PLIDA’s mission is to promote the highest quality of consistent evidence-based perinatal bereavement care for all families who experience the death of a baby. We express this mission through professional continuing education, the establishment of Position Statements and practice guidelines, unified responses to issues in the media or legislation, and by creating a network for professionals to share questions, resources, insight, and support.

Each PLIDA member is imperative for the success of this organization. Our members are the ones working on the front lines, putting in the time, sharing their knowledge, energy and carrying out this organization mission. PLIDA would like to highlight and share the work of our members and their contributions to our community. 

Are you interested in being featured as a PLIDA Member, or know someone who is? The application is available here: Member Spotlight Application

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA member Heather Bradley, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas, Inc. 

Heather shares her story with us.
I founded Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas in 2018 to provide free labor doula support to families experiencing perinatal loss. In 2016, a dear friend lost her second child, Madeline, to stillbirth. After witnessing the profound loss and grief, my eyes were opened to the silent tragedies women and families were experiencing all around me and how ill equipped most people, including myself, were in handling it. I began reading everything I could about perinatal loss and bereavement care, and went to  nationally recognized bereavement workshops. I wanted to make a difference. I had spent the last 20 years working as a childbirth educator and doula, so the logical thing to do was create a non-profit that could offer specialized care to perinatal loss families. Gratefully, our program has been very well received and little by little, more health care providers are learning of our services. We were very lucky to receive a 2-year grant from The Hillman Foundation, which is a well-known local institution. That is something I am very proud to have accomplished because I find fundraising and grant writing to be the most challenging of tasks. To the families I serve, I am grateful they allow me into a very sacred space. I want to share with them what I have learned so they have no regrets about the short time on Earth they have with their babies. I want them to know that fear doesn't have to be the dominant emotion.
Heather Bradley, BA, BLA/BLFA
Executive Director
Pittsburgh Bereavement Doulas Inc
Area of Expertise: Advocacy, Bereavement Coordination, Labor & Delivery, Labor, Delivery Recovery and Postpartum, 
Perinatal Bereavement



The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA Board Member, Rebecca Carter. Rebecca served in the Education Committee as Committee Chair. She also has served two consecutive terms as a Board Member.

I have had the privilege of serving families in the Houston area for nearly 12 years as a prenatal genetic counselor. I encounter many who are not familiar with my profession and I always appreciate the opportunity to describe a job that combines my love for genetics, education, and patient advocacy. My work allows me to walk with parents as they navigate new pathways upon receiving incredibly difficult, unexpected news about their pregnancies. This may involve genetic test facilitation and interpretation, and/or understanding ultrasound findings and their implications. From the beginning of my career I have felt a strong connection to the mothers and fathers who learn of a suspected or known life-limiting diagnosis in their baby, and their unique needs in the pre-, peri-, and neonatal periods and beyond. I have found that working with families experiencing this profound and indescribable grief is both the most challenging and the most rewarding part of being a genetic counselor. I am forever grateful to Gina Jones for introducing me to PLIDA and connecting me with some of the most brilliant and passionate individuals I have ever encountered, allowing me to expand my knowledge and grow my impact in both the fields of genetic counseling and neonatal and perinatal palliative care. I draw much of my professional inspiration from the work that has been pioneered by leaders in this field like Drs. Rana Limbo and Denise Côté-Arsenault. I have shared the podium at conferences with the incredible Kathie Kobler and Dr. Brian Carter, standing in awe at the depth of their dedication to improving the experiences of families (and the fact that I got to learn from them first-hand!). And I am inspired on a daily basis by the human resilience I witness in my office at the hospital. 

I am so proud to have recently contributed chapters on genetic counseling to two different books written about perinatal and neonatal palliative care. I hope that this encourages those within and outside of my profession to recognize how genetic counselors can contribute on a multidisciplinary level to provide the best care possible for families facing this difficult journey. I take great pride in the projects I have helped implement as PLIDA’s education committee chair, including member benefits like Ask PLIDA, Research & Resources, and Hot Off the Press, and our inaugural webinar series kicking off in June 2021. My hope is that our members have as many ways as possible to broaden their knowledge and reach, as we have so much to learn from one another! I would recommend that members never hesitate to reach out to other members or leaders within PLIDA, whether it be for knowledge, mentorship, or simply building your community. Be open to what unexpected opportunities may arise through such connections!

The advice I work and live by is to exercise gratitude, both for oneself and others. Through this gratitude we can be the best version of ourselves and connect with others in a meaningful, impactful way.

