Spirituality of the Child and Family: Facing a Life Threatening Illness and Care of the Team who Serves the Child and Family



Sarah Friebert, M.D., and Karen Ballard, Chaplain, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron, Ohio.
Dr. Friebert is the founder and director of the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center and the Expressive Therapy Center. Dr. Friebert and the team of specialists she leads are nationally recognized for their contributions in improving life and alleviating suffering for children facing life-threatening and chronic/complex conditions and their families. The Haslinger Center hosts an accredited palliative care fellowship program, and in 2012, the center received the Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association, a national award honoring innovative programs in palliative and end-of-life care. Further, in 2013, the program became one of the first pediatric programs in the country to receive advanced certification in palliative care from The Joint Commission.
Karen Ballard, MCM, BCC, serves as the director of the Chaplaincy Services Department at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. She provides spiritual care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults who are living with life-limiting illnesses and their families. She also provides spiritual support for the team members who do this intense work of offering pediatric palliative care.