Dr. Laura Stachel was a practicing obstetrician when she was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition that forced her to end her career in obstetrics. After this, she decided “to pursue something that had been a dream,” she says, and enrolled in University of California-Berkeley’s School of Public Health, specializing in maternal health care. “I had no idea that at that time, 500,000 women were dying every year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth,” Stachel says. The revelation “was something that was very, very troubling, and something that I wanted to learn more about.”
After graduating, Stachel went on to build We Care Solar which makes Solar Suitcases, portable unit that have been used to power critical lighting for deliveries in more than 3,500 health centers around the world. For her work, Stachel was named a CNN Hero in 2013 and has been featured on ABC News, PBS Newshour and other programs. The Story Exchange wrote an article featuring Stachel and her work.