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C-TAC Members Advocate for Death Doulas at Exclusive Event

Last month, C-TAC hosted a member meet-up where leaders from the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) and The Peaceful Presence Project discussed how and why we must prioritize incorporating doulas into end-of-life care teams. The use of ‘death doulas’ in end-of-life care is supported by C-TAC’s policy agenda and Core Principles for Care Models.

To offer a holistic understanding of the role doulas play in end-of-life care, NEDA board members, Angela Shook and Diana Santostefano enlightened members on the end-of-life doula model of care, and how by supporting and advocating for all doulas, we can integrate doulas into mainstream practices. Organizations like NEDA work diligently to inspire positive change in American death practices and advocate for compassionate and equitable end-of-life doula care as a human right. After the event, Shook reflected on how the member meet-up served as a perfect example of how our field can actively embrace the doula model of care:

“This was such a meaningful meeting for NEDA and a wonderful opportunity to share more about end-of-life doulas to a larger audience. Collaborations like these help us to destigmatize conversations around death and to offer support to more people at end-of-life. I am so thankful for the many people who reached out afterward to learn more information and continue the conversation. We are so pleased to be part of the CTAC community and to work in this sacred space together”

– Angela Shook

Leaders from The Peaceful Presence Project, Elizabeth Johnson, and Erin Collins continued the conversation by sharing two of the organization’s case studies, highlighting the successful implementation of the doula model of care. Members were offered evidence of the benefits that arise from early investment in individualized support for individuals as they experience the last stage of life. The case studies sparked several questions among attendees during inspiring and insightful Q&A sessions facilitated by C-TAC’s Partnerships Manager, Sarah Park. C-TAC members asked about end-of-life doulas’ scope of work including their role in medical decision-making for subpopulations, such as LGBTQ seniors. Santostefano shared her reaction to the overwhelming passion she found at the event:

“We appreciated having the opportunity to partner with the Peaceful Presence Project to illustrate the value of end-of-life doulas as part of the care team. Since our meet-up, several C-TAC members have contacted NEDA to continue the conversation. We welcome the opportunity to explore options that support person and family-centered care”

– Diane Santostefano

Both organizations’ efforts align with C-TAC’s 2021 Policy Agenda which stresses our commitment to offering equitable, personalized, and thoughtful end-of-life care, and the importance of supporting the individuals and organizations who are instrumental in achieving our goals. C-TAC is proud to advocate for doula practitioners to aspire to the highest level of practice and is committed to inviting meaningful, cultural shifts in the end-of-life continuum of care. Elizabeth reflected on her experience with C-TAC and our Member Meet-Up Events in particular:

“These C-TAC supported exchanges highlight that we all need to be at the table for true reform to occur: Clinicians, policymakers, end-of-life doulas, community health workers, caregivers, etc. We all are the keepers of insights and experiences that hold value and are a catalytic force for change”

 – Elizabeth Johnson

For more information on C-TAC’s member meet-ups, contact C-TAC’s Partnerships Manager, Sarah Park at spark@thectac.org

Written by Sabreen Huq – / Partnerships and Programs Intern at C-TAC.

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