Rebecca Carter, MS, CGC
UT Health (Houston, TX)
Certified Genetic Counselor, Assistant Professor

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA member Jill Kottmeier. Jill served on the IPBC 2021 Chicago planning committee and generously donated much of her time to planning the Chicago conference. 

I spent the first 17 years of my career as an L&D nurse and had a passion for caring and supporting families who were experiencing the loss of their baby. In 2015 I had the opportunity to become the Perinatal Palliative Care Coordinator and facilitate our program to support families. Since then, I have been able to continue to expand and evolve our program to fit the needs of our families and staff. In 2019, we had the opportunity to have a Jane’s Room created at NCH as another layer of support for families. This has been an incredible addition to our department, but was also a great learning experience for me. Oftentimes, people ask how I continue to do the work that I do, and my answer is always the families. I have the opportunity to be welcomed into such a private space of grief, walk alongside them in their journey, and watch them grow and evolve all while carrying on their baby’s spirit. The work we do is beyond difficult and I must practice good self-care to sustain, but the reward that comes from the relationships we create with families is indescribable.

Jill Kottmeier, RN, BSN, CPLC
Perinatal Palliative Care Coordinator  
Northwest Community Hospital

PLIDA Co-Founder, Past President and Resolve Through Sharing (RTS) Director Emerita Dr. Rana Limbo has once again been a major contributor to an American Journal of Nursing (AJN) Book of the Year. Handbook of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care: A Guide for Nurses, Physicians, and Other Health Professionals, edited by Rana Limbo, PhD, RN, CPLC, FAAN; Charlotte Wool, PhD, RN; and Brian Carter, MD, FAAP was named a 2020 AJN Book of the Year in two categories: First Place in the Maternal-Child Health/Prenatal Nursing/Childbirth Category and First Place in the Palliative Care and Hospital Category. This is Dr. Limbo’s third AJN Book of the Year. 

PLIDA asked Mary Beth Hensel, MBA Executive Director Resolve Through Sharing, to share with PLIDA members for January Member Spotlight, Dr. Rana Limbo. 

How does one begin to write a tribute to a mentor, colleague, and friend who looms larger than life in the lives of so many? There are not adequate words to describe Dr. Limbo’s contributions to the various places she has lived and worked throughout her 50+-year career. Leader, director, author, editor, mentor: she has impacted bereavement care on so many levels, particularly at the helm of the international RTS program which she co-founded at Gundersen (then Lutheran Hospital) in 1981. An expert in relationship, her personal and professional reach cannot be measured. 

Dr. Limbo has been a pioneer in the field of bereavement (primarily perinatal) research, publication, and education, influencing care standards at Gundersen Health System and around the world. Listening to the stories of loss told by many families and collaborating with bereavement experts, her evidence-based approach draws upon research findings, professional expertise, and the patient experience. She is known and respected by bereavement leaders across the globe. 

In addition to being a leader for the masses, Rana has been a respected director, an inspiring mentor, and a beloved colleague to RTS staff over the years. Some of Rana’s most notable titles over the course of her renowned career include Director of Resolve Through Sharing, Fellow American Academy of Nursing, President of Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA), first-ever recipient of the AWHONN Award of excellence in leadership (2017), and Gundersen Medical Foundation Dahlburg Scholar. Additional achievements include author, editor, reviewer, and contributor to over 70 peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed publications; author, editor, reviewer, and contributor to multiple online learning and audio-visual productions; recipient of over 20 awards and honors; presenter of over 90 invited talks; and participant in nearly 20 research projects.

It is difficult to wrap one’s mind around the enormity of these professional achievements. Perhaps, far more extraordinary is to try to imagine all the lives Dr. Limbo has deeply impacted, not only through her work, but equally through her being. That is what comes to mind first and foremost for me when I think of Rana. I know how my life has been transformed and my heart encouraged so many times by her genuine caring and support. Rana has generously invited and championed my professional growth through what seem to be countless opportunities. She has patiently and wisely mentored me as a leader and as a person. I am a far better human being for having met, worked with, and known her. Perhaps, most remarkable of all, there are certainly many, many more in Rana’s personal and professional circles who feel just as I do. 

And so, it is with great love and admiration, I submit this tribute to my dear, treasured friend and colleague.

Mary Beth Hensel, MBA
Director, Resolve Through Sharing

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA member, former PLIDA President and Conference Planning Committee Chair, Cathi Lammert, RN. 

