Hello from the very sunny Arizona! I’m over here for the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance’s 2016 International Perinatal Bereavement Conference in Phoenix. This event is specially designed to bring together professionals and parent advocates together in a relaxed and communal setting. It is the only international conference devoted solely to the understanding of perinatal bereavement. this year’s theme is From Dawn to Dusk: Transformation in Perinatal Bereavement.
The conference is unique in that it is committed to the model of evidence-based care that includes research, personal experience, and bereaved family narratives. I’m here with associate Pania Mitchell as part of a varied line up of speakers and am so excited to be able to hear from incredible and inspiring people including Kathie Kobler (opening keynote on Telling Our Stories: The Art and Science of Narrative Medicine in Perinatal Settings) and Joanne Cacciatore (closing keynote on I, Thou, and We: What the Research Tells Providers About Presence with Grievers), artist Alexis Marie Chute, Suzanne Pullen – who attended the 2015 SANDS NZ Conference in Wellington, Charlotte Wool, Beth Black, Bob Silver, Alyssa Luksa, and Alyson Ryall.
The objectives of the conference are to:
– Explore relational aspects of perinatal bereavement care.
– Apply research findings to specific care provided to bereaved families.
– Describe innovative clinical and advocacy implications in caring for families when their baby dies.
– Develop skills for working within an inter-professional team when providing care for bereaved families.
– Describe principles and practice of self-care.
– Discuss transformation as applied to processes of grieving.
Make sure to return for more updates as the conference continues – there is plenty to write home about! I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to engage in with educational professionals and meet with others whose passion is to support bereaved families.
In the meantime are a couple of photographs from the opening.