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Webinar Materials

Witnessing the Dying of a Child: The Role of the Pediatric Chaplain

Presented by Jim Manzardo, STB, BCC and Glenda Spearman, MDiv, BCC


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Program Summary
There is no more painful death than the death of one’s own child. We explain the reality for parents/caregivers who face their children’s death in a hospital context and who must also make very complex and difficult decisions about medical treatments and end-of-life care. We also elaborate the dying experience of infants through young adults in a pediatric hospital setting. Finally, we describe the unique and integral role of a pediatric chaplain with dying children and their families.

Program Objectives
  1. To understand the breadth of the experience of parents/caregivers and families whose children die in a hospital setting.
  2. To describe the experience of the dying adolescent, child and infant.
  3. To explain the role and contributions of chaplains who minister to dying children and their families.

About the Presenters
Jim Manzardo is a chaplain at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago where he has worked for the past two years in the pediatric intensive care unit. Previously, he was the primary chaplain for the Hematology-Oncology-Stem Cell Transplant service for nineteen years. He also has been part of the Palliative Care and Ethics teams and is a facilitator of a nursing transitions program for new nurses during their first year of nursing. Jim also has been incorporating mindfulness meditation into the hospital environment.

Glenda R. Spearman, M.Div., BCC, is currently a Senior Staff Chaplain at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) where she has served since 2000. Glenda was board certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in 2008. Glenda coordinates the Minister of Care volunteers who bring Communion to the Catholic patient families at Lurie Children’s. Glenda has been Primary Chaplain for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the past ten years. Glenda facilitates the hospital’s Schwartz Rounds, and is a member of the hospital-wide Bereavement Committee, and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Glenda is part of the Spiritual Care Chaplain Team who provides Mindfulness Meditation to staff. Glenda coordinates the annual televised Christmas visit by the Cardinal to the hospital’s patient families. In October, 2017, Glenda was awarded the Bishop Quarter Award by Chicago’s Blasé Cardinal Cupich for the many years of ministry as a pediatric hospital Chaplain, especially to the Catholic patient families.


November 15 2018 Webinar Fact Sheet (participants) (The Fact Sheet contains call-in instructions and numbers)
Witnessing the Dying of a Child PPT (PDF)
Witnessing the Dying of a Child PPT_3 slides per page (PDF)

CEH certificate

CEH certificate (all 2018 webinars) (PDF)

Webinar recordings

November 15, 2018 webinar recording