I am sure that most of you in the perinatal bereavement community know who Cathi Lammert is. But you may not know all that is important to know about her. I am also sure that the field would not be where it is today without her loving influence. Sr. Jane Marie Lamb founded Share in 1977, and what she started took off like wildfire once Cathi became the executive director in 1991. 

I met Cathi in the spring of 2002 at a Share fundraiser and started volunteering there a few days later. At that time, I had no idea who she was or what an impact she and her work would have on my life. I quickly learned what a well-respected force of nature Cathi was, not only in the perinatal bereavement world, but in our small community as well. PLIDA was in the early stages of being founded when I started volunteering then working at Share, so I have seen firsthand how her hard work and diligence as one of the founding members has paid off in so many ways. 

I learned so many things from Cathi that have benefited me in my work over the years, but something that has always stuck with me is how much she truly loved working with bereaved parents. She lived the mission of Share every day, and anyone who had the good fortune to work with her learned how to provide superb care, (whether on the phone, in support groups, or a parent who walked into the office), from the best. Daily operations at the national Share office can be busy, full of the unexpected, yet no matter what was happening, we all knew the most important thing was caring for our families, even if other tasks did not get accomplished that day.

Like Sr. Jane Marie before her, she always said the families she was honored to serve were her best teachers. That is probably her greatest lesson to those who work at Share, even 7 years after she retired. We all have many tasks, but her legacy of always providing the very best, most compassionate care to those who are grieving the loss of their beloved babies lives on. 

As passionate as she was about caring for bereaved families, she had that same passion for educating caregivers who work with those families. The years she spent creating the Share training program that teaches nurses, social workers and other caregivers is still appreciated and implemented today. 

 I often think of Sr. Jane Marie, who passed away in 2005, and I have no doubt she is so proud of the work Cathi carried on her memory. And I hope that Cathi is proud of the work that Share is still doing in her honor and because of her. Share and the perinatal bereavement community would not be what it is without her.

Rose Carlson, BS
Program Director at Share
PLIDA Education Specialist  

Area of Expertise: Bereavement Support Group Coordinator, and Education.

For Contact Information, please visit PLIDA Members Directory. 

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce you to PLIDA member Rose Carlson, Program Director at Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support. 

When I came to Share in 2002, I was a volunteer simply looking for a way to fill a few hours each week after my youngest child started preschool. I quickly grew to love the organization and its mission, and when a job became available 2 years later, I gladly accepted it.

My role at Share is unique. I wear many hats, but my main task is providing support to families who experience the death of their baby. This encompasses talking to parents and other family members on the phone, monitoring and moderating our private Facebook groups and facilitating weekly online support group meetings. I write brochures and booklets for grieving families and plan/host several different memorial events each year for our families.  

My secondary role is providing education to professionals who work with bereaved families. While this requires a different set of skills, I greatly enjoy this aspect of my job. I teach workshops locally and at national conferences that provide care givers the tools they need to provide the best support to families who experience the death of their baby.  

As we all know, working in this field is often emotionally challenging and draining, but being witness to the deep pain bereaved parents experience and then watching them begin to heal and find hope, even joy, in life again is what inspires and encourages me the most. I also find much inspiration from the caregivers I am privileged to teach. While I present on various topics related to perinatal loss, such as support group management and self-care, my favorite is memory making. 

When parents lose their beloved baby, they have so few tangible items to remember them by, and I am passionate about providing caregivers with new and fresh ideas that go above and beyond what is typically given. I am equally as passionate about helping bereaved parents and their loved ones come up with ways to continue to honor and parent their baby and weave them into their family over the years. I was recently given the opportunity to video record a comprehensive workshop for caregivers on memory making as well as write and print a booklet on the topic for caregivers. Right now, it is only available to those in the state of Missouri, and anyone who completes the online presentation will receive the booklet and a kit of memory making items to use in their work with families. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity Cathi Lammert gave me years ago when she hired me, and the things I learned from her have been invaluable in my work at Share and with PLIDA. I am also grateful for all the wonderful, compassionate caregivers I have come to know thanks to PLIDA. I cannot possibly name them all, but they have touched my heart and my life in meaningful ways. I would not be able to do all that I do without the network of support I have found in this beautiful community. 

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA member Noelle Moore, Founder & Executive Director of The Finley Project. 

