspired me to write about her. The words I read of many of her friends show how much she changed the lives of millions of women through her work and dedication. Its really a great loss and the void is difficult to be filled. However her accomplishments will always be a ray of hope for those who want to improve the lives of millions of women in different regions of the world.
Enayat ur Rehman
Senior Training /Research Officer
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 11:41 PM
Hugs from me! Big Hug! Hugs and Love! Felicia never ended an email or a conversation without offering hugs. I will miss her friendship and her hugs.
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 11:15 PM
I met Felicia in 1971 when we were first-year residents together at UCSF. Felicia had taken a year off after internship to be the medical director and then a clinician under the infamous Bernie Nathanson at a large abortion clinic in New York City. Having come straight out of internship, I was most impressed by Felicia’s dedication and accomplishments at that very early stage of her medical career. As we rotated together most of that year, we became very good friends and confidantes. Felicia left the residency, married Gary, and was a very busy abortion provider in the Bay Area for a year or so before moving to Sacramento. Our professional paths crossed again in 1978 when I joined Gary and Felicia in their OB/GYN practice in Sacramento. At that time Felicia was one of two female OB/GYNs in the Sacramento area, and, as a result, our practice attracted a large and challenging clientele. Felicia was a superb clinician and a joy to work with both in the practice and at Planned Parenthood where Gary was the Medical Director and Felicia and I were the Associate Medical Directors. Even then, Felicia was spouting ideas and projects at a dizzying pace. Beyond the clinical world, my wife, Andrea, and I enjoyed many fun times with Gary and Felicia. Her ideas for enjoying life were unforgettable. One New Year’s Eve, she rolled back the rugs in the family room, hung a mirrored ball, and put on all the oldies for a good ol’ rock’n roll New Year’s Eve sock hop! I left the practice in 1982 but returned to UC Davis a few years later, and again Gary and Felicia recruited me to work part-time at Planned Parenthood. For the next ten years we picked up where we had left off as neighbors, colleagues, and close friends. Felicia’s Dungeness crab dinners and chocolate bombe desserts were a gastronomic delight. We moved away in 1992, and Felicia went to Washington as DASPA in 1994. One of her major accomplishments during her time in Washington was figuring out how to get her grand piano into her second story apartment with a narrow entrance stairway (through the window in the back…quite a project). One very kind and memorable thing that Felicia did for Andrea was to write a letter of recommendation for the MPH epidemiology program at Emory. The department chairman described the letter as so glowing, so complimentary that surely “only a mother could have written it.” Once Andrea launched her career in public health, Felicia continued to be her enthusiastic supporter and occasional mentor. When I moved to NIH, I was very pleased to find that Felicia was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Clinical Trials Network I that took over, giving us the opportunity to see her again on a regular basis. I was even more pleased when Felicia was elected to the Board at ARHP and then followed me as Board Chair. I’m glad she followed rather than preceded me, as I could have never measured up to her performance as Board Chair. I have so many vivid memories of Felicia, her warm smile and joyous sense of life. She has left innumerable legacies in her actions, her books, her kindness and caring, and her lifetime of work on behalf of women’s health. She was a splendid example of how to live life to the fullest.
Trent MacKay, MD, MPH
Acting Chief, Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch, CPR, NICHD, NIH
Former Chair, ARHP Board of Directors
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 7:15 PM
I lived in Sacramento in the 1970s. I was a young mother with no money or health insurance and my husband was a poor student. I chose Dr. Stewart's clinic from the yellow pages, and she gave me a post-natal exam. I was surprised and delighted when the office assistant told me there would be no charge for the visit.
I now work for UCSF, and am sending payment for that exam to the Fund for the Future of Reproductive Health.
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 7:02 PM
I did not know Felicia Stewart personally but was priviledged to hear her speak many times at the Contraceptive Technology conference. I stood in awe as she spoke about and for women and their reproductive rights. She has been a blessing and inspiration to many and I hope we will continue to follow her direction in serving the women of the world. God Bless. Thank you for being you.
