President Merilynne Rush, MSHP, RN, BSN, co-founder, 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 Suzanne O'Brien, co-founder, 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).
Membership Secretary 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 serves on the National Home Funeral Alliance Board of Directors as Secretary and Events Coordinator, is 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 Nada Frazier is Founder of The Sacred Servant where she serves as an End of Life Doula, Guide, Mentor, Trainer, Educator and Consultant. She has served as a hospice volunteer in various capacities, and founded and facilitates The Death Café of Northeast Florida. Nada is a non-denominational ordained minister and has served as Spiritual Leader of Unity of Jacksonville Beach since 2015. She has served on numerous boards, is a trained mediator and published co-author with over 30 years experience working as a paralegal. She holds a B.A. in Communication and minor in Women’s Gender Studies.
Director Lisa Patterson is a Professional Counselor by trade, with degrees in Psychology, and certifications in grief support and palliative care social work, she is currently training as an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) instructor. She coordinates the Mercy Supportive Care Services Pain & Palliative consultative department at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, MI; she also directs the “No One Dies Alone” and Bereavement programs there. A well-seasoned clinical human services provider, educator, advocate, outdoor enthusiast, pastoral care associate and volunteer, Lisa is also an EOL Doula.
Secretary Angela Shook has been the Central Area Director for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 2008. She holds a degree in Journalism from Western Michigan University and has trained in storytelling for nonprofit organizations. Angela sits on the Board of Directors for the Hurley Hospital Foundation and the Kalamazoo Salvation Army. She has completed end-of-life doula training from the University of Vermont and INELDA. She is hospice volunteer and peer trainer with Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, NEDA, INELDA, and the National Home Funeral Alliance. She resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Treasurer Joseph Knight brings over 30 years of managerial experience to the board and currently is the Quality Assurance Manager for Olympic Steel in Detroit MI. He has been a member of the board of examiners for the national Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Award and is a judge for the Michigan Performance Excellence program. In addition to a BS in Industrial Administration from GMI, he has an MS in Hospice and Palliative Studies from Madonna University. He is a Certified Medical Hypnotherapist, member of the St Vincent DePaul Society, and end of life doula.
Director Leann Thrapp is a Registered Nurse and Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator specializing in grief, loss and death. Her career began in High Risk Obstetrics and Labor & Delivery caring for parents who experienced perinatal loss and, most recently, she is Executive Director at WesleyLife Home Health and Hospice. Leann’s held numerous clinical leadership positions in Arizona, California and Iowa and has been published in a number of clinical texts. Leann is on the Board of Directors for Opus Peace.
Director Alua Arthur is an end-of-life doula, attorney, and the founder of Going with Grace, an end of life planning organization that exists to support people as they answer the question 'What must I do to be at peace with myself so that I may live presently and die peacefully?' From private end-of-life consultations and public education about death to online coursework to train death doulas, she is tirelessly committed to bringing awareness to death and dying which she believes can inspire the way people live. A jewelry addict, Alua is also a life enthusiast, bicycle fanatic, and developing nation aficionado. She is inspired by life, the little joys we can find even in dark times, the freedom of authenticity, and power in the word yes.
Director Karen Reppen is the founder of Persephone’s Garden, offering education, training, and direct support around aging, illness, death and grief. She also provides guidance for home funerals and natural burials through Walking Each Other Home, and facilitates Death Cafés through the Great Circle Collaborative. She helped form Solace Home, a social-model hospice program for those experiencing homelessness. She has more than 16 years’ experience as a hospice communications professional and direct-care volunteer. Her training includes UVM's EOL Doula program from theLarner School of Medicine, Upaya’s Contemplative EOL Care program: Being with Dying, and Stephen Jenkinson's Orphan Wisdom School in Ottawa, Canada. Karen holds a Grief Support Specialist Certificate through UW-Madison.
Director Lee Webster, co-founder, is the Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy, co-founder and historian of the Conservation Burial Alliance, former President of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and former board member and educational consultant for the Green Burial Council. She is a national speaker on funeral reform and author of several home funeral and green burial books, including Essentials for Practicing Home Funeral Guides and Changing Landscapes.
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.