The work I am most proud of is changing an entire Hospital Systems’ Staffing Structure along with developing the nation’s only 7-Part Holistic Program for mothers after infant loss. My experience in the Bereavement world began 7 years ago when my daughter died as a result an OBGYN not being on property when we needed help. I waited in the OR for 35 minutes, prepped and ready, after being admitted for 2 days. Eventually an OBGYN arrived, but my daughter died 23 days later as a result of an emergency c-section not being performed in a timely manner. After her death, I began advocating for change within this large Hospital System and the OB Hospitalist sector.

Due to my advocacy, this large Hospital System developed an entire OB Hospitalist Program, employing 26 OBGYNs and midwives. As a result of seeing this change, I began “Know Moore Consulting” where I aim to work with hospitals to help train and develop OB Hospitalist programs. I also noticed a large gap between the hospital and the home, thus starting the nation’s only 7-Part Holistic Program for grieving mothers after infant loss called, “The Finley Project.” 

The Finley Project supports over 220+ families in 28 states that represents 70+ Hospitals. The cost for The Finley Project to support one mom is $1500 this includes: funeral planning support, meal gift cards, house cleaning, massage therapy, counseling, support group placement and volunteer peer support.  In terms of other Bereavement involvement, I serve as a Founding member of the “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Resource Board of Central Florida,” and also work for “Breaking Bad News,” where we educate physicians on how to break bad news in the most compassionate and effective way possible.  

Noelle Moore
Founder & Executive Director of The Finley Project -
Maitland, Florida 

Area of Expertise: Advocacy, Bereavement Support Group Coordinator, and Perinatal Bereavement.
For Contact Information, please visit PLIDA Members Directory.

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce PLIDA member and 2021 IPBC Speaker, Joey Miller, MSW, LCSW. 

Of the millions of pregnancies conceived annually in the U.S. alone, one third end in loss, and of those born, 22,000 infants die within their first year. These numbers are staggering – and underscore the pervasiveness of this type of loss. This tragedy can extend beyond profound grief, creating extensive physical, emotional, and psychological hurdles for women when they consider another pregnancy – something the majority of bereaved women will pursue. Yet there are very few guides to navigating such a complex journey…until now.

Ms. Joey Miller, MSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive experience in women’s reproductive health, loss and trauma, and mental health. She received her degrees from Northwestern University and Loyola University Chicago. Joey began her career working in adult trauma and emergency medicine before gaining unparalleled experience in pregnancy and infant loss while serving as the perinatal loss program coordinator at Prentice Women’s Hospital of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago – the largest birthing hospital in the state of Illinois. Her work in this area is now a primary focus of her clinical practice at Wellsprings Health Associates where she sees patients for urgent consultation and ongoing individual and couples therapy.

Formerly, Joey served as faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and remains active in the education and training of medical professionals. Her new book, "Rebirth: The Journey of Pregnancy After a Loss," will be released in October 2020 by Hachette Go (a division of Hachette Books), and addresses the unique challenges bereaved women face with subsequent pregnancy. With concrete help for coping with the immediate aftermath of tragedy to managing lingering grief while trying to conceive, Rebirth addresses the inconceivable with deep empathy, personal accounts from 25 of the thousands and thousands of patients Joey has counseled over the last 20 years, practical guidance, and an encouraging message of healing and hope.

More information can be found on her personal website at
Joey Miller, MSW, LCSW


The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce some of the PLIDA Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee members.

Terri Major-Kincade, MD MPH (HEDI Committee Chair)
Richardson, TX  |   Role: Physician
Area of Expertise: Advocacy, Pediatric Hospice & Palliative Care, Perinatal Bereavement, Education, Ethics, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Hospice & Palliative Care, Neonatology, Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care, Research, Women's Health, Writing 

