About Us

Our Story, Mission & Meet Our Board
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Our Mission

Healing Grace’s mission is to provide support, guidance, love, and community to families that have suffered (or will suffer) the death of an infant at any stage of pregnancy and within the first year of life. We exist to cultivate hope and provide the necessary support for the healing journey after loss including but not limited to; professional and peer support provided in individual, community, video on demand and workshop settings, birth planning, funeral planning support, as well as comfort boxes and other products to support maternal grief.

This is a community that has come together because of loss but is connected by our mutual vision of hope.

At Healing Grace you will find a safe, loving environment to support you in whatever part of the healing process you are in. This journey does not have a start or an end. It is a continuum that is ever changing. From laughter and remembering with a smile one moment, only to feel an overwhelming feeling of sorrow fall over you the next and a need to cry it out, Healing Grace is here for you.

Thank you for visiting! Whether you are here seeking support or here to support our families, we are excited to welcome you to the Healing Grace community. We are stronger together.

No life too small.

Healing Grace Perinatal Hospice, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible as outlined by IRS tax regulations.

About our Founder

Sarah Munn-Wojtaszek

Sarah Munn-Wojtaszek

Founder/Executive Director

May 2008. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I was overjoyed. I could not keep the news to myself and soon after telling my husband, I passed the happy news to my parents, family and friends. I felt great, no morning sickness, and no food aversions. I hardly knew anything was different. August 7th, 2008, 20 weeks pregnant and it was time for my ultrasound appointment. Time to see our baby and find out if we were having a girl or a boy. It is this day that forever changed me. It is this day more than any that sent me into panic and tearful physical breakdown. We were settled into the appointment and the ultrasound tech places the ultrasound wand on my belly. It did not take her long to get up and run out of the room. She returned with the doctor. Something was wrong. I don’t remember the words. I remember all the feelings. I remember physically getting sick. This can’t be happening and they must be wrong. Her diagnosis of anencephaly was confirmed. The prognosis was grave. We did not find out if we were having a girl or boy. I just could not stop crying.

What transpired over the next several days put us in contact with a perinatal hospice to support us over the rest of our pregnancy. This organization became integral in our healing and journey to hope.

In 2010, we moved back to the North Country and found out that there are no organizations like the hospice we had supporting families of infant loss. It was then my dream was born and I knew that I wanted to found the first perinatal hospice in the North Country, honoring my daughter’s short yet profound life.

Meet our board

Father Christopher Looby

Father Christopher Looby

Interim President/ Spiritual Director

Fr. Chris grew up in Harrisville, NY.  A Catholic priest since 2001 he has served in parishes in Plattsburgh, Watertown, Lowville, Brushton and Evans Mills, NY.  Currently, he serves as pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga, NY and Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Schroon Lake, NY.  Fr. Looby is honored to serve on the Healing Grace Perinatal Hospice board and assist parents and families who have experienced infant loss.

Dr Anthony Garami, M.D.

Dr Anthony Garami, M.D.

Programming Commitee Chair/ Medical Director

Anthony is a primary care pediatrician in Plattsburgh, N.Y. His areas of interest are behavioral pediatrics and educating parents of newborns. He graduated from McGill University in 1986, then trained and worked at the Montreal Children’s Hospital until 1999. Anthony also worked for five years in two hospitals and a primary care practice in Massachusetts, where he enjoyed living in the seaside town of Plymouth. One of his most meaningful experiences of his career has been caring for a young child with a severe neurological condition over a period of five years alongside a team of very devoted hospice nurses.

Anthony is a man of faith, attending church and small groups at the Plattsburgh House of Prayer. He is also the Medical Director of the North Country Mission of Hope for the last 12 years. His eyes were opened, his heart deeply touched, and life have been changed by his mission trips to Nicaragua.

A proud father of three adult children, Anthony enjoys hiking, biking and skiing and without doubt, cooking with family. He attributes much that he has learned after medical school to his wife and partner, Gloria, a pediatric nurse.

Lisa Wells, MS, RN

Lisa Wells, MS, RN

Board Member

Extensive experience working as a RN in pediatrics for many years including several years working in the Pediatric Care Unit at Columbia Medical Center Missouri. She moved back to the northeast and settled in Vermont working in medical surgical nursing, discharge planning, and home health nursing. In 1992, she moved back to the Plattsburgh area and continued her education at SUNY Plattsburgh earning her BSN and then her master’s at Bingingham University. She is currently an associate professor and Chairperson of the Nursing Department at SUNY Plattsburgh. She has taught medical-surgical nursing and maternal-child nursing. She worked Per Diem at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in maternal-infant nursing. She is excited and happy to be a part of this new venture with Healing Grace and continue to serve the local community.

Megan Baker, PA

Megan Baker, PA

Board Member

Megan grew up locally in Chazy, NY. Attended high school at Seton Catholic and graduated in 1995. Graduated from Daemen College in Amherst, Buffalo in 2000 with a BS degree as a Physical Therapist. Worked at Adirondack Physical Therapy in Plattsburgh and Elizabethtown for 3 years before deciding to return to school. Graduated from SUNY StonyBrook in 2005 with a BS degree as a Physician Assistant. The first few years out of school she remained in Long Island and worked at Queens Hospital in the ER. When returning home in 2007 to be closer to family, She took positions at local primary care offices until 2012. She has been on staff at CVPH in the Cardiology Department for the last 8 years, she loves it. She is a busy mom of 3 and excited to put Healing Grace into action. I am so happy she is on this journey with us.

 

Kathryn LaValley, MSPT, cert. MDT, SBMC

Kathryn LaValley, MSPT, cert. MDT, SBMC

Secretary of the Board/Programming Committee

NYS licensed physical therapist with a master’s of science in physical therapy awarded in 2001 from Thomas Jefferson University. She has specialty credentialing in mechanical diagnosis and therapy and certification in Sensation Based Motivation Coaching.  She has worked for 20 years as a physical therapist in orthopedics with the majority of time in private practice settings in Syracuse and in Plattsburgh NY.  She just opened her own physical therapy private practice, InsightMoves PT, PLLC in downtown Plattsburgh. She is a mother and wife and loves the challenge and drama of both. Kate will tell you that she is passionate about learning and empowering others to help them live their best lives. Her other passions include getting lost in nature, spirituality, traveling, nerding out on science, eating amazing food, and the arts. Kate is honored to be on the board and supporting Healing Grace Perinatal Hospice. Having experienced miscarriages herself, Kate feels that having an accessible working support system in place for families dealing with infant loss is essential.

 

Maria Hayes, RN

Maria Hayes, RN

Board Member/Programming Committee

Maria a retired registered nurse and the former director of the women and children’s center at CVPH. She brings an extensive experence working with families in times of joy and on the other side when they are in their darkest moments of infant loss. Maria joined our board in September 2021. She is also a member of the programming committee. She has many wonderful ideas to grow our organzation and how we can best support our families.

 

 

 

 

Bridget Sarazen, CNM

Bridget Sarazen, CNM

board member/Fundraising Committee

 

 

 

 

Anita Soltero

Anita Soltero

board member/Fundraising Committee