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New Partnership Will Serve Bereaved Children and Families

LATROBE, PA, October 30, 2018 …The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Excela Health, and Seton Hill University will commemorate a new partnership to serve bereaved children and their families in Westmoreland County. On November 13, 2018, beginning at 11:30 AM in the Fred M. Rogers Building, the partners will host a press conference to unveil the brochure “When Someone Your Child Loves Dies: A Guide from the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media and discuss emerging services to support parents and other adults as they care for a grieving child.

Saint Vincent College students and the staff of the Fred Rogers Center have
developed the brochure based on research on child bereavement across age groups
and Fred Rogers’ work focused on child grief. The brochure was created to give parents
and caregivers an understanding of how their child may experience grief, how their
presence and support is what children need most as they grieve and to offer resources
for emotional support.

As the project continues to develop in the coming year, the partnering
organizations are developing age-appropriate curricula for grief support groups for
children age 2 to 19. The groups will be offered by bereavement counselors
at Excela Health in connection with existing support groups provided to parents and

“On an annual basis, Excela Health Home Care and Hospice care for almost
9,000 patients and their families,” said James Joyce, manager of Excela's hospice and
palliative care program. “Part of the care we provide is 13 months of bereavement
support after a hospice patient dies. One area of unmet need we identified was grief
and bereavement services for children and adolescents. We feel very fortunate to be
able to partner with other quality organizations like the Fred Rogers Center at Saint
Vincent College and Seton Hill University to provide these needed services to our

In the development of the curricula, the Fred Rogers Center will contribute
knowledge of child development and the wisdom offered by Fred Rogers on how
children grieve and the ways adults can support that process. “Our students are excited
about the opportunity to use the resources of the Fred Rogers Archive and their
education in child development to expand on the research informing the brochure to
create new materials,” said Dr. Dana Winters, director of simple interactions and
academic programs and assistant professor of child and family studies at the Rogers

"Seton Hill University is honored to partner with two outstanding service-and
community-minded organizations -- the Fred Rogers Center and Excela Health -- and
help bring art therapy to this important project in our neighborhood,” stated
Dr. Dani Moss, assistant professor of art therapy at Seton Hill. "Artistic expression and
play, both of which are foundational in art therapy, are natural languages for children.
Grief is not easy to express in words, and sometimes there are too many feelings and
thoughts at one time to explain, making it overwhelming. Art holds this, contains this,
allows for expressing this, and communicates this. When art therapists provide this
natural outlet for children to express their complex feelings, we are playing to their
strengths and they can cultivate emotional resilience."

Maureen Ceidro, bereavement counselor for Excela Home Health Care and
Hospice, shared “Following in the blue sneaker tradition of Fred Rogers, neighbors from
Excela Health Home Care and Hospice and the Fred Rogers Center are working
together to care for children who have lost a loved one. In Fred Rogers’ words,
‘Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more
manageable.’ Our collaborative effort, along with help from Seton Hill University, will
provide a safe, comfortable space where children and their parents can learn to talk
about those things that are sometimes too hard to put into words.”

About the Partners…

Established at Saint Vincent College in 2003 in his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania,
the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media supports and
enriches the important work of those who help children learn and grow across multiple
disciplines, including early learning, education, communication, health, media, and more.
By focusing on strengthening human relationships and promoting meaningful uses of
technology and media, the Center supports the current practice and ongoing
development of child-serving professionals; expands educational opportunities for
undergraduate students; and collaborates in public service and applied research with
educational and research institutions and community organizations. The Center is the
official home of the Fred Rogers Archive as well as a straightforward, understanding
and compassionate voice for the healthy social and emotional development of children
birth to age 8 (

Excela Health serves as the leading health care provider for Westmoreland and
surrounding counties, focusing on low-cost, high-quality care that has been recognized
at the regional, state, and national levels. Committed to improving the health and wellbeing of every life touched, Excela Health offers care across the continuum, with acute
care provided in three hospitals, ambulatory care delivered in multiple outpatient
settings, and in-home-based services offered through its Home Care and Hospice
division. A robust physician’s group engages the community in population health
management, focusing attention on living well with chronic health conditions through
public awareness and outreach programming. To learn more visit or

Seton Hill University, located in Greensburg, Pa., is a leading Liberal Arts university
founded by the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. Celebrating the Centennial of its charter
as a four-year institution of higher education in 2018, Seton Hill educates 2,200
students from 49 states and territories and 22 foreign countries on its hilltop campus 30
miles from Pittsburgh, Pa. Seton Hill offers academic programs at the undergraduate
and graduate levels in the Natural and Health Sciences, Business, Education and
Applied Social Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts and the Humanities. For more
information, visit

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