Women’s History Month – Her Story

Women’s History Month – Her Story


This Women’s History Month we will be highlighting the women of our organization who ensure the well-being of our patients and our staff. These women are trailblazing the way to help women make their health and life a priority. Thank you to each of these women for their dedication to providing our patients and staff with the best possible care. 

Neelima Sukhavasi, MD
Assistant Professor, OB/GYN
Associate Residency Program Director, LSU OB/GYN Residency Program

Dr. Neelima Sukhavasi is not only a practicing OB/GYN she is also an educator to our future OB/GYNs. Dr. Sukhavasi has been at the LSU OB/GYN Clinic at Woman’s Hospital since September 2018. Her main role is supervising the resident physicians as they see patients in our clinic, assessment center, labor and delivery, and operating rooms. Additionally, she “assists them with patient visits, delivering babies, surgical operations, and overall making sure these resident physicians are learning from every interaction while also taking the best possible care of our patients.”

Why did you decide to work in women’s Health?
“I have always had an interest in topics related to maternal and child health and reproductive justice. I’ve learned that if you can educate a woman and help her make reproductive choices that best suit her life goals, you not only impact her life but that of her family, children, and community.”

Why is it important for women to work in women’s health?
“I think women are more likely to open up and be honest with female providers. As women, we can relate to what our patients are going through on a more personal level and that helps us take care of our patients in all aspects of their health.”

What do you love most about working in women’s health?
“I love that I get to experience some of the happiest times in a woman’s life with them, but also help them through some of their most vulnerable moments. The field of OB/GYN is full of ups and downs and you really get to play an important role in that part of someone’s life. Overall, it’s very rewarding!”

Nia’Ja Mack, FNP-C
Gynecologic Oncology Nurse Practitioner

Nia’Ja Mack is a Nurse Practitioner with extensive experience in gynecologic oncology care. She began her nursing career in 2013 as a registered nurse specializing in Med Surg/Oncology. Nia’Ja joined Woman’s Hospital in 2014 and became a nurse practitioner in 2018. She provides care to women with gynecologic cancers and works closely with GYN oncologists to directly support patients from the beginning of their cancer journey through the surveillance period. Additionally, she diagnoses and treats benign gynecological conditions. 

Nia’Ja provides care to a patient population who needs consistent care from our staff while maintaining a high level of trust in them, and she is dedicated to “giving them a safe space to ask tough or embarrassing questions.”

Why did you decide to work in women’s health? 

“I’ve always had a peculiar interest in women’s health. I am a woman and I can relate to other women. There is unspoken confidence between women. I want to allow women an opportunity to be vulnerable and give them a safe space to ask tough or embarrassing questions. Women should be empowered to know and understand their bodies. I want to educate women and reduce their morbidity and mortality with preventative care.” 

Why is it important for women to work in women’s health? 

“It is important for women to work in women’s health because we need an advocate and someone to relate to and understand our issues. Here at Woman’s Hospital, women have some of their most joyous and difficult moments. In both instances, women deserve love and support.”

What do you love most about working in women’s health?

“I love the evolution of being a woman. I am constantly learning, growing, and building new relationships. Our journey of being a woman or health care provider has no end. Working in women’s health is part of a true sisterhood. I help my patients and they help me. It is a daily reward to care for all women.”

Nia’Ja has dedicated her professional career to the well-being of women and continues to provide exceptional care to each patient. If you would like to schedule an appointment within her specialty, please call (225) 216-3006.

Brooke Schoonenberg, MS, RDN, LDN
Manager Nutrition Services

Brooke Schoonenberg is the manager of nutrition services at Woman’s Hospital. She has been employed at Woman’s Hospital since June 2014. She primarily oversees the dietitians in all outpatient clinical areas. Additionally, she designs, and implements, the quality improvement of nutritional programs at the Woman’s Center for Wellness. Below Brooke shares her story about providing the best nutritional care for women’s health.

Why did you decide to work in women’s Health?

“Woman’s Hospital has quite the reputation as a great place to work and when I saw a job opening, I knew it was an opportunity I had to take. I love teaching women about nutrition and how eating a healthy diet can impact your quality of life in such an amazing way. As a woman and a mom, I know we tend to put ourselves last so seeing women put themselves first to learn what is needed to improve their health is extremely gratifying.”

Why is it important for women to work in women’s health?

“I don’t know if I can say this, but it takes one to know one. As women, we understand the feelings of fluctuating hormones, sleep deprivation postpartum, the difficulty of losing weight, and the constant need and desire to “do it all” – having another woman to confide in and lean on is invaluable.”

What do you love most about working in women’s health?

“Hearing someone say what a difference you’ve made in their life, no matter how big or small. Taking care of someone, who’s experiencing something I may have personally experienced myself. Helping women “do it all” while keeping themselves a top priority.”

Brooke continues to work relentlessly to take care of her patients and her staff. If you may be interested in finding the best nutritional options specifically for you, please call 225-924-8705 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled dietitians.