It is with heavy hearts that we share that a dear colleague, Luz María Soto Pizano, passed away unexpectedly last month. Luz María, known as “Luzma” among her friends, was a passionate and energetic clinician from Mexico, working tirelessly to improve the health of marginalized women in Chiapas State for most of her career. Luz María was a Young Champion for Maternal Health and participated in the 2015 Safe Mothers & Newborns Leadership Workshop. She was a bright and talented obstetrician who channeled her efforts to redressing health disparities and their underlying social inequities.
In the words of her colleague and fellow Young Champion, Ashiru Abubaker:
Luz was passionate, energetic, friendly, and always able to cheer people up. She was brave, generous, full of life, and, as her name implies, full of light which she radiated in every way. She gave mothers and children hope for change in her beloved Chiapas.
Luz will be spoken of as the light and icon that she was and always remembered when we need inspiration and motivation. As we try to follow Luz and fill the grand warrior shoes she left behind, the entire Maternal Health Young Champions and Maternal Health Task Force family will miss her greatly. These were Luz’s last words to me and I say same to her now: “Gracias Ashiru por recordarme. Tu estaras en mi corazon y en mis pensamientos.” (“Thanks for remembering me. You are always in my heart and thoughts.”)
Among the many talented young maternal health professionals in Mexico, Luzma was a shining example and source of inspiration and experience. Committed to bringing compassionate and evidence-based care to the most vulnerable women, she made unique contributions that will be sorely missed. We will remember Luz María for the great light that she was.