I’ve had the pleasure of caring for babies and families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the past 20 years and consider my job a blessing, a ministry and a privilege. My sister was born in 1968 weighing only 1lb at 26 weeks and is the reason that I wanted to be a neonatologist. Every time I hold a preterm infant in my hand, I am reminded of her and my parents. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is the opportunity to send a baby home and helping a family to navigate a journey they previously believed they would be unable to navigate. But my most memorable experiences form the NICU and from Labor and Delivery are actually from those families who had to say hello and goodbye…those families who were unable to take their babies home.  It is the most challenging part of my job…validating a family’s experience in a place where they feel not seen, giving them hope in a space that seems filled with darkness, offering choices at a time when they believed they  had no choices When I share with audiences that I am a neonatologist people often respond, “ Oh you care for sick babies I couldn’t do that…., “ but neonatology is not the care of babies it is the care of families….I see miracles every day. I meet angels every day…and things I have learned from families over the years are priceless. I am most inspired by families in the NICU. They have taught me the power of quiet strength. they have taught me the art of difficult conversations. They have taught me what it truly means to provided informed decision making. They have taught me that there is power in choosing how one desires to say goodbye and that my role in the medical community is to advocate for those choices. With respect to my field I have long considered Dr. Brian Carter my official and unofficial mentor with respect to Neonatal and Perinatal Palliative Care. His passionate and thoughtful approach to the care and management of families in difficult circumstances has taught me so much…I could spend a lifetime learning at his feet. Families and Colleagues are blessed to know and work with him.  

I am most proud of initiating and leading the development of 3 Neonatal Palliative Care and Perinatal. Hospice Teams in three major hospital systems that continue to provide excellent collaborative and multidisciplinary care to families in North Dallas. I additionally proud of efforts to increase awareness of issues related to health disparities around the nuances of grief int the African American Community that are complicated by systemic racism and implicit bias and inspiring strategies to improve our efforts in supporting marginalized populations. 

The best career advice that I’ve ever received was from my Mom….” Do what you love. The rest will come. Pick a career that you would continue to want to pursue even if you didn’t need to work. After 20 years I still relish the thought of caring for babies and families. Running to deliveries. Sharing with families. Holding a 1lb human in my hand. Encouraging moms and Dads through both tears and words....I know a part of me will always do this work.

My Life motto is my Life Verse: “ Do not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a reward if we do not give up “ Galatians 6:9.


Julie Bindeman, Psy-D
Rockville, MD  |   Role: Psychologist 
Area of Expertise: Bereavement Support Facilitation, Perinatal Bereavement, Education, Reproductive Health, Women's Health, Writing 

Working with bereaved parents feels like such a gift. I am proud of the work that I do with my groups, individual clients as well as couples. I’m also proud of the writing and speaking that I’ve been able to do.  I’ve helped to create an annual Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Service in the Washington, DC area in partnership with several synagogues. This was a passion project of mine, that with a lot of nudging and coordination, became a reality. I’ve also been able to create programming with Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility and taught numerous other mental health professionals, lay leaders, and clergy as a result about the pain of a reproductive journey. 

In terms of a motto, I stick the a phrase my Great-Aunt taught me: “This too, shall pass”. It’s what I hold in the dark times, but also what I use for the easy times as a way to remember to savor them. I find inspiration paddling on a kayak or walking through the woods. 

I’ve been so fortunate to have found really wonderful mentors, so I’m not sure that I would pick anyone else. 

In terms of career advice, following my heart and dream was what I was fortunate to be able to do. I knew that I wanted to have my own practice and am blessed that it is a group practice and that I found my focus. I came to my niche “honestly” through my own fertility journey. While I would never wish that pain on anyone, the work I do honors the three babies who I carry in my heart.  In terms of a networking tip, I like to tell others to talk to EVERYONE! You never know where a potential referral might come from. 


Natasha Nurse-Clarke, RN, PhD
Queens, NY  |   Role: Assistant Professor - Faculty
Area of Expertise: Bereavement Support Group Facilitation, Perinatal Bereavement, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Writing 

Natasha Nurse-Clarke,  is a Registered Nurse with a background in neonatal nursing, grief counseling and nursing education. She has experience as a Regional Perinatal Center Coordinator at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY and experience facilitating a Bereavement Support Group for families experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. Dr. Nurse-Clarke currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing at Lehman College, City University of New York (CUNY), in the Bronx NY where she is a leader in online education.

Dr. Nurse-Clarke holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Hunter College, CUNY, a Masters of Science in Nursing in the Clinical Nurse Specialist track with a focus on High-Risk Mothers and Infants from the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate School of Nursing, a Post-Master’s Advanced Certificate in Grief Counseling from Brooklyn, College, CUNY and a PhD in Nursing from the CUNY Graduate Center. She has received multiple educational grants and scholarships and has presented at multiple conferences and speaking engagements. Dr. Nurse-Clarke has deep interests in online education, perinatal bereavement support, and adolescent health and advocacy. Dr. Nurse-Clarke is also active in various associations including the Delta Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. 


