Fresh news from Francesca, registration for March is open, and we have a new program offering!
Professional and Continuing Education (802) 656-2085
Registration Open for new Companion Animal End-of-Life Doula Professional Certificate

We are pleased to announce that registration is open for our brand new program in end-of-life care: Companion Animal End-of-Life Doula Professional Certificate. This online certificate will equip learners with the knowledge and tools to support individuals during the difficult, yet inevitable journey of end-of-life care for companion animals. Topics will include pet hospice, palliative care, and after-death options and support.

Two tracks are available for this program. Alumni are invited to take the 2-week specialization program that focuses only on pet end-of-life care. Non-alumni can take the 4-week comprehensive certificate, which includes two weeks covering doula essentials and components of compassionate care.

The 4-week program begins April 1, 2020 and the 2-week alumni program begins April 15, 2020. Register today!

Register Now 


UVM End-of-Life Care Doula Webinars

Did you miss our End-of-Life Doula webinar on October 24th? Join Nicole L'Huillier-Fenton and Francesca Arnoldy as they discuss the role of the End-of-Life Doula, UVM’s professional certificate program, and student perspectives from the program.

View Webinar

Our next End-of-Life Doula webinar will occur on February 19, 2020 at 1PM EST. Join Nicole and Francesca as they have another conversation about end-of-life care and the role of the doula. Alumni of the End-of-Life Professional Certificate will also participate in the webinar.

RSVP for the Upcoming Webinar

End-of-Life Care News

A.I. can Help Us have Better Conversations about Death and Dying
Robert Gramling, palliative care subject matter expert for UVM’s End-of-Life Doula program, is using machine learning to analyze end-of-life conversations. The research analyzed 354 palliative care consultations conversations and the research will help improve communications around healthcare.
Read more here.

When You Die Podcast: Cultivating the Doula Heart Episode
Johanna Lunn and Francesca Arnoldy have a conversation about end-of-life care. Read more here.

More Americans are Dying at Home than in Hospitals
As more and more people choose to die at home, families are often ill prepared to care for their loved one. How can doulas support those who are ill and the families caring for them during this difficult time? Read more here.


Graduate spotlight: Virginia Chang

Company name: Till the Last
Company website:

1) What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your EOL work?
The biggest challenge in working with the dying so far is that I don’t see them earlier on in the dying process. There has been a trend to shorter and shorter stays in hospice, and later acceptance of the fact that a terminal patient is going to die. The reasons for this are multiple. Currently, most of the dying persons that I have worked with have been through hospice, either in their homes or in a facility. I meet them where they are in the dying process and serve in whatever way possible.  However, I would like to work with people earlier on, perhaps, from the point of diagnosis. What’s important is for EOL doulas to advocate for earlier referral by doctors and to help educate the public to understand the benefits of facing dying sooner.  This can allow time for the dying person to review their life, find meaning, complete legacy projects, address unresolved issues, and even plan for and decide on what their last moments will look like.  Having control in the process and finding comfort in knowing how their loved ones will be left behind can give great peace of mind to the dying.  

2) What has been the most surprising success?
As an EOL doula, I serve to support the dying and their loved ones.  The needs and wishes of the dying person are of the utmost priority, and my focus is to be their companion and advocate in the process.  However, I have realized through my work that I can also help loved ones feel more at peace with the death of their beloved.  When they see the dying person come to accept and take agency in death in a positive way, loved ones can also feel acceptance with end of life and be empowered to value, to care, to love, and to remember their loved one in a transformative way. The profound impact that my services have had on those left behind and the deep gratitude that I have received as a result has moved and surprised me.

3) Briefly describe your EOL work.
I became an EOL doula to help others plan for and cope with the overwhelming shock and sadness that facing death can bring.  My approach to end of life is that it should be positive, meaningful, and affirming.  I work with and support the dying and their family and loved ones with this aim.  Using a holistic and compassionate approach to death, I support the dying one-on-one and help to advocate for and realize their needs and wishes.  I provide comfort and care to the dying person and their loved ones, which may include emotional, physical, and informational support.

Join Us on Facebook!

The UVM End of Life Doula Facebook page is now open to members of the public who wish to connect with our group and learn more about our mission and the need for meaningful and compassionate end-of-life support.

Please spread the word and invite people from your own networks who might be interested!

Join Us on Facebook

What have recent graduates been saying about the End-of-Life Doula Professional Certificate?

These skills are transferable to personal life and work life. Treating people with kindness, respect and holding space. They are all such important skills to have. It's been helpful learning how to hold space in times of great sorrow. And learning more about yourself, so that you can do this.
– Anonymous, Fall 2019

An "eye opening" journey into the end of life and how to care for clients facing death. This course is well prepared and creates a special community among it's students. This will tap all of your senses and emotions, prepare you to volunteer or to start your own doula practice.
– Sarah, Fall 2019

This program made it possible for me to feel comfortable in my volunteer work with hospice patients. It also gave me the curiosity and strength to move into a more in-depth position in the death and dying field. I am thankful to both my instructors for their constant feedback and their intense care of the subject. It comes through in everything they do.
– Anonymous, Fall 2019

I truly had no idea what to expect when I first signed up to take the EOL Doula course at UVM. After researching it a bit I was so excited. Now that I have completed the course I am inspired to start my EOL Doula business. I can't even explain all that I have learned in this course. Each module was better than the last module and kept me so intrigued with the entire process of End of Life care. Very well done.
– Anonymous, Fall 2019

The University of Vermont Professional and Continuing Education
322 South Prospect St
Burlington, VT 05405 USA

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