• Christina Mehta Prendiville

Valerie’s House and VITAS Hospice Collaborate to Help Grieving Children

Valerie’s House, Inc., a Southwest Florida center for grieving children, and VITAS® Healthcare of Naples, the nation’s largest hospice provider, are combining resources to serve grieving children and their families in the region. Valerie’s House has met with and trained VITAS nurses and staff about the needs of children in grief, and VITAS has begun referring the children of its dying patients to Valerie’s House for grief support. The collaboration will also include the building of a teddy bear library at Physicians Regional Medical Center in Naples to provide teddy bears to the children of hospice patient families. In addition, VITAS Foundation provided Valerie’s House with a $10,000 grant.

“We are honored to partner with this highly respected provider of hospice and bereavement support,” said Angela Melvin, Founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. “It is a natural partnership as VITAS works with families at the end of life, and Valerie’s House is there to help the children of those families grieve.”

Valerie's Houe and VITAS staff

VITAS Healthcare, a pioneer and leader in the hospice movement since 1978, provides end-of-life hospice and palliative care for adult and pediatric patients with life-limiting illnesses. It works with patients and families in Collier County and Naples to provide comfort and preserve dignity in the face of terminal illness. VITAS is the nation’s leading hospice provider.

Valerie’s House is a special place for children and families in Southwest Florida to connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. The organization’s vision is that no child will grieve alone. Valerie’s House opened in January 2016, and has locations in both Lee and Collier counties. For more information about Valerie’s House, contact Valerie’s House is a United Way Partner Agency and is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information, go to

Photo (Left to Right) Front Row: Angela Melvin, Melissa Hitch, Kellee Ratliffe, Sarah Cunningham(Left to Right) Back Row: Robin Desmond, Jennifer Bosak, Sylvia Currie, Connie Shepherd

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