Agata Frevle, MA, LPC, NCC
St. Louis, MO  |   Role: Mental Health Professional, Counselor Educator
Area of Expertise: Perinatal Bereavement, Education, Perinatal Loss Research 

In my career as a counselor educator, I am driven by the three goals: ensuring that differential mental health outcomes following the perinatal loss are topics that are covered during counselor training, expanding our understanding of functioning following loss through rigorous research and advocating for services for diverse families. 

My first goal is what initially made me want to focus specifically on mental health in perinatal loss. Four years ago, when my clients at the youth homeless shelter started to share their stories of pregnancy loss, I did not feel equipped to support them. Shortly after that I experienced my own personal loss and I realized that the traumatic nature of the event and the extensive grief I was experiencing following it was not something that was discussed during my clinical mental health training. From that point on I have striven to bring awareness of and knowledge about reproductive trauma to my current program. I have conducted and organized multiple trainings focused on the topic of reproductive trauma. I have also surveyed and collected data from practicing counselors to better understand their current competency levels when working with this population to further identify training needs. I am currently analyzing the results and will be presenting them at the upcoming American Counseling Association conference. 

In terms of my second goal, the majority of the current literature focuses on negative mental health outcomes following perinatal loss. However, I want to ensure that the strength of the families that experience loss does not go unnoticed. Therefore, in my research I focus on positive psychological change, called posttraumatic growth, that women and families can experience following perinatal loss. Through identifying resilience factors that can contribute to families’ posttraumatic growth, we can inform treatment approaches that foster more adaptive functioning after loss. My paper focused on changes in core beliefs and rumination following miscarriage or stillbirth as predictors of posttraumatic growth was just accepted for publication in Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy. My dissertation work further explores additional factors that impact families’ adjustment, specifically social support received following loss. I am excited that through my research I can contribute to the scarce literature focused on the topic of pregnancy loss. 

Finally, it is important for me to strive toward multicultural humility and for that to be represented in my research, supervision, teaching and clinical practice. Therefore, I am proud to be part of the HEDI committee. As a committee member I can utilize my research skills and experience to provide recommendations that are grounded in the available literature and best practices. My hope is that through this committee we can foster practices that are culturally sensitive and encourage diversity in the PLIDA community. I am inspired by other committee members and honored to be working alongside them.


Delta Larkey, M.A. LMFT CPLC
Minneapolis, MN  |   Role: Mental Health Professional
Area of Expertise: Perinatal Bereavement, Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care, Parent Advocacy, Mental Health Care 

I co-own a mental health clinic in St. Paul MN, The Family Development Center. It is a mission driven clinic that specializes in perinatal mood disorders and reproductive trauma, such as, traumatic birth, infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant death. We are also a teaching clinic that focuses on recruiting and training culturally responsive therapists and therapists of color. We are committed to providing a safe space to all individuals and families. We strive to have our clinic reflect inclusion, cultural responsiveness, and compassion in all areas of our work. We are committed to social justice and participate with other community organizations to address the racial and socioeconomic inequities in mental health care. 

The Family Development Center is actively involved in antiracist work. We require all of our clinicians to agree to and sign an agreement and commitment to do the work of dismantling white supremacy through fierce and unrelenting self-reflection, creating space and safety for previously silenced topics, introducing dimensions of diversity in consultation, supervision, therapy, and casual conversations in an effort to set the tone to explicitly acknowledge and validate the lived experiences of clinic employees of diverse backgrounds, and explicitly name and address the impact of power relations and privilege upon relationships.

We also have an Equity Committee that meets biweekly to ensure we are meeting the mission of the clinic as well as keeping the focus of holding ourselves accountable to antiracist work.  

I am the most proud of the work we have done at this clinic. Having created a work environment that is inclusive, centers the voices of all not just a few, works daily to build trust and connectedness among staff and believes that if we do this work with each other we can do better work with our clients. I find the most inspiration in stories of strength and resilience. I am fortunate in my work that I get to hear these stories everyday. 

Mentor: I really like Elizabeth Warren. She is smart and empathic. She was a teacher so I love how she explains things. She reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote, “ At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Senator Warren is a person that I would imagine would make me feel good to be around.


The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA member Britney Spees, Co-Founder of Mamie's Poppy Plates in Little Rock, Arkansas, and highlight the contributions of her organization to the families and the communities they serve.

