Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya
In July 2011 Debbie’s daughter, Autumn Joy, was stillborn. Since then Debbie has become a powerful advocate for stillbirth awareness and education. She has presented at two major maternal child health conferences, has had articles published in both the NJ Star Ledger and The Times of Trenton, and co-founded the Action for Stillbirth Awareness and Prevention (ASAP) Coalition. ASAP’s goals are to raise awareness and improve stillbirth outcomes in the United States. (www.stopstillbirthasap.org). While ASAP’s focus is at the national level, Debbie wanted to see change happen in her own backyard as well. She worked with New Jersey’s Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s office to get the state’s first ever stillbirth legislation passed. On January 21, 2014, the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act was signed into law. Debbie most recently established The 2 Degrees Foundation, a special project fund through the Community Foundation of New Jersey- that will ensure that every NJ family who could benefit from the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act does so. Debbie is committed towards the ultimate goal of improving stillbirth outcomes so that others never need to know the pain of stillbirth.