Honoring a Last Wish: To Be Remembered

Susan Liddell’s Family Makes a Gift in Tribute to Her Longstanding Service as a Midwife

Hello Sweet Baby painting

“Hello Sweet Baby” a portrait of Susan Liddell, CNM at work, hangs in The Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

Walking the halls of The Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, you’ll notice a captivating portrait of a woman’s profile gleaming into the eyes of a newborn baby. That painting captures the essence of Susan Liddell’s iconic career in midwifery – 25 years providing OB/GYN care and delivering over 2,000 babies to the families of Franklin County and beyond.

Before passing away from cancer, Susan made one request to her wife and daughter – to not be forgotten.

“She had such an immense impact on this community and the sisterhood of her profession,” recalls her wife, Jackie Wisotsky, who wanted a way to honor Susan’s career, life and legacy.

A Lasting Legacy

This fall, a commemorative sign honoring Susan will hang in The Birthplace outside its newest water birthing room, a project currently under construction thanks in part to the generosity of Susan’s family.

The tribute is fitting. Through her work at The Birthplace and Baystate Medical Practices Pioneer Women’s Health, Susan was a pioneering advocate for water births at Baystate Franklin, establishing all the medical protocols for the birthing technique and inspiring a new culture for mothers.

“Susan and I always had The Birthplace in our thoughts when it came to making donations,” says Jackie, who decided to give retirement plan assets to Baystate Franklin. “Making this gift to carry-on her memory and everything she embodied was a given for our family.”

Described as a constant educator, Susan was passionate about lifelong learning and committed to mentoring new midwives. Dedicated to providing full scope GYN care, she expanded her skill set to include colposcopy procedures – a practice that was not common in midwifery and that went far in disease detection and early treatment.

“Working alongside Susan was working in the company of a true professional, educator, leader and caring soul,” describes Linda Jablonksi, assistant nurse manager for The Birthplace. “Over the course of 25 years, Susan and I grew a special bond and the time I spent with her both on the floors of our unit and as a friend is invaluable.”

“I experienced the scope of Susan’s influence on the community – just how far-reaching those midwife hands really reached. I’d often been with her at the Wagon Wheel in Gill where women whose children or grandchildren she’d delivered would come up and say hello, but toward the end of her life, it felt like nearly every person I met had once been a patient of Susan’s.”
—Kathy Anderson, Friend of Susan Liddell

A Caring Team

“The staff and nurses at The Birthplace and Pioneer Woman’s Health really helped care for Susan and became our family through their thoughtfulness and support. They were instrumental in Susan being able to continue working as long as she did, and made such a difference in her emotional well-being, especially in her last years”

“I can’t begin to tell you what a great local hospital Baystate Franklin is and how fortunate we are to have it in our community,” says Jackie, who praises The Birthplace staff for their hard work, talent and caring. “You’re a real person here. The staff is always welcoming and their teamwork shines through. Susan loved it – her work, her patients and her team.”

To have known Susan Liddell was to know her impact on the women and families of Franklin County. Now, thanks to the generosity of her family and their gift to Baystate Health Foundation in support of The Birthplace, Susan’s passion for giving back through midwifery will carry on for generations – one baby at a time.

Honor a Loved One

Like Jackie, you, too, can honor a loved one and leave a lasting legacy. Simply contact Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or kylie.johnson@baystatehealth.org to get started today, at no obligation.

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