Ms. Stacy Remke begins the interview by describing her initial career path in social work around aging and how she came to develop her interest in care planning for pediatric end of life needs. Ms. Remke then describes her observation that both providers and parents would not have meaningful discussions about the realities and practicalities of children who were seriously ill or dying. She also noticed that providers were resistant to utilizing hospice services for seriously ill pediatric patients and that they expressed sentiments like "you'll take care of my patients over my dead body." Ms. Remke then describes the early practices of communication and miscommunication around pediatric end of life. She also describes branding and attracting physician interest in her agency's pediatric hospice programing as a constant task the agency struggled with initially. Ms. Remke recalls some of the successes and challenges of the early years she was working with her small multidisciplinary team, including defining how social work could work to compliment nurses and other providers. Ms. Remke concludes the interview by describing her goal to see more children and families with the full spectrum of supportive care that they need. She also describes one of her favorite contributions to pediatric palliative care being her model of multidisciplinary health care planning, now the preferred model in palliative care programs. Finally, Ms. Remke suggests that the field could benefit from equally compensating services and increasing access to professional development resources for disciplines that provide a holistic experience, such as social work, chaplaincy, and child life specialists.
Pediatric Palliative Care Oral History Project
Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University in St. Louis
"Stacy Remke Oral History." (2019). OH154-S29-i01, Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University in St. Louis.