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To provide specialized bereavement care to families who are devastated by perinatal death, and to promote healing in those who care for them.

October is Perinatal Loss and Infant Death Awareness Month.

Dr. William (Bill) Sweeney was a renowned perinatologist at AAMC whose sudden death left a large hole in the community and our hearts. 
Bill was instrumental in the development of the first free-standing perinatal palliative care program- SilverLeaf Counseling Services. He provided so much compassion and comfort to those who were struggling with a difficult pregnancy. We want to make sure this kind of support not only continues, but grows and improves. There is no mandated training for doctors, nurses, sonographers, etc. for perinatal palliative care, leaving most health care workers feeling uncomfortable and unequipped to provide quality bereavement care. This charity is designed to allow access to perinatal palliative care, one-on-one and family counseling and support groups, regardless of their ability to pay. It will also incorporate community education. This will include conferences and specialized training programs to those who care for these special babies and their parents, and encourage certification for this type of specialized care for all health care workers that work with this population. A CPLC (certified in perinatal loss care) certification is available through HPCC (Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center).



What is Perinatal Palliative Care?

Perinatal palliative care provides multi-disciplinary support to families who have a prenatal diagnosis of a life-threatening condition. Perinatal palliative care is gaining momentum around the country, as healthcare providers recognize that these families require support, anticipatory guidance, and most of all pre-planning for their baby's birth and death. Despite the growth of perinatal palliative care services in U.S. hospitals, insurance companies do not have any specific benefits for coverage. 

Capturing a Short Life

1 out of every 4 pregnancies result in loss. Bereavement care and memory making are important to honor parents, provide a legacy for their baby, and promote healing. 











Having discussions and making decisions prior to birth allows the parents to be more present with their babies and each other.



​Your donation and support will go directly to:

  • One-one counseling for the parents and families 

  • Planning for both baby's birth and death

  • Legacy building - Creating memories of the pregnancy and baby

  • Navigation through the health care system and coordination between providers 

  • Providing bereavement doulas during labor and delivery 

  • Specialized education for health care professionals to provide the best care for families, promote healing for themselves, reduce staff burnout, and create a supportive and compassionate space.



While no one asks to be thrown into the culture of grief, connecting parents and families to groups and events reduces the feelings of isolation and loneliness.



     Bill Sweeney didn’t really know what he wanted to be when he was growing up in Western New York. School wasn’t his favorite thing. While working at the local grocery store as a night manager, he met his future wife, Mary. It was then that he knew he “wanted to do something with his life” (his words.) So he enlisted in the air force. It was during this time that he was assigned to be an O.R. Tech. The bells went off for him. This was it. This is what he wanted to do.

     He went on to undergrad at University of Wyoming. Did medical school and residency at Creighton University, where he won two Golden Apples for his teaching. It was from there that he pursued a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Carolina Chapel Hill. In 2001, Bill moved to Annapolis to start the Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He was an AOA and ACOG member, worked with Isabella’s Gift, worked at the Pregnancy Aide center, and gave of his time for multiple other organizations in the area. while all of that is lovely and indicative of his hard work, that was only the surface of what was the driving force for him. What really drove him was to be able to provide the highest standard of care to anyone who needed it. It didn’t matter who you were, what you were going through, what you have or didn’t have. If he could help, medically or personally; he was there, no questions asked. He had no office hours. He kept his phone on all of the time. He really just wanted everyone to be as healthy and assured as possible. It was in the toughest cases, the ones where there are often no answers or explanations as to why, that he felt the resources available to the bereft were just too few. It was through this, that he came to work and trust Heather Silver.

    Bill was the father of 4 children and doting Boppa to one very lucky little girl.. Bill and Mary knew personally how the unexpected loss of a child changes your whole world.



For donations by mail:
Make checks payable to : Bill Sweeney Perinatal Fund 
929 Forest Bay Court
Gambrills, MD 21054