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Grayslake doctor who delivered more than 15,000 babies dies

Dr. Dulce Milanes with photos babies she delivered died July 16 Lake Forest Hospital age 88.

Dr. Dulce Milanes, with photos of babies she delivered, died July 16 at Lake Forest Hospital at the age of 88.

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Updated: August 24, 2013 6:17AM

Once honored for delivering the most babies in the United States at 15,800 in 2002, Dr. Dulce Milanes, 88, of Lake Forest, who practiced in Grayslake, died July 16 at Lake Forest Hospital.

“At Vista Health System, we honor the memory of Dr. Dulce Milanes who passed away at the age of 88. She truly had an outstanding life and career as an obstetrician/gynecologist that spanned 58 years serving the people of Lake County,” said Barbara Martin, president and chief executive officer of Vista Health System. “She was born in Cuba and received her medical training in the United States at a time when very few women became doctors. Her career began at St. Therese Hospital in Waukegan in 1955, then she joined the staff of Victory Memorial Hospital in Waukegan a few years later,” she said, adding that these two hospitals today are part of Vista Health System and known as Vista Medical Center West and Vista Medical Center East.

“Dr. Milanes delivered more than 20,000 babies during her career, and most of them in our two hospitals. She will be greatly missed as she was an inspiration to generations of physicians, nurses, administrators and staff. We extend our condolences to her family for their loss while we celebrate her remarkable life that meant so much to so many,” said Martin. Milanes was at Vista East just recently to see the grand opening of a new maternity ward.

In an article in the Lake County News-Sun on July 16, 2013, she had a simple explanation for her life’s work: “‘I really love what I do,” she said, but she was considering retiring.

“I’ve been saying it for 10 to 15 years. Now it’s time, as soon as I find someone to replace me,” said the doctor, who started her practice in Lake County in 1954. She has had an office in Grayslake from the start and at one time also had a Waukegan office.

In 2002, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology declared she had the United States record for delivering babies, with a total of over 15,000, according to the resolution made in the Illinois House of Representatives that year. She also had a number of deliveries at what is now Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville.

She has delivered quite a few twins and three sets of triplets, including Jesus, Joseph and Mary on Christmas about 30 years ago.

Milanes was born in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 1925, to the late Eladio and Amalia (nee Garcia) Milanes. Dr. Milanes was an OB/GYN, maintaining a well known office on Center Street in Grayslake. She was the mother of Sergio Fuentes, Dulce (Robert) Brandt, and Matthew (Catherine) Fuentes; the grandmother of Michael Brandt, Dulce Fuentes, and Jennifer Fuentes; the sister of Eladia A. (the late Rudolfo) Suris. Funeral mass was held at St. Gilbert Catholic Church, Grayslake, and interment was held privately over the weekend.

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