Companions on a Journey recognized Jan Borgman, Linda Richey, and Cathy Douglas-Penn with the Strength, Hope, and Healing Award during All Star Gala held Saturday November 14th , at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel Jan, Linda, and Cathy Douglas-Penn are being recognized for their work We thank all of you for truly making a difference, and for recognizing the needs of grieving children, teens, and adults in our community. Ultimately, assisting them during life’s crises. COJ thanks each of these incredible women for supporting Companions on a Journey.
- Jan Borgman, MSW, LISW-S, FT is the Bereavement Manager for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and a Fellow in Thanatolgy. Jan has over 30 years of experience in providing individual, family and group counseling and support for those dealing with issues of grief and loss.
- Jan facilitates a monthly meeting for bereavement providers in our community and provides an updated listing of bereavement support groups offered in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area on a yearly basis. She is also the coordinator for the International Network of Bereavement Coordinators (INBC). She has facilitated a monthly bereavement
- support group in the Mt. Washington area for the past 11 years.
- Why do I do what I do?
- “ I am so blessed to be able to do what I do on a daily basis. It’s an honor to be able to work with people who are grieving the death of a loved one. I’m amazed that so many people trust me enough to allow me to be part of their grief journey.
- As a child and teenager, I witnessed the support that my parents provided to family members who were ill or dying. My family has been touched deeply by the effects of cancer and heart disease and I have seen my family support and care for one another during illness and death. I believe this is what drew me to the field of social work as a profession and to specialize in the area of death, dying and bereavement.
- Over the years, I have been allowed to walk this journey with patients and clients, their families and loved ones as well as staff and care providers. I have been inspired by so many dedicated and caring colleagues whom I’m proud to call them my mentors and friends.
- I thank God each day that I have a job that I love and a ministry that hopefully provides a glimmer of hope to people who are grieving the death of a loved one. I am truly blessed.”
- Linda obtained her Bachelors in Social Work from Malone College in Canton Ohio. After her undergraduate education, she moved to Cincinnati to attend graduate school and received her MSW with a Specialization in Mental Health in 1989.
- For the past eleven years she has been the Director of the Psychiatric Intake Response Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Prior to CCHMC, Linda was the Clinical Director of Queen City Case Management (QC/M) and a Clinical Coordinator at Tri-Health. She lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and two dogs.
- Why do I do what I do?
- “ When children, adolescents and families are in crisis they are at their most vulnerable state. To provide psychiatric assessment and support to these folks is so important. They need to be heard, understood, informed of options and, most importantly, be told it will get better. The mental health system is difficult to navigate. I want to help families so they don't have to navigate the system alone, and along the way help to improve the mental health system. ”
- Why is the collaborative work in postvention suicide so important ?
- “ There is an immediate impact to the family, peers and community when somebody dies by suicide. Getting through the first couple days and weeks is very difficult, but it is the next couple of months, years and anniversaries that concern me. Death by suicide has lasting impact and for youth who already may be struggling with day to day issues. It places them at higher risk. I strongly believe in the work COJ is doing to provide support and a safe place for youth to be able to express their thoughts and feelings and be assured, if necessary, help is immediately available. ”
- Cathy obtained her Bachelors in Sociology and Psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Later she attended The Ohio State University for postgraduate studies where she obtained her Masters of Social Work degree. Cathy is also licensed as Independent Social Worker Supervisor. Currently, Cathy works as a Social Work
- Coordinator for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) at the Liberty Campus. She supervises a team of social workers and counselors who work primarily in the Liberty Emergency Department. They provide psychiatric assessments, work with children who are brought in for abuse assessments, and support families in the trauma bay. Cathy has thirty-eight years of Social Work experience in helping mental health patients and fifteen years managing children’s health programs.
- Why do I do what I do?
- “ I want to able help kids understand different perspectives, and to give them a safe person to talk to who won’t judge their point of view. In taking the time to listen and respect what they feel, I hope to help them develop insights and see options that can help them choose a good path to follow. ”
- What is your focus of interest in mental health?
- “ I have presented on several topics which include mental health diagnosis of adults and children, child abuse and neglect, grief and loss, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and assessment, self-harm behaviors, cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, school-based interventions, and engaging parents in treatment. ”