Carole Lyman, RNC, ANP
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 6:41 PM
Hello Felicia, up there and everywhere. I did not get back in time from Africa to tell you that you even touched the lives of many, many women in Zimbabwe recently--we used your ANSIRH manual for national training in post-abortion care. It is no surprise to any of us that you touched the lives of millions of women, and for those who know you, that is hardly an exaggeration of what you did during your lifetime and what your lifetime will continue to do for others! Thank you and bless your star.
Catherine Maternowska, PhD, MPH
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 6:51 PM
Felicia was a mentor and a friend. In July the ANSIRH program at UCSF named a star in her honor in recognition of the guiding light she is for many of us, even after her death. I'll never forget her clear thinking and her constant push to do more. From the very beginning she encouraged all of us to recognize the morality in our work. She was unapologetic and proud to provide care to women when they needed it most. She commented in her final days that "taking care of women" was the accomplishment of which she was most proud. "Teach why as well as how" she once wrote about abortion training. This will be her legacy--the connection of the political to the personal through the provision of high quality compassionate care. Although she died at a particularly low point in the history of reproductive rights and health, she was an optimist and knew it would get better with time. "This won't last" she told me, "just keep doing what you're doing."
If you have a telescope, check out her space among the stars (RA 341.96115 and declination -43.3746111). I am sure she is already organizing her fellow companions in the sky to burn brighter. I will miss her very much.
Tracy A. Weitz, MPA, PhD(c)
Director, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 3:01 PM
During the time I worked at ARHP I just remember thinking that Felicia Stewart was amazing--she never stopped! She was an incredible leader on our board and helped with numerous conferences and ARHP activities (in addition to everything she was doing!). I was inspired by her lectures and in conversations, she always included you and wanted to know your thoughts and opinions. She made all of us feel like we were important and part of the effort. I am now back in school pursuing a degree in Public Health. While researching for a paper and searching online, one of the first articles that popped up was by Felicia and I thought - she's everywhere! She will certainly be in our hearts and fond memories.
Cynthia (Lopez) Hatch
Former ARHP staff
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 1:43 PM
I am so saddened by Felicia's death. She was an amazing woman, leader, and teacher. I have spent the past few days thinking about what I could possibly say about her. Simply, I am thankful for the time that I was allowed to spend in her presence.
Becca Diller Ramati
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 10:08 AM
Felicia Stewart was a special person to her family, friends, and patients, she will be missed by all of us, there wasn't anything she couldn't do once she started. God Bless.
Cookie Bible, NP
Zephyr Cove, NV
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 9:25 AM
Felicia was a wonderful advocate for reproproductive rights and for health care providers. She was an exceptional leader, extremely intelligent, presented thought provoking ideas, a good listener, and a kind and considerate person. She faced challenges head on and was not afraid to travel in uncharted territories. She put foot prints in the freshly fallen snow. Now it's our job to follow in her path.
Sandy Worthington, MSN, RNC, CNM
ARHP Board of Directors
PPFA, Medical Continuing Education
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 8:39 AM
I was honored to have known Fellicia. She was gracious, smart and witty. Her life long compassion for women and reproductive rights always inspired me. She will be very missed.
Louise H. Bateman, RNC, MPH
ARHP Board Member
Submitted on: Wed 4/19/2006 8:56 AM
What makes individuals like Felicia so special is the legacy they leave behind. Felicia had the unique ability to be a colleague, a friend, a teacher and a role model all simultaneously to so many people, including me. I feel blessed to have been one of the many to have personally experienced her wit, her enthusiasm and her ability to work for women's rights in ways that will continue her legacy. I could drop an e-mail or pick up the phone and Felicia was always there with sage advice and support. Although I, like many, am personally deeply saddened by our loss of a great leader, I know that my life has been deeply enriched because of Felicia.
