Elizabeth C. Vogel (Beth)
MN, MPH, RN, PNP, CHPPN, Principal
“My goal is to provide hospice professionals with the tools that they need to care for children with skill and confidence, grounded in theory and expert practice. And to be aware of the gift of the moment. As Wess Stafford (the President of Compassion International) put it so well: ‘Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.”
Our advisory board is in place to provide non-binding but informed guidance, share expertise, keep us faithful to the organizations and ultimately the families we serve, and challenge us to reach for higher goals.
LuRae Ahrendt RN, CRRN, CCM, CLCP
LuRae is a certified rehabilitation registered nurse, certified case manager and certified life care planner. She has several decades of experience working with children and adults with catastrophic disabilities and chronic health problems and has lectured and published widely on the needs of children and adults facing rehabilitation from catastrophic injury. She owns a company, Ahrendt Rehabilitation Inc., which provides case management and life care planning services to children and adults. She serves on the Board of Side by Side Clubhouse Inc. and on the Advisory Board of Families of Children Under Stress. LuRae is also active in the world of medical missions outreach, having worked for many years as a nurse on long and often complex missions.
LuRae says, “There are specific challenges and such deep loss to face when a child is dying. The health care professionals who help these individuals cope need more than experience – they need special knowledge and a very specific set of skills. Working with families and children facing lifelong disabilities and chronic health problems has shown me exactly what is needed. ORION provides a unique and important service to support and educate hospice professionals so they can best serve these families facing such a tragedy.”
Denise Greenberger MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW
Denise S. Greenberger, MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is certified as an Advanced Hospice and Palliative Social Worker. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Georgia, along with a certificate in Gerontology.
Denise worked for 18 years as Pediatric Social Worker at Hospice Atlanta, supporting children and families at end-of-life, including roles as Clinical Manager for the Children’s Hospice Program and Manager of Psychosocial and Spiritual Support. She facilitated staff support groups and provided continuing education for adult hospice staff on pediatric hospice issues.
Denise was a co-founder and continues to volunteer with Hospice Atlanta’s bereavement camp serving children and families, Camp STARS.
Currently, Denise works as a psychotherapist with Mindful Transitions and as a consultant in end of life issues. She provides clinical supervision across hospices to social workers completing requirements for LCSW licensure.
Working with families at end of life and listening to children’s honesty and directness as they respond to events in their day-to-day lives stirs Denise’s passion to look for ways to serve these families. “Throughout a career of working with families and listening to what they can teach us, I have learned that families at end of life need the professionals who care for them to be self-aware, skilled and confident in order to provide the specialized care they need. ORION addresses this need by mentoring professionals as they care for and support these families.”
Judy Herbert RN, BSN, CHPN
Judy has been a nurse for over 30 years. Her clinical background includes extensive experience in oncology, intensive care, emergency department, home infusion, home health, and hospice. She has held leadership positions as an administrator for a home health agency in San Diego, was the Director of the Home Hospice program at Hospice Atlanta, was Administrator and responsible for the start-up with successful licensure and CHAP accreditation of the Hospice program at Interim Healthcare, and currently is the manager of the Palliative Care Program at Visiting Nurse Health Systems in Atlanta.
Operationally, she has been involved in all aspects of care and supervision of clinical operations and personnel, including intake, marketing, and program development.
Judy says, “My involvement in Hospice has always been on the adult level. Working closely with Beth allayed my fears and reminded me that the goals of care are the same, and that with education and expertise, it is possible to provide compassionate, high-quality care to children and their families at end of life.”
Debra Mahovlich RN, CHPN
Debbie is a registered nurse certified in Hospice and Palliative nursing. She graduated from Vancouver General School of Nursing, Canada and has worked in a variety of nursing roles, but her true passion is hospice nursing where she has worked for the past 13 years, the last seven of which were spent in an inpatient hospice facility that also serves pediatric patients. “Hospice encompasses all aspects of medicine – and life. We care for patients of all ages, all walks of life, all disease processes, including cancers, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and people who have suffered devastating strokes.”
Debbie says, “I have always found pediatric hospice especially difficult – medically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a nurse who had very little pediatric experience I was so very fortunate to have Beth guide my unit in learning to care for these fragile patients. Especially when the hospice patient is a child, many of us are fearful of ‘doing more harm than good,’ or saying the wrong thing to these vulnerable parents. Beth was able to help alleviate our fears, and give us confidence with her skillful guidance. She provided us with a concrete skill set which then enabled us to support and educate the parents in caring for their own children in their homes or in the hospice inpatient unit.”