Pathology Resources on National Grief Awareness Day

By Elizabeth Walker | August 30 2019

August 30th is National Grief Awareness Day. We at the Department of Pathology understand that grief has no timeline and have a variety of programs that can help mitigate the grief of our faculty, our staff, our patients, and their families.

  • Our Patient and Families Advisory Council works with patients to develop projects that help improve their experience. A recent training workshop helped our faculty and staff learn how to best-deliver bad news.

  • Our Autopsy and Forensic Services staff work daily with staff from Social Work and the Office of Decedent Affairs to provide support services to those who have lost a family member. Additional outreach is done for patients who have died by homicide, suicide, or drug overdose.

  • Michigan Medicine holds several memorials for patients throughout the year. The Adult Memorial serves all the adult losses while the Cancer Center Memorial remembers those lost to cancer. Pediatric patients are remembered at The Mott Children’s Memorial Service and A Walk to Remember honors those lost to perinatal death and in the NICU.

  • The Michigan Legacy Tissue Program connects patients at the end of their lives, and their families, to opportunities to leave a legacy via research for advanced cancers. Additionally, Autopsy and Forensic Services faculty and staff in the Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, and Livingston County Medical Examiner's Offices, work closely with Gift of Life Michigan to increase the likelihood that organs and tissues can be donated when a family wishes them to be.

  • Honoring Life and Loss: Grief Awareness for Faculty and Staff provides resources to those who work at Michigan Medicine. This includes the designation of May each year as grief awareness month with programming the duration of the month featuring local experts and a nationally-recognized keynote speaker.

We honor those who choose us for their care, inviting us to be present with them while grieving.