Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Night of Joy


The gala: A Night of Joy on Friday at the Omni William Penn, Downtown.

The cause: The Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation for Postpartum Depression was founded in memory of Alexis Joy (Micale) D’Achille, who suffered from severe postpartum depression and committed suicide six weeks after her daughter’s birth in 2013. The foundation is building the 5,000square-foot Alexis Joy Center for Women’s Behavioral Health within Allegheny Health Network’s West Penn Hospital. It will specialize in services for women with perinatal depression, including therapy appointmen­ts, intensive outpatient care and partial hospitaliz­ation for those with severe forms of postpartum depression. It’s one of the few programs in the country that won’t separate a mother from her newborn during treatment.

“Up to 20 percent of women suffer from postpartum depression,” said Dr. Allan Klapper, who chairs the department of obstetrics and gynecology at West Penn Allegheny Health System. “We need to reduce the stigma around it.”

Making a difference: “We believe [the center] will lead the way and set the bar for the rest of the country,” said Steven D’Achille. “I hope people realize that postpartum depression is not just a women’s issue. It’s a family issue.” His family pulled together after his wife’s untimely death and was touched by the outpouring of support they’ve received from local businesses. Adriana D’Achille, now 3½, looks for her mommy shining brightly among the constellat­ions in the night sky. “We sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,’” her father said. “We tell her that when God calls, you have to go.”

#ShareYourJ­oy: More than 200 turned out to toast the good work being done in Mrs. D’Achille’s honor. Guests mingled and browsed auction items during the cocktail party, where artist Marcus Zotter of Naples, Fla., painted a portrait of Alexis Joy commission­ed by her mother, Nancy Micale. A black-tie dinner followed in the grand ballroom, and the event raised $150,000.

#SEEN: Corrado Salvatore, Daniel Lobas, Adolfo and Carol D'Achille, Natalie Price, West Penn Hospital president/CEO Ron Andro, Debbi Linhart, Deb McDonald, David Goldberg, Dr. Patton V. Nickell and Dr. Sarah Homitsky.

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