BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – After four decades as a registered nurse, Shinnston native Lee Ann Romeo is still touching lives and leaving her legacy on healthcare in north central West Virginia.
“I think when I’m ready to leave this profession, that hopefully my footprint can be seen for a little while after I’m gone. That’s what I’m hopeful for,” Romeo said.
Over the last 25 years, Romeo has worked with countless moms and babies, offering her support in some of the most impactful moments in life.
” There’s something about being a part of that experience, for a family, it’s a very intimate time for them. They may not remember really your name, but they will never really forget you and what role you played in helping them get through that experience,” Romeo said.
Romeo started in labor and delivery 25 years ago and in the last ten years, she’s been involved in teaching new moms about the very first stages of an infant’s development, offering lactation support for new moms and helping spearhead United Hospital Center‘s effort to become one of just four “baby-friendly” hospitals in the state.
“Even in the short period of time I’ve been here, a lot of moms now are choosing to do breastfeeding and I can see it’s becoming more the norm, where before, it was just something a few moms chose to do. Now I can see more and more moms, it’s becoming, ‘what I want to do’,” Romeo said.
Romeo also takes the time to offer comfort, through a support group, to grieving mothers who have lost a child.
“We take care of each other, coming together as a family, as a community and helping each other, wherever and whenever that is needed. I think that’s what I kind of always wanted to do,” said Romeo.