The staff and volunteers of Ryan's Tree help children and families to cope with the loss of a loved one
Ryan's Tree is a guided peer support group of St. Luke's Hospice, made possible through funding provided by Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation.
Grief is the natural response to a loss. We grieve the loss of objects, relationships, physical health and, of course, the death of a loved one. Bereavement is the act of processing grief. Bereavement journeys are as unique as relationships. There is no formula to follow and no timetable to measure against. This is why we often feel alone in our grief. However grieving individuals share common ground including a range of emotional reactions, dealing with well-meaning family and friends, and living through holidays and special occasions.
- We provide support in a nurturing environment to promote healing of children and teens affected by death.
- We offer non-judgmental and unconditional support to young people and their families.
- Ryan's Tree also offers guidance and support to assist families in maintaining a positive home environment, identifying support systems and encouraging family communication.
- Earned Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Education / School Counseling
- Former Hospice experience as Children’s Bereavement Facilitator
- Over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families
- Currently serves as Bereavement Coordinator for St. Luke’s Hospice
- Earned Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and Master of Science in End-Of-Life Care from The George Washington University
- Board certified as a chaplain since 1989
- Experience includes over two decades of working with hospice and end-of-life programs and more than 30 years in the ministry
- Currently supervises the spiritual and bereavement care programs and provides end-of-life education