Dr. Dawn Grinenko
I am the Co-Founder and CEO of The Still Place. We offer free one week individually designed retreats to families with seriously ill children and bereaved families in the mountains of rural Western North Carolina. We provide 45-50 family retreats per year offering rest, renewal and re-creation. We incorporate art, nature, spirituality and Appalachian culture and adventure into each retreat. We focus or efforts on enhancing resilience, self-determination, empowerment and hope.
In 2021 we received a grant from Charlie’s Heart Foundation to pilot very small group retreats for bereaved mothers. Over the past year we developed this pilot into an on-going series of retreats. Still Your Mom for mothers and Still Your Dad for fathers along with monthly on-going Zoom support groups for the mothers to foster connection and peer support. We have been utilizing the same basic components of our basic mission utilizing still time, art, nature, yoga, spa time and if interested Appalachian adventures such as horseback riding. We were able to serve 23 mothers and 5 fathers in 2022.
I am a recently retired pediatrician and internist. I remain boarded in hospice medicine and palliative care but have had difficulty fitting the institutional paradigm. I would like to improve our programming and my skill in supporting bereaved parents. Our Board of Director has supported this expansion of our mission and we were awarded a three year partnership with Charlie’s Heart Foundation to further develop this program.
I would very much like to improve my grief support skills. I found Bearing The Unbearable the most helpful book I have recently encountered which led me to the MISS Foundation. I wish I had encountered this book in my earlier days as an academic pediatrician.