Mitchell Creinin, MD
ARHP Board of Directors
University of Pittsburgh
Submitted on: Tuesday 4/18/2006 10:23 PM
I first saw Felicia when she gave a talk on the U.C. Davis campus sometime in 1991, on a new medication, RU-486, that had recently been developed in France. Like virtually everyone else who has ever heard her give a talk, I was struck by her incredible combination of intelligence, energy and wit. I approached her after her talk, saying a number of colleagues had suggested I arrange an interview with her, for research I was doing on abortion before Roe in the U.S. She immediately and enthusiastically agreed. I went to her home in Sacramento a few weeks later, where she regaled me--as only Felicia could--with fascinating, often hilarious, memories of her stint as medical director (at the ripe old age of 26) of one of the first freestanding abortion clinics in New York city. That encounter was the beginning of a very rich professional relationship and a very deep friendship that lasted till her death. She taught me an enormous amount about the medical aspects of reproductive health and I used to joke to her that she was a sociologist trapped in a doctor's body. For the last several years until illness forced her retirement, I had the immense good fortune to work in an office adjoining to hers at the Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy at UCSF. The research group she presided over-Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)-in our wing at Mt. Zion hospital was quintessential Felicia--a beautiful environment, good food, a lot of laughter, ideas flying fast and furiously, interesting people in our field dropping by, and people working hard and well, because of our shared sense of mission. And because Felicia was such an effective and beloved leader.
In the months leading up to her death, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit her on a fairly regular basis. She was able to be at home, where she was taken care of in an extraordinary manner by her children, Matt and Kathryn. We talked about the many varied things she had done in her career, including, of course, her work on behalf of emergency contraception. I was thus struck, though not surprised, when she said to me, "you know, I haven't talked about it much, because of confidentiality issues, but really the greatest satisfaction I got in my work life was taking care of patients. That was a privilege."
Carole Joffe, PhD
University of California, Davis
Submitted on: Tue 4/18/2006 10:27 PM
I first heard Felicia Stewart at the ARHP conference 2004 at Washington. I had come to attend this conference from a very far off country. Hearing her vibrant voice addressing women's health issues gave one a feeling that the cause is similar whichever part of the world we came from and if the zeal among the health care providers continued, we would definitely make a difference to their lives.
Malabika Roy, MD
ICMR, New Delhi, India
Submitted on: Tue 4/18/2006 5:07 PM
Felicia was an incredible role-model for me. She was so real, down to earth, practical and approachable. She was always coming up with practical solutions to make the world a little better for women. I realized if I could be more free-spirited like Felicia and let go of worrying about barriers, or how the world would never change, I could help make the world a better place too. Her humor and wit will always be missed.
Emily M. Godfrey MD, MPH
ARHP Board of Directors
University of Illinois-Chicago
Submitted on: 4/18/06 3:47 PM
I first met Felicia Stewart at a national meeting over a decade ago. I was thrilled to be standing in the ladies room talking to such an important person! Her achievements were an inspiration to a young woman just starting out in the field of reproductive health. From one-on-one conversations to major policy initiatives, watching her bring her unique wisdom and humor to a discussion, the latest crisis or a new initiative was an incredible learning experience. She was a wonderful mentor to so many of my generation. She touched our lives and our careers in countless ways. I will miss her wry commentary, her advice, and her smile. Kathy Rogers, MPH
Reproductive Health Consultant & ARHP member
Submitted on: Tuesday 04/18/06 1:08 PM
I first met Felicia as the Abortion Access Project was launching its work with Advanced Practice Clinicians. I flew to San Francisco to meet her, thrilled to have an appointment but a bit intimidated by her reputation as an eminent physician and researcher. We went downstairs for coffee, and while perusing the menu choices for "Grande, Extra Tall, Extra Grande", Felicia turned to me and said, "Do you think the people who market coffee sizes are the same ones who market condoms - both assume no one will buy a small?" That ended my being intimidated, and was the beginning of a relationship in which Felicia inspired me, encouraged me - and continued to delight me with her wonderful wit. I will miss her greatly.
