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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Fundraising Committee Chairperson
Michele Armani has been an educator for 30 years working with students from pre-K through college and has enjoyed every part of her career. She currently serves as Education Director with Ready4Real/ETS. In this role, she works with a team to provide professional skills development coursework throughout Northern New York.
Michele is a Permanently Certified New York State Teacher and a nationally certified Master Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and is Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).
As one half of style & substance, Michele, along with her partner Sally Meisenheimer, write an advice column for the Plattsburgh Press Republican as well as provide Individual Life Coaching, Executive Coaching, and corporate training in communication, conflict resolution & mediation, and leadership.
Pamela Davis, BSN , RN, C-EFM
Board of Directors