Aspirus bereavement coordinator earns Fellow in Thanatology
Amy Kitsembel, certified thanatologist and bereavement coordinator for Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, has achieved Fellow in Thanatology with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). Status as a Fellow represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development.
Fellow in Thanatology is an advanced certification that recognizes practitioners and educators in the discipline of death, dying and bereavement who have met specified knowledge requirements and demonstrated advanced levels of competency in teaching, research and/or clinical practice. To obtain Fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits and demonstrating professional and community involvement.
“This would not be possible without the team I work with every day which holds standards of care so high and helps push and inspire our best in end-of-life care,” said Kitsembel. “I’m very humbled to receive this designation.”
Kitsembel has presented at the International Death Dying and Bereavement Conference for the last three years and was a national presenter for ADEC in 2016. She has presented and taught numerous times throughout Wisconsin on various end-of-life topics and has provided educational sessions and presentations to various service and community organizations, as well as area colleges including Northcentral Technical College, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Eau Claire. Kitsembel is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) education advisory committee which reviews curriculum for national education webinars for end-of-life learning.
She earned her master’s in Education from the University of Minnesota and is a certified social worker with the State of Wisconsin. She has been the bereavement coordinator for Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for 10 years and was a volunteer for three years prior.
Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo re-certification every three years. Members include a wide array of mental and medical health personnel, educators, clergy, funeral directors and volunteers. There are approximately 230 ADEC Fellows world-wide.
Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services offers hospice, palliative and grief care. When active treatment is no longer the focus of care for an illness, hospice care concentrates on relieving symptoms and supporting patients and their families. Hospice patients generally have a life expectancy measured in months rather than years. Although hospice cannot add days to a person’s life, it most certainly can add life to their days.