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La Clinica will add grief support care

WinterSpring grief support programs will be integrated into La Clinica’s health care offerings.
WinterSpring grief organization will merge with health care provider

WinterSpring’s grief and loss support programs will be integrated into La Clinica health and wellness classes that are offered to patients and the wider community.

The change will take place by this summer, according to La Clinica, a provider of affordable physical, mental, dental and substance use disorder health care in the Rogue Valley.

WinterSpring was founded in 1989 to provide one-on-one support and groups for grieving children, teens and adults.

WinterSpring leaders approached La Clinica last year as they sought more stability for the small organization and to place it in a traditional health care setting, according to La Clinica.

The boards of both organizations recently approved WinterSpring’s integration into La Clinica.

La Clinica will benefit from WinterSpring’s expertise, wisdom and program design that helps grieving people, said La Clinica Chief Executive Officer Brenda Johnson.

“We see the importance of this work in the community and believe we can help carry it wholeheartedly long into the future,” she said. “Ongoing grief and loss services are often absent from traditional health care models, and it’s time we rectify that.”

WinterSpring Board of Directors President Janine Twining said the change merges grief-informed care and education into traditional health care, where it has been missing for too long.

“This type of partnership is not only innovative and timely, it is absolutely necessary,” Twining said.

La Clinica plans to continue all WinterSpring programs and hopes to add new programs to support people’s continuing recovery from the 2020 Almeda fire that destroyed thousands of homes in the Rogue Valley. La Clinica also hopes to expand courses available in Spanish, leaders said.

WinterSpring currently offers compassionate support and information about resources over the phone to grieving people. People can attend bereavement support groups with others experiencing grief. The groups are facilitated by trained volunteers.

Groups include a children’s program, school-based teen grief support and groups for adults based on the type of loss, such as the loss of a spouse or partner, or the loss of a child.

WinterSpring believes it’s through sharing stories and feeling connected to others suffering similar losses that people find healing and glean the wisdom that comes from better understanding their own experience of loss.

WinterSpring also provides training, information and education to professionals and other community members on how to help others during times of grief and loss.

WinterSpring will continue to use its name in connection with grief loss and support programs in the community, La Clinica said.