ELIZA WERTENBERGER, Emcee
Eliza is a Women’s Health Chaplain at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist hospital, licensed by Mennonite Church USA for this ministry. She has also served as the Chaplain for Women and Infants at St. Joseph Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through her role as chaplain Eliza has had the privilege to walk with hundreds of women and families from many ethnicities, cultures, and faiths through their early grief in perinatal and infant loss. She also takes part in the training of chaplains and nurses who will be caring for families experiencing the loss of a baby.
Eliza has a Master of Theological Studies, Master of Divinity, and Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Eliza is a musician, preacher, teacher, and auntie to an amazing niece and nephew who never cease to show her the beauty of wonder and amazement.
JENNIFER CARTMEL, Remembrance Reader
Jennifer Cartmel is a certified women’s health nurse practitioner and graduate of The Ohio State University College of Nursing. She has been working in women’s health in various capacities since 1990: as a clinic manager, a nurse, a doula, a childbirth educator, and, since 2008, a nurse practitioner. She has worked primarily for underserved populations and in Federally Qualified Health Centers with a broad spectrum of families from many ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds, and when she encounters maternal loss the pain is just as intense and just as unique to every family every time. Jennifer is currently working in private practice with Comprehensive Women’s Care. She has experienced multiple miscarriages herself and is the mother of a beautiful daughter through adoption.
JESSICA ROACH, Remembrance Reader
Jessica Roach is the co-founder and C.E.O. of Restoring Our Own Through Transformation, (ROOTT) a Non-Profit, Black Women led Reproductive Justice Organization focused in Maternal Child Health and Birthing Justice Columbus, Ohio. Her work has spanned over 20 years in areas such as clinical nursing, public health advocate and independent scholar. Ms. Roach has a deeply experiential perspective in her research both personally and professionally, related to the effects of stress related to structural determinants, and the social determinants created as consequence of those structures, with focus on inter-generational and historical trauma as it relates to policy development. She has served as a full spectrum doula, homebirth midwife and assistant, consultant to various organizations and is the mother of three young women, one of which was a pre-term infant.
KELLY GERKEN, Remembrance Reader
Kelly Gerken is the founder of Sufficient Grace Ministries, serving thousands of grieving families worldwide since 2004, comforting others with the comfort she received in her time of grief. She is the mother of five children, three who dance in heaven, and two who fill her days with boyish antics on this earth. Kelly is a featured speaker at hospitals, churches, women’s groups, and a leader of educational seminars for hospital staff and caregivers. She is also a certified SGM Perinatal Loss Support Doula and Remembrance Photographer, building a comprehensive perinatal hospice birth and bereavement program to support bereaved families. Kelly’s book Sufficient Grace addresses many of the questions people ask in the face of tragedy. She is a regular contributor at Still Standing Magazine and the creator of the Dreams of You resources for families and other publications.