Welcome Remarks - 9:00am — 9:30am


  • Lori Hardoon, LCSW, JASA Senior Director Palliative Care Supportive Services
  • Alan Cohen, MPA, JASA’s Chief Program Officer

KEYNOTE:  The Impact on Clinicians in The Wake of COVID - 9:30am — 11:30am  

Moderated by Dr. Susan Gerbino, PhD, LCSW, Clinical Professor, Director, Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care, New York University Silver School of Social Work 

The keynote panelist will review the clinicians unique experiences providing support to clients/patients during the pandemic and its impact on them then and now. Also if their practice has changed and if they were/are supported by their organizations/health systems.  


  • Yolanda Jazmin Dore, LMSW, Palliative Care Social Worker, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Maria Lever, LMSW, Clinical Supervisor JASA - Long Island Center for Dignity and Support
  • Maribeth McKeever, LCSW-R, ACHP-SW, Director of Psychosocial and Support Services, Good Shepherd Hospice
  • Rabbi Charles Rudansky, Director of Pastoral Care, Metropolitan Jewish Hospice Services

Break - 11:30am — 11:45am

Concurrent Sessions - 11:45am — 1:15pm

Session 1: Utilizing the Tasks of Mourning to Support Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Grief

As is true for all of us, individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities experience grief and loss along their life continuum. Due to cognitive and emotional challenges in coping and adaptation, societal biases and norms, and fractures to their support structures when they experience loss, these individuals are vulnerable for developing Complicated Grief. This workshop will explore how clinicians, staff, family members and other support persons within their lives can understand and utilize Worden's Model for the Tasks of Mourning as they move through their grief journey.


  • Christine Gallo, LCSW, GC-C, YTT-200, Social Work Supervisor and Bereavement Counselor,  Palliative Medicine, Peconic Bay Medical Center, Northwell Health


  • Participants will learn about specific areas of vulnerability that exist following loss for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Participants will learn how these areas of vulnerability directly serve as risk factors for the development of Complicated Grief
  • Participants will learn about Worden's Tasks of Mourning and how this framework can be understood, utilized and adapted in supporting individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as they process and move through their journeys of grief with the intent and focus on lessening the risk factors for Complicated Grief

Session 2: “Stand Like a Mountain, Flow Like Water": Mindfulness as a Self-Care Tool

Being a professional care provider to people who are dealing with grief/loss can cause extraordinary stress and possibly vicarious trauma. Professionals might respond with unbearable sorrow or even numbness. The session will offer one path through mindfulness practices to cultivate our capacity to stand secure and rounded like a mountain and flow like water. It is suitable for all disciplines and professionals providing grief and bereavement therapy.


  • Lori Hardoon, LCSW, Senior Director Palliative Care Supportive Services, JASA
  • Judith Pollack, LCSW, Private Practitioner 


  • Define mindfulness: what it is and what it isn’t
  • Identify mindfulness-based stress reducing methods
  • Discuss mindfulness practice advice for the beginner

Session 3: Strategies to Balance Compassion Fatigue while Supporting Grieving Families

The purpose of this presentation is to increase clinical awareness of the risks of compassion fatigue and burnout when caring for those who are grieving like palliative care and hospice patients and families.  This presentation also focuses on utilization of self-care strategies for the purpose of risk mitigation as it relates to compassion fatigue and burnout.


  • Steven Krul, LCSW, CJCS, SIFI, Hospice Bereavement Counselor, MJHS Hospice


  • You will be able to recognize the symptoms of compassion fatigue in order to take steps to foster balance and sustained compassion
  • You will explore skills in order to maintain practices of sustainable self care
  • You will increase your awareness of the link between a rise in deaths in your caseload and compassion fatigue
  • You will increase your knowledge about grief and the grieving process in order to better support your patients, their families, and yourself

Session 4: Supporting Isolated Older Adults and The Impact on Clinicians When Working with Clients’ Complicated Grief

Challenges supporting isolated older adults and supporting clinicians who counsel those impacted by complicated grief has been a growing concern in recent years.  The workshop will address both with practical and theoretical information.


  • Donna Altonji, L.C.S.W.-R, Program Director, Family Service League, Inc.
  • Robyn Berger-Gaston, LCSW-R, Division Director, Family Service League, Inc.


  • Have a better understanding of issues facing disconnected older adults
  • Learn how to reduce feelings of isolation among “adult orphans”
  • Recognize signs of burnout and how to address them
  • Understand compassion fatigue vs burnout
  • Understand the effects of vicarious trauma

Session 5: Shared Trauma - We Are All In The Storm But In Different Boats

This workshop will provide support to clinicians coping with shared trauma as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic while providing grief/bereavement counseling to their clients. We will explore different evidence-based strategies and tools for reducing the clinician’s shared trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout.


  • Maria Lever, LMSW, Clinical Supervisor, Long Island Center for Dignity and Support, JASA 
  • Heidi R. Weiss, LMSW, MHA, Healthcare Social Worker Jewish Programs, Westchester Jewish Community Services                                    


  • Define and identify what “Shared Trauma” is
  • Provide evidence-based research and clinical casework examples
  • Gain a greater understanding of evidenced-based strategies and tools in reducing shared trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout