Our Board of Directors
President Merilynne Rush, RN, BSN, former home birth midwife and hospice nurse, is an End-of-Life Doula Trainer, Respecting Choices® Facilitator and Instructor, home funeral guide, and green burial educator. She is a Nurse Educator with an MS in Hospice and Palliative Studies. Rush owns two end-of-life related businesses, Lifespan Doula Association, and After Death Home Care. She founded and facilitates the Ann Arbor Death Café, and is an emeritus member of the National Home Funeral Alliance and Green Burial Council boards of directors.
Vice President Deanna Cochran has been a leader in providing education, consulting and resources for healthcare professionals and lay people in the ways of the end-of-life doula and how they may be utilized to fill the gaps in health and death care since 2005. Palliative care awareness has been the foundation of all of Deanna's work and her driving force. She also has a passion for unifying and strengthening the end-of-life empowerment movement; she created the End of Life Practitioners Collective and is the founder of Quality of Life Care.
Secretary Terry Skovronek, a life-long social activist, is committed to caring for one’s own dead and reforming our culture’s relationship to our own impermanence. Terry is called to help awaken our appreciation and acceptance of life’s threshold, she cares for the dying as an EOLD and educates families and the community in home death care as a Home Funeral Guide. She is founder of Bucks County Death Café and National Home Funeral Alliance legislative committee chair.
Treasurer Lee Webster is the Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy, emeritus President of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and emeritus board member and educational consultant for the Green Burial Council. She is a national speaker and author of several home funeral and green burial books, including Essentials for Practicing Home Funeral Guides and Changing Landscapes: Exploring the growth of ethical, compassionate and environmentally sustainable green funeral practices.
Director Kim Adams comes to the Board with many years of experience in the death/dying field, having begun in the early 1990's as a case manager, and housing and legislative advocate for people with HIV/AIDS. She is Secretary of the National Home Funeral Alliance, a certified, professional End of Life Coach, home funeral guide, hospice volunteer, Reiki practitioner, and an Advisory Board Member of Threshold Support Circle in Baltimore, Maryland.
Director Trudy Brown is Chief Connections Officer at Teaching Transitions. Her medical career began as a clinician treating cancer patients and evolved as an entrepreneur and leader of business development, sales and marketing initiatives for healthcare products, software and services. Trudy is a practicing EOL doula with extensive experience working with hospice patients and families.
Director Patty Burgess is the founder and President of Possibility of Teaching Transitions and Doing Death Differently. She is a national trainer working with hospices (Teaching Transitions) for volunteer and staff training to fulfill their federally mandated training requirements, and also with end-of-life doulas (Doing Death Differently) who wish to serve their communities.
Director Suzanne O'Brien is the proud Founder and Creator of Doulagivers: End of Life Doula Training, Eldercare Doula Training, and Doulagiver Care Consultant Training. Suzanne established The International Doulagivers Foundation where she serves as president. Suzanne is an end of life educator, speaker, consultant and author of the book Creating Positive Passings & End of Life Doula Level 1 Caregiver Training (2015).
Who We Are
The NEDA Board is a determined and talented band of like-minded, expert practitioners, trainers and natural death care pioneers who have forged an alliance and have the public interest as our highest priority. NEDA is an inclusive, welcoming, and transparent network of doulas from many backgrounds, philosophies, and skill levels who come together to share our wisdom with each other and the individuals, families, communities and caregivers we serve. We are wise and we are many.
As we empower each other thus we empower others. Join our growing and dynamic network and help us spread the abundance of our efforts.
NEDA unites all those in the end-of-life doula field, both trainers and practitioners, to define and promote our role as caregivers, volunteers and/or professionals.
The role of the End-of-Life Doula is new and evolving. We need your voice. By being in good communication with each other, openly sharing information, developing tools, and sharing experiences and resources, we will spread the word and help the dying and their loved ones to be well cared for so they can achieve the kind of death they desire.
How Practitioners and Consumers Benefit
By working together as end-of-life doulas and trainers to define ourselves, discover our commonalities, and discuss our differences, we will promote the EOL doula model of care to the public and to other EOL caregivers.
In order for EOL doulas to provide consistent and high quality care, NEDA has developed core competencies to inform doula training curricula. In addition, we have established Standards of Practice and a Code of Conduct for ethical, professional EOL doula practice.
With 10,000 people turning 65 each day in the US, more and more elders, as well as those with life-limiting illness, will need our services. Our primary task is to work diligently to inform the public about the excellent services we offer so that everyone who wants a doula can have one.
To learn more about trainings, check out our EOL Doula Trainer Directory (coming soon!)
Doing Death Differently
Quality of Life Care
Conscious Dying Institute
After Death Home Care
National Home Funeral Alliance
NH Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy
Become a Member
NATIONAL END-OF-LIFE DOULA ALLIANCE (NEDA)
PO BOX 456
HOLDERNESS NH 03245
NEDA is a nonprofit 501c6 membership organization dedicated to supporting end-of-life doulas and the families they serve. Content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not offered as legal advice.