Lory’s Place welcomes new director
ST. JOSEPH — Lory’s Place, a grief, healing, and education center of Caring Circle, a Lakeland Health Affiliate, recently welcomed Stephanie Kohler to the role of director, following the retirement of Lisa Bartoszek.
The St. Joseph resident holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a communications concentration and a certificate in thanatology from the National Center for Death Education at Mt. Ida College.
Prior to her current role, she served as a family services coordinator at Lory’s Place beginning in 2005, before transitioning to family services coordinator leader in 2016.
“It has been an absolute blessing to witness the impact and success of Lory’s Place since the beginning,” Kohler said. “I have seen it through the eyes of participant after my own significant loss, volunteer, and staff member for over ten years. We have walked alongside thousands of children, teens and adults since the doors opened in November of 2004. These stories, mine included, grace the walls and remind all of us of the courage it takes to walk in and choose to do grief work.”
Kohler has facilitated both adult and children peer support groups at Lory’s Place as well as peer outreach groups in some of the 50 schools throughout Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties that comprise its service area. In addition to overall program responsibility, she will continue to administer several groups, as well as lead community collaborations with The Readiness Center, Catholic Community Center, and Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor.
“Healing in our grief, gaining the tools to mourn in a healthy way, and finding that safe space to be with others who understand is the cornerstone that Lory’s Place stands on,” Kohler said. “We have been working diligently to educate communities about how to support others who are grieving, and to find community partners who believe as we do, that every person deserves every opportunity to tell their story.”
Lory’s Place services are provided at no cost by a staff of six and a team of volunteer facilitators. Educational opportunities called Grief 101 are presented to school, business, and community groups. Additionally, Lory’s Place supports the community in times of crisis, within school systems, businesses, or other agencies. For more information on Lory’s Place and the services offered call: (269) 983-2707
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