A Home for Bereavement

Chris Root, executive director of NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement and Veronica Wertz, bereavement volunteer coordinator, pose in front of the new bereavement center on Oliver Road.

NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement has found a home for all of its grief-counseling services under one roof.

NorthBay Bereavement Center—the first ever in Solano County—opened its doors in June at 1411 Oliver Road in Fairfield, in space provided by
Al and Patt Shaw, longtime hospice program supporters.

The program, which has been operating in scattered locations for
the past 25 years, provides workshops, programs and counseling.

“We’re thrilled by the opportunity,” says Chris Root, executive director of NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement. “There will be conference rooms for group meetings, a place for our children’s programs, and a place for individual and family counseling.”

All services are free, although donations are always appreciated. The bereavement program relies on donations and the fund-raising success of the Solano Wine & Food Jubilee, held each spring in Vacaville.

The new center helps us fulfill our mission of compassionate care, close to home.

The 2,815-square foot space will also offer office and storage space, which had been at a premium. “It will give us a comfortable, spacious and soothing environment and help us better meet the needs of grieving families,” says Chris.

Two licensed clinical social workers, Barbara Bean Jenson and Theresa Baides, are supported by a team of facilitators, chaplains and volunteers.

There are eight-week courses and recurring classes for children, teenagers and special groups, and an ongoing session for adults. There is a faith-based group, as well as a special support group for survivors of suicide.

“A new center will give us the opportunity to expand our programs,” says Veronica Wertz, hospice, bereavement and volunteer coordinator. “Our groups are open to everyone. You don’t have to be a family member of a hospice patient to participate.”

The hospice team will continue to function out of offices at 5140 Business Center Drive.

“The new space will certainly help the bereavement team in its mission to provide grief and trauma interventions and support whenever critical events occur in our community,” says Chris. “It helps us fulfill our mission of compassionate care, close to home.”

For a schedule of bereavement classes or more information, call (707) 646-3517.

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