The Abortion Access Project
Submitted on: Tue 04/18/06 12:57 PM
Felicia Stewart was my best friend and closest professional colleague for more than 20 years. Together, we published thirty journal articles and books. We talked by email or phone nearly every day. What made her so special? She was an original and creative thinker, intellectually curious and scrupulously honest, absolutely fearless, an inspirational leader, an effective activist, a gifted writer, a terrific speaker, and a skilled clinician. She loved to laugh, and she was not afraid to cry. She performed abortions from the beginning, at a time hardly anyone else did, and she continued to do so throughout her professional life. She was an articulate spokesperson for reproductive health and reproductive rights. She inspired a generation of young women clinicians, researchers, and activists to strive to be like her. Above all else, she was very wise.
She was an incredibly loyal friend to many and especially to me. She was always there for me, in times of joy and in times of sorrow. I have fine, clear memories of dozens of shared meals, ranging from our annual pilgrimage to Chez Panisse, to surprise birthday parties for her in fabulous restaurants in San Francisco, to eating reindeer in freezing Helsinki in December (where we had gone so that she could get a Mirena IUD for hormone replacement therapy long before it was available here).
Did she have faults? To my knowledge she had two. She saw conspiracies where the rest of us saw none (usually involving Republicans, religious fanatics, or pharmaceutical companies), though perhaps she in fact had better vision than we. And she was incapable of sticking to her allotted time when making a presentation at our Contraceptive Technology conferences; now I regret she was not given more time as I realize that she simply had so much to say and too little time to say it. To those of us who knew her, Felicia Stewart was larger than life. Like many others, I loved her fiercely and miss her terribly. My only comfort is the knowledge that Felicia will live on in the book Contraceptive Technology, in the minds and memories of her many colleagues, and in the lives of her two extraordinarily wonderful children Kathryn and Matthew.
James Trussell, PhD
Director, Office of Population Research
Submitted on: Tuesday 4/18/06 11:46 AM
Felicia’s wonderful laugh will be my best memory. Like her, it was honest and open and joyous. She was a true visionary, but one with a sense of proportion and humor that made her an incredibly effective leader.
Lee Lee Doyle, PhD
Chair, ARHP Board of Directors
Little Rock, AR
Submitted on: Tuesday 04/18/06 11:22 AM
Felicia is irreplaceable, but we must continue to realize her vision and her energy and her caring for women's health. She may have suffered fools gladly, but she never made us feel like we were one of those fools. We were her confidants in the fight against the "short-sighted people" who have too much control in the world these days.
I recall her guilelessly asking an audience of college health professionals when we would begin to offer medication abortion in our college health services. We should be capable of providing this needed service that could reasonably fit within our scope of practice and Felicia refused to be immobilized by the inertia and fear of upsetting campus authorities that gripped her listeners.
You will be greatly missed, Dr. F. Stewart!
Scott Spear, MD
Past Member, ARHP Board of Directors
Submitted on: Tuesday 4/18/06 11:50 AM
I only had the pleasure of hearing Felicia speak formally. I'll never forget what a tremendous comfort her words were at the California Family Planning Council meeting in March 2003 in Anaheim—Felicia was the keynote speaker the morning after the U.S. invaded Iraq on March 19—everyone was clearly upset about the events from the night before, many were weeping. Felicia's opening remarks, her measured words and moral convictions touched everyone in the room. While she did eventually proceed with her talk on new birth control methods as planned, she performed an extraordinary feat by first addressing the world-changing event that was foremost on audience members' minds, then gradually helping us to focus on the important reproductive health issues about which she felt so passionately and spoke so authoritatively. I often think of Felicia's words that morning when I read the horrific news out of Iraq.
Submitted on: Tue 04/18/06 9:17 AM
Felicia introduced me to sushi decades ago, long before it became a staple of the American diet. In her gracious way she had invited me to her home when we were serving on some kind of task force together. I have associated that "pow" combination of ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce with her ever since.
