The Institute of Reproductive Care’s Healthcare Task Force is establishing and effecting the widespread adoption of a reproductive grief standard of care by providing strategic advice, research guidance, and key introductions within the healthcare community.
Shandeigh “Nikki” Berry, PhD, RN, CNOR
Dr. Shandeigh “Nikki” Berry is an honored graduate from Washington State University and the first in the College of Nursing to receive the prestigious Karan P. DePauw Leadership Award. An Assistant Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at Saint Martin’s University, Dr. Berry teaches undergraduate courses in nursing theory and philosophy, palliative and end-of-life care across the lifespan, and acute care management.
Maria Brann, PhD, MPH
Dr. Maria Brann (PhD, University of Kentucky; MPH, West Virginia University) is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at IUPUI. Dr. Brann explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety.
Matthew Breuninger, M.A., Psy.D.
Dr. Matthew Breuninger is an associate professor of psychology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Baylor University. Dr. Breuninger is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Ohio. His clinical interests include anxiety, depression, trauma, and substance abuse.
Clayton A. Brigance, Ed.S., LPC
Clayton Brigance is a PhD candidate in counseling at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he was awarded the 2022 PhD Student of the Year and focuses on therapeutic approaches with couples who are experiencing infertility. Clayton is a graduate of Murray State University where he studied psychology, and is also licensed professional counselor.
Jennifer J. Bute, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer J. Bute is a Professor of Communication Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at IUPUI; Adjunct Faculty, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts; Translational Scholar, IUPUI Center for Translating Research into Practice; and a former Senior Editor for the journal Health Communication. Dr. Bute’s research centers on communication about health in interpersonal relationships. Most of her work has explored issues of reproductive health, such as how people manage private information about topics like infertility and miscarriage.
DiAnn Ecret, PhD, MSN, RN, MA cert
DiAnn graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing in 1987, completed her BSN & MSN from Wilmington University. Completed a Master’s degree certification in theology/ethics from Villanova University, and graduated with a PhD in Health Care Ethics at Duquesne University.
Michaelene Fredenburg, President & CEO, Institute of Reproductive Grief Care
Michaelene Fredenburg is the President and CEO of the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care, the global authority on reproductive grief and loss. A recognized expert in reproductive grief care, Michaelene co-developed reproductive loss Continuing Education Curricula that is nationally accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the National Association of Social Workers, and approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses (BRN) and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).
Dr. Stephanie Gilbert
Dr. Stephanie Gilbert is an Associate Professor in the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University. She received her doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Saint Mary’s University. Her research examines predictors of leadership effectiveness and emergence, including leaders’ own motivation for leadership, and examines how grieving employees experience work.
Kathryn Grauerholz, MSN, NP, ACHPN, Director of Healthcare Programs, LP
Kathryn Grauerholz is an Adult Nurse Practitioner and an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse. She has earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from San Diego State University and a graduate degree in nursing from The University of San Diego and has over two decades of experience working with adult patients in preventive medicine, weight management, hospice, antenatal distress counseling, and reproductive loss. Kathryn serves as the Director of Healthcare Programs at the Institute.
Dr. Erica Kreller, MD
Erica Kreller, MD is an OB/GYN in private practice in Gilbert, Arizona. She received her medical degree from the University of Southern California, and completed OB/GYN residency at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego.
Joyce Merrigan, DNP, CPLC, CBC, CBCC, C-EFM, TIP, RNC-OB
Dr. Joyce Merrigan is a passionate educator and advocate for reproductive grief care. She has been a labor and delivery nurse and perinatal bereavement coordinator providing bereavement care to women and their families in New Jersey since 2002. Her many hospital positions include labor and delivery nurse, Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator and Patient Care Coordinator.
Angelica Quezada, LCSW 98888 Director of Mental Health Programs
Angelica is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in providing mental health education and evidence-based psychotherapy to individuals, groups, and families. As the Director of the Mental Health Program, she will continue to promote our mission in order to instill hope, change, understanding, and healing in individuals; by developing educational programs, establishing mental health resources, and aiding in data collection and research.
Dr. Lauren Rubal, MD, FACOG
Lauren Rubal, MD is a Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility physician with a concierge boutique practice in Orange County, CA. She is also a Fellow in Integrative Medicine at the Andrew Weil Center at the University of Arizona, a FEMM-aligned Reproductive Health Research Institute Fellow, and serves as Associate Clinical Faculty at UC Irvine. Dr. Rubal’s goal is to radically reimagine the field by focusing on whole body methods to identify the root cause and heal reproductive issues, like fertility, miscarriage, and abnormal cycles.
Melinda Ruiz, MSN, RN, CNS
Melinda Ruiz graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University for both her Bachelors of Nursing and Masters of Nursing Education with a focus on the family for the Clinical Nurse Specialist role. She has been a nurse for 20 years with an emphasis on high risk pregnancies and babies antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum. Melinda is also a certified instructor for the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care.
Melissa Ryan, RN, BSN, PHN, RNC-OB, LE (CA)
After experiencing a series of reproductive losses, Melissa felt compelled to join our efforts to inspire systemic change and is a Certified Instructor for the Institute of Reproductive Grief Care. Melissa graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing with a Certificate in Public Health from San Diego State University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from the Pacific College of Health and Science.
Dr. Mayra Thompson, MD, OB/GYN
Dr. Mayra Thompson is an Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist in Dallas, TX and has over 42 years of experience in the medical field. Dr. Thompson has extensive experience in gynecologic conditions and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area including UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. She graduated from University of Illinois College of Medicine.