Ten years ago, my sister lost her daughter Mamie shortly before her due date. As with many grieving parents, she was searching for answers and a way to make Mamie's life meaningful. In 2011, we began what is now Mamie's Poppy Plates, a non-profit organization that provides remembrance plates to families who experience the loss of a baby or child. We began with one plate in one hospital. We never imagined the growth we would experience. Ten years later, we are partnered with 76 hospitals across the country and gifted more than 1,000 plates to grieving parents last year.

These plates give families a tangible memory of their child to proudly display and share with others. We also host a monthly volunteer night where parents are able to come together and help in preparing our plates to be shipped. This past Mother's Day weekend would have been our 9th annual Poppy Party, our biggest fundraiser. Last year, more than 2,000 people attended the birthday celebration to gather with other families, recognize their babies and raise funds for the Mamie's mission. As with so many charities, we have had to regroup and are now hosting a Virtual Memory Walk on Father's Day. We felt this was the perfect opportunity to recognize dads and father figures and allow families across the country to participate. Families can form teams and fundraise in memory of their child. Then, we are asking them to gather with their small circle on Father's Day and walk a mile in memory of their baby. Our goal is to reach families in all 50 states and continue to grow our plate production.

Our charity is completely a grass roots organization, funded by generous donors who have either had a personal loss or just have a big heart for the Mamie's mission. We are daily inspired by our volunteers, families willing to give back, and the feedback that we receive from our hospitals and plate recipients. We have found our growth comes from hard work, dedication and a willingness to evolve. We are so thankful for what we have been able to accomplish these past ten years, but we know there are so many more parents out there who need our love and support. Will you link arms with us this Father's Day and help raise awareness and funds for grieving families. 

To find out how to get involved please visit

Britney Spees
Co-Founder, Mamie's Poppy Plates
Little Rock, Arkansas

The photo shown here is of Britney Spees and her sister, Sarah Adams. They are co-founders of Mamie's Poppy Plates. Mamie was Sarah’s daughter. 

For Contact Information, please visit PLIDA Members Directory
Area of Expertise: Bereavement Support Group Facilitation

The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to highlight the trajectory of PLIDA member and IPBC Speaker Joni Cutshaw, Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator at Franciscan Health Indianapolis, IN. 

Serving Precious Families 

What a beautiful journey! I had no idea when I started my career in nursing in 1983 that I would complete it as a Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator and caring for families with pregnancy loss. Retiring in 2020 has been my intent for a long time. No one would have thought we would face a pandemic this year and need to cancel or postpone so many events, including the PLIDA conference which I have attended for many years. I have met so many incredible comrades through PLIDA. I thank everyone for being part of my story and support. Our 2021 conference will indeed be a sweet reunion after passing through such uncertain times.

I started my career in intensive care with very ill patients who often died. I was so excited to have the opportunity to work on a labor and delivery unit where everyone was happy and healthy when they left the hospital. Or, so I thought. I soon realized that not everyone was happy and healthy when they left labor and delivery. I was drawn to the dear families on the unit who were having the worst possible day of their life. They too needed intensive care, but not just medical procedures.  “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17) is my life verse.

I started working with Ann Kamph and Judy Fendal with the Share program in 1988 at Community East in Indianapolis. Feeling a calling to care for grieving parents more, I transferred to Community North. My director asked if I would start a bereavement program there in 1993. I had recently experienced my own very personal loss of a loved one and realized that I wanted to provide comfort for families through the love that only Christ provides and to minister to others.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  The work I am most proud of is facilitating the startup of the Perinatal in-home hospice program at Community Home Health in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Perinatal Bereavement City Coalition has been one of the most important support systems in my career. This is an outstanding group of women from several hospitals.  I highly recommend that you search out other like-minded professionals near you—the journey will be so much lighter with their support.       

Through the coalition, I became friends with Marcia Jenkins and Jane Heustis, bereavement coordinators at different hospitals. We always worked together, never competing, and I learned so very much from them. Marcia and I joked that, when she retired, I would continue her ministry at Franciscan Health. That dream came true for both of us nine years ago. 

It has been a true honor to have served all my families. I have always felt that all the babies I have cared for are beautiful and I have poured out all my love as I cared for them. I look forward to the day when I am in Glory and meet the babies, face to face, totally healed and perfect. What a day that will be! 

The PLIDA family has blessed me in many ways.  My prayers will continue to surround you as you continue the good work. Take really good care of each other.     

Joni Cutshaw BSN, RNC, CPLC, CCAP
Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator
Franciscan Health, Indianapolis, IN


If I could choose anyone, Who would I pick to be my mentor? 

