Providing compassionate bereavement care for families experiencing perinatal loss is a standard of care in most healthcare organizations. In this article, we describe the development of The Alliance of Perinatal Bereavement Support Facilitators, begun over 25 years ago in Chicago by staff who identified the need to reach out to colleagues at other area institutions for advice and support in this work. This collaboration created a regional support network that has resulted in a long-lasting, active, sustainable organization of excellence focused on enhancing practice, education, and perinatal bereavement care. Alliance activities center around four main areas: education, networking/support, policy, and recognizing outstanding service to families. By continuing to draw upon the collective talent, wisdom, and expertise of its members, The Alliance still serves grieving families and provides mentoring for future interdisciplinary team members engaged in this work. The path taken to build this organization can be used by professionals in other specialties who are looking to create their own alliance infrastructure based on mutual benefit and interest.
It's rare when a small professional organization is able to sustain itself for decades, and even more rare when it grows and thrives.
Judy B. Friedrichs is Education-Quality Coordinator and Women's and Children's Support Program Coordinator, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL. The author can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathie Kobler is Advanced Practice Nurse, Pediatric Palliative Care, Advocate Children's Hospital, Park Ridge, IL.
Rosmarie E. Roose is Clinical Coordinator Still Missed & Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Hinsdale, IL.
Charlotte Meyer is Staff Nurse, The Cradle, Evanston, IL.
Nancy Schmitz is Staff RN, Family Birth Center Presence Mercy Medical Center, Aurora, IL.
Karen Kavanaugh is Elizabeth Schotanus Professor of Pediatric Nursing, Family, Community and Mental Health, Wayne State University and Children's Hospital of Michigan.
The authors have disclosed that there are no conflicts of interest.