Pediatrics and End of Life

For this week’s blog, we are excited to spotlight two more of the experts scheduled to speak at IDLM’s upcoming Tree of Life Conference. 

Toula Saratsis is an end of life doula who specializes in pediatric care. From her bio:

Toula is a Certified End-of-Life Doula who specializes in perinatal and pediatric palliative care, end-of-life, and after death care support. She was called to this work in 2016 after her daughter Angelica’s anticipated passing from a life limiting condition at nearly seven years old.  Her outreach to others is rooted in advocacy that parallels activism through Community Death Care Education.  

She holds a National End-of-Life Doula Alliance proficiency badge, is a member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and advocates with the Children’s Palliative Care Coalition of Michigan.  Toula became an advisor volunteer at Michigan Medicine in 2016 and is a recipient of the Evan Newport JOY Award for Pediatric Volunteer Services.  

Tami Lodgson is a licensed counselor-therapist who specializes in working with bereaved and grieving children. From her bio:

Tami is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor with 14 years’ of experience

working with adolescents in inpatient, school, and detention settings. Tami’s

passion is bereavement support for children, adolescents, and adults. Specialties

include bereavement counseling following death by suicide utilizing narrative

therapy combined with expressive arts therapy. Tami is the Director of Grief Support

and Education for the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, located in San

Antonio, Texas and regularly presents on children’s grief for local school districts, and

has presented for Texas Social Workers Conference in 2021 and National Alliance for

Children’s Grief Symposium in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2023.

It is well known that children process grief very differently from adults, and this is something all of us in end of life care should be aware of, even if we don’t work with children directly. Doulas in particular often interact with whole families, so it is vital to have an awareness of the special needs children might have during a time of loss. Toula Saratsis and Tami Lodgson are both experts in helping children through grief, and even through the end of life transition, and they offer invaluable insights into how to offer support to children as an aspect of end of life work.

Maybe you are feeling drawn to pediatric doula work and feel like you need to know more. Maybe you have another specialty where you don’t focus on children specifically but sometimes work with families with children. Maybe you’re just curious, because working with children in relation to end of life work is something you don’t know anything about yet. In any case, there will be no better place to learn. Each of these ladies will be giving individual presentations at the IDLM Tree of Life Conference in November, sharing wisdom learned through years of working closely with children. If you feel you could use more information in this area for any reason, this is absolutely the place to get it.

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Tree of Life Conference

Honor The Cultural Background Of The People We Serve

When it comes to delivering end of life care, it is important to be aware of and to honor the cultural background of the people we serve. Two of our Tree of Life speakers this November are particularly focused on end of life and grief care from their own cultural point of view.

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