My name is Becky Cassinelli. I am a volunteer at Franciscan Health, Indianapolis. I became a volunteer 16 years ago. I wanted to help "one" cause and help others. The cause was infant loss, the reason was my own bereavement. Then, I met an angel along the way. There she stood, a 5 foot 2 inches, angel, and her name is Joni Cutshaw.

Joni has dedicated her life to helping others in their darkest moments and deepest tragedies. Each and every day, her job consists of overwhelming sadness, fear & pain. Yet somehow, Joni is one of the most uplifting persons I know. She is GOD driven, always positive, treats all with such kindness. I often ask myself, how does she do it? The answer is simple. She is an angel.

She gives life reason. She can heal others with her touch & words of wisdom. She is who I admire and who I want to become. She has changed my life. She has changed the standard of care for women & children. What an incredible foot print she will leave, for me & others to follow. This is why, I choose Joni Chushaw as my mentor.

Becky Cassinelli
Caring Companion, Volunteer service, Franciscan Health.


Joni has been a vital part to the success of our city coalition group, as well as the great perinatal bereavement support our families receive in Indiana.  This city coalition has been a gift in not only supporting each other and sharing our ideas, but also has played a hand in lifelong friendships.  Joni welcomed me without hesitation when I started my bereavement coordinator role several years ago and has not left my side since.  She has taught, listened, supported, and showed me the importance of taking a moment to reflect, center myself, and take a sip of tea. Joni will be missed in her work, but is so deserving of her retirement.  Job well done!!
Kim Taylor

For Contact Information, please visit PLIDA Members Directory
Areas of Expertise: Bereavement Coordination, Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care

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 The Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance would like to introduce to you PLIDA member Dr. Mara Tesler Stein, Psy.D., EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Trainer from Lincolnwood, IL

Mara Tesler Stein, Psy.D., EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Trainer
Founder and Director
The Touchstone Institute for Psychotherapy and Training 

Areas of Expertise: Clinical Psychologist, Writer, Consultant and Trainer, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

There's a metaphor that I've drawn upon for years, ever since my twins were born early. Ever since joining the community of parents of preemies and then, the professional world of therapists supporting the healing of parents and families in the midst of perinatal crisis. Debbie Davis and I use it in our book, "Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey" (Fulcrum, 2003) and “Intensive Parenting: Surviving Your Journey Through the NICU” (Fulcrum, 2013). 

The metaphor is of a tapestry. A weaving. 

All our lives, we weave. Whether we intend to or not, we weave. We weave with the strands we are born with; with strands we are given, with ones we choose. Often, we are handed strands we never would have chosen. Instead of the silk and satin, the cotton, the bright colors, the beautiful pattern, the interesting texture, we might be handed burlap or sandpaper or barbed wire. Sometimes, we're handed razor wire. 

We all face times when making sense of the materials we’re holding may feel impossible. Whether as therapists working with heartbreaking losses and traumas or parents struggling to survive them, we can be overwhelmed with how difficult it is to work with these unwelcome, often snarled layers of painful threads. 

No matter how long I work with bereaved and traumatized families, their capacity to hold and treasure those searing threads until they are integrated, held firmly inside, woven, and honored, never fails to humble and guide me. This therapeutic process with its layers of loss but especially its depth and process of making meaning continually shine a light on so many other areas of life, both clinical and personal. Working with these families is the most meaningful work that I do.

As a therapist working with families facing heartbreaking loss and trauma, I’ve worked to bring the experiences of bereaved and traumatized families (and neurobiological approaches to smooth the worst of the razor wire and facilitate weaving) into the mainstream of perinatal mental health (PMH) and to raise trauma therapists’ awareness of PMH and perinatal trauma. My mission has been to weave these clinical, experiential, and treatment strands together so that we have a stronger, wider net with which to catch the bereaved and traumatized families who need our support.  

I am a trainer for the trauma treatment I use as my organizing lens: Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), which is a comprehensive and integrative treatment model. I teach therapists who work with bereaved and traumatized families EMDR and already trained EMDR therapists to recognize and treat perinatal trauma. 

To honor the journey each family travels is to say, ‘I honor each of these threads inside and around you, no matter how sharp or discordant, and will join with you as you learn to weave with them.’ 

Mara Tesler Stein, Psy.D., EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Trainer
Founder and Director
The Touchstone Institute for Psychotherapy and Training  

For Contact Information, please visit PLIDA Members Directory