Community Education

Our Community Education programs facilitate constructive conversations in the community about loss, grief and

other end-of-life issues. 

CaringMatters strives to develop community knowledge and skills around end-of-life and grief related topics that can be applied to daily life. Our meaningful educational events and discussions help build a caring and compassionate community.

For information on Community Education, please contact

Leigh Bluestein, or 301-990-7927

Thank you to our Community Education Sponsor

AARP logo.png

Upcoming Webinar

Grief Support for the Black Community:
Understanding the Culture of Trauma and
Developing An Empathy-Driven Mindset

Thursday, February 10, 2022, 10:00am - 11:00am

In this thought-provoking and compassionate training, Dr. Dwayne Buckingham explores some of the psychological, economical, and cultural barriers that prevent African Americans from seeking professional counseling after experiencing trauma and grief. Participants will learn the importance of serving Black people through culturally sensitive lens and develop the skills and knowledge needed to encourage healthy help-seeking behavior among Black people. 

Closed captioning will be enabled for this webinar. If you need additional accommodations,

please email Leigh Bluestein at


Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham


Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Buckingham Consulting Group, LLC, founder of the You Deserve More women’s empowerment movement, CEO of the Empathy and Resilience Center, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) and President of the Business Academy for Social Workers and Counselors (BASWC).


Dr. Buckingham has over 24 years of experiences in clinical and community social work and served as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force for nearly a decade. During his military tenure, Dr. Buckingham provided psychological assessments, treatment and psychoeducational training to over 30,000 individuals, couples, groups, and families worldwide. In recognition of his expertise as a skilled psychotherapist, Dr. Buckingham received six Commendation medals, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and five Achievement/Unit Medals.


While serving as Deputy Chief of the Adult Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic and Chief of Resiliency and Psychological Health Service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from 2009 to 2016, Dr. Buckingham provided executive coaching to senior leaders and led his team in conducting resilience trainings for over 7000 military, civilian and contract personnel. He was well respected among his professional colleagues and earned the title of “The Empathy and Resiliency Doctor or The E.R. Doctor.”

Recent Webinar

Grief in the Workplace:

Guidance for Employees and Employers

Recorded on December 15, 2021

"How are you?"   This question has become more difficult to ask and answer during the pandemic. With employees returning to workplaces, it's important to consider how to make our words and actions match our good intentions of supporting those who are grieving. 

This insightful free webinar covers:

  • Grief and the impact of Covid

  • Strategies for navigating workplace scenarios:

    • The experience of front-line health care workers

    • Coworkers grieving the death of a colleague

    • Returning to work while grieving

    • Supporting the grieving colleague

  • The impact of grief on workplaces, both healthcare and non-healthcare locations

  • Examples of Employee Assistance Program support throughout the pandemic

  • Lessons from grief and mental health programs instituted by Adventist Healthcare

This free webinar was funded by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.



Jim Rossi
Director of Adult Bereavement Services


When Jim's wife died in 1996, he looked for support and found Hospice Caring (now CaringMatters). He attended one of the organization's grief support groups for widowed spouses, an experience he calls "life-changing." He pledged to give back and become a trained support group facilitator.  Jim continued volunteering and has served in several roles in the organization over the past 21 years, mainly with the Adult Bereavement program.

When Jim retired from his medical career in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, most recently at Leisure World, Jim was excited to use his experience and pursue a second career as the Director of Adult Bereavement Services at CaringMatters. ​Since assuming his position in 2018, Jim has worked to expand the scope of CaringMatters' grief support groups throughout the community,


Nicole D'Uva
Associate Vice President

Employee Health & LifeWork Strategies

 Adventist HealthCare

Nicole D’Uva serves as the Associate Vice President of Employee Health and LifeWork Strategies for Adventist HealthCare, one of the longest serving health systems in the Washington D.C. region. In her role, Nicole manages Benefits, Occupational Health, Employee Assistance and Well-being programs for Adventist HealthCare. In addition, Nicole manages LifeWork Strategies, a business unit within Adventist HealthCare that supports businesses and their employee populations in creating and sustaining healthy behaviors through integrated and comprehensive programming for employee assistance and employee well-being programs at a national level.  


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped support Adventist HealthCare team members through childcare and transportation programs for essential workers, in addition to expedited onboarding support for healthcare workers. As the pandemic continues, she has been instrumental in supporting team members through support groups and other EAP and well-being initiatives.  


Nicole has a degree in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and a strong background in corporate health and wellness. She is currently pursuing a master’s in business administration (MBA) from The University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. 

Recent Webinar

Understanding Your Choices for Your End of Life Care

Thursday, November 4, 2021

As part of our observance of November as National Hospice Month, this webinar discusses aspects of hospice, palliative care, related cultural considerations and important community-based resources to guide decisions and provide support. Understanding all of the options for end of life care can help individuals and families plan ahead to honor the values and wishes of their loved ones.

The webinar explores:

  • Key aspects of palliative care vs. hospice care

  • Cultural sensitivities at end of life, especially with respect to the Latino community 

  • What to expect when someone is actively dying

  • Community-based resources

Presenter: Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera, MD, PhD


Dr. Izquierdo-Porrera is the co-founder and current Executive Director of Care for Your Health. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and focuses on serving multicultural communities, with special emphasis on delivering high quality, patient-centered care to vulnerable, underinsured and elderly patients. She is also a member of the CaringMatters Board of Trustees.

Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera.jfif
Blue Logo.png

CaringMatters is proud to partner with WPSU Penn State and the New York Life Foundation to promote and screen, "Speaking Grief," a new documentary will help change the way we understand grief.  The film aims to create a more grief-aware society by validating the experiences of grievers and helping guide those who wish to support them. Speaking Grief features diverse representations of grief through candid interviews with families whose losses range from stillbirth to suicide. 


View "Speaking Grief" below and then view the recording of CaringMatters' September 10th online film discussion, featuring  panelists, Gilly Cannon, Director of Children's Bereavement; Jim Rossi, Director of Adult Bereavement; and Maria Collins, Vice President, New York Life Foundation.

More grief support resources and videos are available at

Past Community Education Events Include:

  • Webinar - Grief in the Workplace: Guidance for Employees and Employers

  • Webinar - ​Voice Your Choice: Preparing for Health Care Emergencies

  • Webinar - Speaking Grief Film Discussion

  • Webinar - LGBTQ+ Seriously Ill Seniors: Opportunities for Better Care

  • Webinar - Grief and Self-Care in the Time of COVID-19

  • Webinar - Supporting Grieving Students After a Death: How We Can Help Them Build Resilience in a Time of Physical Distancing

  • Navigating Transitions for Your Loved One's Care

  • Nine To Ninety Film Screening & Discussion

  • Caregivers' Toolkit: Community Resources for Patients & Families Facing Serious Illness

  • Voices of Grief Film Screening & Discussion

  • Managing Grief in the Age of 24-Hour News & Social Media