Felicia was always ahead of the curve, a leader with the courage to envision new ways of delivering reproductive health services to women while upholding the greatest rigor in her research. Because of her passion, American women have much greater access to emergency contraception. Because of her leadership, Title X was sustained and protected during difficult political times. Because of her commitment to women's health, accurate information about contraception was consistently disseminated. Because of Felicia's life, millions of women and families have healthier, happier lives.
Former President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Submitted on: Tue 04/18/05 7:16 AM
I first met Felicia when I began the cervical cap study in 1981. She was my mentor and such a wonderful proponant of all methods of birth control and loved the cervical cap. Over the years we shared our strories of the development and eventual approval of the device. It is with great sadness and fond memories that I remember this very special lady, and all that she contributed to women's health over many years. She will be sadly missed, my best wishes to her family and close friends.
Liz Summerhayes, RN, NP, CNM
Los Gatos, CA
Submitted on: Tue 4/18/2006 9:27 AM
I will most remember her commitment and passion to women’s health, her courage in facing complex issues and politics and her ability to find humor under the most difficult of circumstances. We have lost a true leader in reproductive health and she will be greatly missed. In the coming months and years we can most honor her memory by rededicating ourselves to the causes that she championed.
Linda Alexander, PhD, FAAN
VP, Women’s Health
Submitted on: Mon 04/17/06 6:57 PM
I first met Felicia way back in 1975, when, recently out of public health school, I went to work for James Bowman Associates (JBA). Felicia had just had her first baby, and she served on the board of JBA...I remember her sense of humor, her competence, her love and dedication for her family, her ability to juggle everything, and wow, was I impressed. She even brought baby Katherine to meetings and nursed her!!!! She became a real role model to me, which continued throughout my career, even when our paths stopped crossing as frequently as they once did.
The last time I saw Felicia was at a meeting at the Hewlett Foundation, and she was upbeat, participating in an experimental regimen for her lung cancer. She was working on a book I think and we had a wonderful exchange.
I am so very sad for this loss to our community. We have lost a truly great human being.
Donna P. Hall
Palo Alto, CA
submitted on: Mon 04/17/06 6:30 PM
I'll always remember the first time I met Felicia. It was in October 1998 at ARHP's 35 Anniversary Gala. I was deeply impressed by this super intelligent, charismatic woman who gave a moving and passionate talk about current challenges in the field of reproductive health and what ARHP's role needed to be. I met her over lunch and immediately felt a connection with her. Although she had a certain aura and stood out in a crowd, she had a great ability to listen to and connect with others and make them feel heard. Felicia was a very compassionate person, and I am very thankful for the love, support, and encouragement that she gave to Wayne and I. I am really going to miss her, including the great conversations and her many insights. The reproductive health field and ARHP have lost a true leader. I and many others have lost a deeply caring friend. My deepest condolences to Kathryn and Mathew, who showed her such great love and support during the twilight of her life.
(Wayne Shields’ partner)
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 6:56 PM
I am so saddened by the news of Felicia Stewart’s death—one of ARHP’s most dynamic and insightful leaders. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing woman and will always remember the dedication she had to improving the lives of women throughout the world. I am grateful for the opportunities I had to work with her and for everything she taught me.
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 5:03 PM
The reproductive health community has just lost Felicia Stewart, whose career was devoted to better health for women. The end of her medical internship in Boston coincided with the legalization of abortion in New York, so as a young physician she went to work at one of the nation's first clinics where she served women from all over the country. She later sought training in obstetrics and gynecology at UCSF where she met her husband and practice partner. She and Gary Stewart moved to Sacramento to establish one of the most innovative and collaborative women's health practices in the country. Together they provided the full range of care from abortion to IVF, conducted family planning research, and were, of course, social and political activists.
