ACNM Mourns the Passing of Donna Vivio, CNM, MPH, MSN, FACNM
It is with great sadness that ACNM shares the news of the death of Donna Vivio, CNM, MPH, MSN, FACNM. Sadly, Donna spent the past 6 months battling a rare type of duodenal cancer. She passed away in hospice care supported and comforted by her husband, Paul Schwengels, her daughter, Robin, and her sons, Benjamin and Nicholas.
Donna became a midwife in 1982 after graduating from Georgetown University. She worked in a number of midwifery practices in Washington, DC and Maryland, and was well known as a clinical preceptor for midwifery/medical students and residents.
In 1998, Donna began to focus her passion for women and newborns into global health projects. From 1999 to 2003, she served as Director of Global Outreach for ACNM, overseeing tremendous growth in the department’s size and program initiatives. Donna then worked for Jhpiego, the international, health nonprofit organization for women and families affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, rising to become the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Center of Excellence, coordinating projects in many countries.
From 2007 to 2012, Donna and Paul lived in Zambia, Bangladesh, and Jordan. Working for the World Health Organization and Jhpiego, she led reproductive health and perinatal projects, as well as efforts to support midwifery education and practice. Most recently, Donna held an important position as a Senior Newborn Health Advisor at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She traveled throughout the world, supporting countries and helping develop USAID programs to reduce the number of preventable newborn deaths.
Donna was a talented, warm, sincere, and tactful woman who built positive relationships everywhere she went. She worked to make the world a better place—for newborns, women, and her students and co-workers. Donna was a mentor to many of us, with a heart full of midwifery love and generosity. As a colleague noted, “Her generosity of spirit brought me into the fold. Opening a door for someone takes a special kind of person, and that's what Donna embodied.” Donna will be deeply missed.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, 310 Tulip Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Donna’s name to: