Center Intern 2021-2022
Widener University, Masters in Social Work
Tammy is currently enrolled in the Social Work Master’s Program at Widener University, with anticipation of graduation at the end of summer 2022. In addition to pursuing this path towards being a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Tammy has already earned an M.S. in Thanatology, the study of death, dying, and bereavement, from Marian University, and obtained her Certification in Thanatology (CT) through the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). Prior to those graduate studies, Tammy majored in Psychology and received her B.S. from Kutztown University.
In addition to her studies in mental health and bereavement, Tammy has years of experience in hospice care. In her roles within hospice, she has provided educational, emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual support to patients and families navigating the end-of-life experience. As the primary caregiver to her own father who died from lymphoma in 2012, she is acutely aware of how challenging it is to watch someone face a terminal illness and the various phases that accompany the dying process. Her personal experience prompted her to pursue her thanatology degree and complete training as an End-of-Life Doula.
Personal experience also led Tammy to her interest and specialized training in the grief that surrounds pregnancy loss and infant death. As an active member of the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA), Tammy is passionate about shedding light on and bringing awareness to the heartache felt by many families. As a former March of Dimes NICU Family Support Specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network, Tammy walked alongside families that experienced having a baby born prematurely, ill, and/or died, providing an added layer of support as they grieved their loss. She also has facilitated the LVHN Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Support Group for the past three years.
Tammy’s approach when working with individuals and families is person-centered with a strong focus on establishing and enhancing an alliance that allows for holding space, while supporting clients in their grief journey. She implements a strengths-based practice that can aid clients in coping with and finding ways to integrate their loss into their present life, while continuing the bond and relationship with their loved one as they move forward. Tammy is inspired by the clients she works with and is renewed by the growth and progress she sees people make as they embark on a new version of who they once were.
As a Center Intern, Tammy will be working across our programs, supporting grieving clients in our counseling program and in facilitation of peer groups. Tammy will also apply her extensive knowledge in Thanatology to efforts in our grief education and awareness.