After two decades of providing exemplary care to the women and families of Sacramento, they left private practice, Gary for international work and Felicia for Washington, DC, for government service in the Clinton Administration where she restored respectability to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA). She campaigned tirelessly, the Felicia Stewart way, for Title X, emergency contraception (EC), and safe motherhood. A real Californian, educated in Los Angeles and Berkeley before she went to Harvard Medical School, Felicia left DC for her second return home, this time to the Kaiser Family Foundation, where she led reproductive health efforts.
UCSF was Felicia's final professional home: academic medicine had never before attracted Felicia, but she thought our Center was a place where she could continue to make a difference for women and the next generation of practitioners and advocates. With charisma, ideas, and determination she accomplished both through her contributions to Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), California’s Family PACT program, EC, the Access through Primary Care Initiative (APC), and many other Center endeavors. I'll remember her in her green scrubs at SFGH, doing abortions for poor women, and I'll miss her on the two hour rides to Family PACT in Sacramento when we shared our admiration for, as Felicia put it, "the wonderful young people we're privileged to work with."
Most I'll miss her ironical sense of humor about human foibles, including her own, which even a long illness couldn't suppress. Please join me in mourning our loss of doctor, DASPA, professor, and life-long crusader for women, Felicia Stewart. I extend our special condolences to Katherine and Mathew, who cared compassionately for their mother through a difficult time.
Philip Darney, MD, MSc
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 4:00 PM
Felicia has been a dear friend and special colleague since September of 1971. I met Felicia through her husband, Gary. I was able to say a few words about Felicia in Boston a month ago. I spoke to Scharon Schnare, Michael Policar, and Anita Nelson about what I might say the night before at dinner.
There were some tears and some laughter. I said that Felicia was so amazing in the way she was creative and thought outside the box. And one of my companions suggested that she was never inside the box. A perfect example is Felicia’s solution to ending the war in Iraq: Send all the troops home immediately. Use all the money now being spent to send food, doctors, nurses, medicines, teachers, engineers, and agricultural experts to make life better for the people. Twenty-five years from now we may be saying that our country should have listened to a wise woman named Felicia Hance Stewart.
Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Emory University School of Medicine
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 3:21 PM
On behalf of the Endometriosis Association, we express our sincere sympathies to you and the ARHP staff upon hearing Dr. Stewart's death. Dr. Stewart did so much to improve the field of reproductive medicine, and initiate improvements for women's healthcare. We will sincerely miss her!
On behalf of Mary Lou Ballweg, Dori Knoff and the Endometriosis Association staff
submitted on: Monday, April 17, 2006 3:07 PM
Felicia was a major figure in my life and I’ll miss her terribly. She was both a personal and professional mentor, helping me understand the complexities of the field of reproductive health and how to visualize long-term change for the better. She was a true visionary who cared deeply about people. She took a heartfelt interest in the well-being of individuals in her life—and extended this generosity to the many women and men whose lives could be improved through better health care. She did not suffer fools gladly, and her boisterous laughter at the follies of “short-sighted people” was infectious. I loved her deeply and, although she will be missed, I have confidence her strong and impassioned legacy will continue through her network of friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
Wayne C. Shields
President and CEO
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 12:56 PM
As a Nurse Practitioner in women's health care, I worked with Felicia in L.A. a million years ago mostly as a consultant to LARF (currently has new name..) I am now bordering seventy glorious years. She was a beacon in women's health, a compassionate and progressive thinker and so much fun. She impacted my life in so many positive ways.
Sincerely and lovingly,
Renee Potik, RNC NP (Retired)
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 12:22 PM
Felicia was a great leader in our field and to me she will always remain a model for "polite activism" - her grace, intelligence, and wit kept pace with her commitment to the cause of women's right to choose, and she got more accomplished than others because of it.
Katherine D. LaGuardia, MD, MPH, FACOG
submitted on: Mon 4/17/2006 12:21 PM
Make a contribution to The Fund for the Future in honor of Dr. Stewart