7th annual Pediatric Palliative Care Symposium
The Hospice Biographers
Grief Educator and Counselor
Jeannie Goodspeed, MD
Parent, Writer, Pediatrician
Ann Marie Grocholski
Children's Hospices England
Liz trained as a nurse, midwife, and counsellor, and worked for more than 30 years in bereavement and end of life care. For 21 years she worked in the family support team of a children’s hospice near Winchester, England, where she co-facilitated condition-specific family groups. For example, parents of boys with Muscular Dystrophy would meet together whilst their sons participated in their own group.
Facilitating bereaved parents’ groups at the hospice has been one of the most moving experiences Liz has been privileged to have. Whilst working as a Midwife/Counsellor in a London hospital, Liz was part of a research team looking at the impact of unresolved mourning on mother-infant attachment following a stillbirth. For her pioneering work in establishing the first obstetric bereavement support unit in the country, Liz was recognised nationally in 1992 when she was awarded ‘Midwife of the Year’. Liz has personal experience of living with a close family member who has a chronic, life-limiting condition.
During the pandemic, she and her husband Stephen were joined by their two adult children, all fortunate enough to be able to work from home in Winchester. (So much for empty-nest syndrome!) Liz now volunteers as a hospice biographer in local adult hospices.
Susan is responsible for referral partnerships at CaringBridge. She partners with organizations such as hospitals and nonprofits to refer people on a health journey to use the CaringBridge communications platform. Many CaringBridge sites are started by the loved ones of a child facing a serious health risk so partnerships have been developed with many children’s hospital around the country. Susan passionately embraces the vision of CaringBridge which is “a world where no one goes through a health journey alone.”
CaringBridge is a free communications platform for anyone on a health journey or their family caregiver to connect through a secure and customized site to receive the love and support they need from family and friends to thrive. Over 300,000 people turn to CaringBridge daily.
Prior to joining CaringBridge, Susan spent 25 years in healthcare marketing communications and new business development.
Andrea Linaman, RN
I am a wife to my husband, Marc, mom to an 8 year-old boy and a 6 year-old girl. I have two fur-babies, Stanley and Sadee, who tag along on all of our outdoor adventures. I have been an RN for 9 ½ years, 2 of those years working at Crescent Cove Respite and Hospice Home in Minnesota. Having lost my mom to cancer when I was 17 years old, I knew I wanted to go into nursing to provide people the comfort and dignity they deserve atevery milestone in their lives. Most of my career has been focused in pediatrics and hospice, both of which I am passionate about. My personal experience with hospice has given me empathy and a deep appreciation for this area of nursing.
I had the honor of joining these areas of nursing at Crescent Cove. I spent 9 years working with the pediatric population, mostly in the homecare setting. This gave me insight into the delicate balance of medical need and emotional support for patients and families. I understand the unmitigated importance of pediatric palliative care and the support it provides patients and families, which compels me to share the incredible benefits that pediatric palliative and respite care can do for children and families.
Courageous Parent Network
Blyth Lord is the founder and Executive Director of Courageous Parents Network, a nonprofit Web and Mobile platform that empowers parents caring for children with serious illness, including the promotion of pediatric palliative care. Blyth's daughter, Cameron, died of Tay-Sachs disease in 2001. Blyth is also co-chair of the of the AAP’s Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Parent Advisory Group. Prior to founding Courageous Parents Network, Blyth worked for over 20 years as a television producer, including at WGBH in Boston, and ABC News in Washington, and she produced the award-winning film, Cameron’s Arc, with the American Academy of Pediatrics to educate primary care pediatricians in working with families from the time of diagnosis through to the end-of-life. Blyth is also a trustee of the Cameron and Hayden Lord Foundation which funds pediatric palliative care research and programming and medical research for treatments of lysosomal storage diseases. Blyth received her BA in History from Yale College, has a Masters in Education from Harvard, and lives in Massachusetts.