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Our Approach

Our approach is holistic, individual, person-centered quality care. We see death as a process rather than an event that takes place over time. We see building relationships with the person as the key to supporting them in their journey. We see a person as being made up of a unique set of circumstances and beliefs. We see the person as an individual.

If you are part of the staff at a hospice or are a hospice volunteer, please read our Hospice Letter of Intent.

If you would like to contact our Board of Directors, please feel free to reach out to theboard@endoflifedoulaassociation.org

Our Story

We began by having a coffee and talking about death. Our passion and desire to provide opportunities to die better created a bond.  That bond soon became a source of community. That community slowly grew by one member each week. Each week gave us opportunities to share with more like minded persons, and this is where the story begins...

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Dr. Linda (Frankie) Franchi

President - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Frankie began her End of Life, Doula training completely by accident when her dear friend chose to die at home decades ago. There was no such thing as Doula training at the time. Wrestling with the health care system to create the home death that her friend wanted created a very deep impression about the medicalization of the death experience. This sparked the commitment and service to end of life clients. Repeated experiences of profound connection with EOL clients moved her to complete her PH.D on communication issues facing death and facing the death of a loved one. Frankie provides practical, emotional, and spiritual support to individuals and their families. She has served in hospice, palliative care wards and home deaths and appreciates the tremendous gifts from End of Life clients. In keeping with a “nonjudgmental service model", Frankie also has journeyed through medical assistance in dying processes with EOL clients and their families. And she embraces the motto “be with and bear witness” to the universal needs and unique experiences of dying people and their loved ones.


Sue Phillips

Vice President - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Sue Phillips has been supporting people who are dealing with critical illness or approaching death since 2019. Her primary supports include pre-planning, advocacy, legacy project facilitation, compassionate companioning, caregiver respite, bedside vigilling, funeral celebrant, post-death assistance and grief and bereavement support. Sue’s training includes the Douglas College End of Life Doula Training as well as the Visiting Volunteer Training at Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice in Hamilton. Currently Sue is studying Thanatology: A Practical Approach with Centennial College. She has a strong focus on enhancing public awareness on the work of end-of-life doulas through public speaking, community information sessions and storytelling gatherings. Along with being a board member with the EOLDAC, Sue is a Regional Representative for the Bereavement Ontario Network and a member of the Death Doula Ontario Network. Sue believes that the end of life deserves as much beauty, care, and respect as the beginning.


Donalda Weaver

Treasurer - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Donalda’s journey in End of Life Care began over 35 years ago when she volunteered for Lion’s Gate Hospital’s Palliative Care Program for 11 years on the PCU and co-facilitated Bereavement Groups. Over the years this experience enabled Donalda to help companion family members and friends through the dying and grief process. Volunteering is important to Donalda. She served on the West End–Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre Board from 2009 to 2020. Donalda’s professional career concentrated in Financial Management, encompassing positions from Bookkeeper to Controller. Donalda is exceptionally proud of Project Limelight Society, the not-for-profit charitable organization for youth, she co-founded in 2011.

Donalda completed the Douglas College End of Life Doula program in 2021, the Nanaimo Community Hospice Client Based Core Volunteer Training Program in 2022, and is excited to continue to volunteer with the Nanaimo Community Hospice, to build her End of Life Doula practice and to serve the EOLDAC as a Board Member.


Melissa Vukovich

Secretary - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Melissa realized early on that her family approached topics of death and dying differently from most of her peers. With her parents, she regularly vigiled at the bedside of loved ones and community members, participated in funeral rituals and eulogies, and visited with bereaved families from a young age. Realizing not every family had these experiences or tools, she combined her interest in science with her desire to help people; pursuing an education in Forensic and Biological Anthropology, and Thanatology. This lead to further studies in Emergency Management, and finally, upon discovering there was a name to describe what she and her mother were providing to their community, Melissa completed the End of Life Doula program through Douglas College in 2020. She has also completed training with Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO).

In addition to being a board member with the EOLDAC, Melissa volunteers with a rural women's shelter and resource centre, her local Pride chapter, and provides hospice and bereavement support with the VON. Melissa believes that volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy and that her community-mindedness, planning and organizational skills, and experience in operations management will support the EOLDAC in its mission.


Jennifer Brooker

Member at Large - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Since completing the End of Life Care Doula Certification through Douglas College in 2017, Jennifer has been engaging people in conversations about death, dying, grief and loss through her work with New West Hospice Society, in her professional practice working in mental health, and at any opportunity she can. While companioning a dear friend during his end of life journey, Jennifer witnessed how lack of preparing and planning contributes to stress and tension at a time when one is struggling with acceptance and peace. Jennifer’s passion for companioning those on their end of life journey expands to supporting family members and carers of the individual as well as facilitating groups for those experiencing grief and loss. A life long learner, her education includes an Undergraduate Degree majoring in Psychology and a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing. She has taken additional education in group grief and loss through Living Through Loss Counselling Society of BC, End of Life Studies at SFU, along with numerous workshops, webinars, and courses. Jennifer dedicates herself to being of service to those whose voices have not yet been heard. She is excited to serve End of Life Doulas as a member of EOLDAC Board of Directors.

Mary-Anne Parker

Mary-Anne Parker

Member at Large - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Mary-Anne Parker is an End-of-Life researcher whose work and learning have evolved into critically examining end of life care in Canada. As Administrative & Development Coordinator for the SHPCA and practicing End-of-Life Doula, she is involved in advocacy and research which she hopes will add to the recognition that meaningful end-of-life care is crucial to both client and family well-being. Her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies applied thesis project involved an in-depth philosophical and phenomenological study of the Canadian death doula role within the long-term care context. Before attending studies at AU and becoming a Death Doula, she has enjoyed careers in marketing communications, fundraising, and writing.

She resides in Saskatoon with 4 generations, a very old dog and a plethora of unfinished art projects.

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Beverley Shiels

Member at Large - Board of Directors
End of Life Doula


Beverley Shiels took the first step to answer her soul's call to become an End-of-Life Doula in 2017 when she completed her End-of-Life Doula training and certification from Doulagivers and Douglas College in 2018. In 2019, after retiring from a long term career in Municipal Government, she launched her own Doula practice in the Capital Region of Alberta.

Beverley says she loves the diversity of the End-of-Life Doula profession but her passion is to build trusted collaborative relationships with medical teams and Funeral Directors who like her wish to bring life and creativity to the home death experience for Canadian families.

Beverley feels her experience as a hospice volunteer, the successes and challenges of her private Doula practice along with her skill set from the corporate world, can be of service to the End of Life Doula Association of Canada’s Board and its Membership.

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Angela Miceli



Angela is located just outside of Toronto, Ontario and has a wealth of experience supporting both large and small organizations. She has a business background and has worked in Marketing and Administration for 20+ years.

Angela supports the End of Life Doula Association by managing our newsletter, overseeing our social media communications, as well as running our website, maintaining our membership database, responding to our incoming emails, and helping out with our monthly meetings.

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Jennifer Mallmes

End of Life Care Doula/Registered Care Aide


Jennifer Mallmes is co-founder of the End of Life Doula Association of Canada. She has spent the last 23 years caring for people. She has a BA in Gerontology and Sociology from Simon Fraser University and is currently completing a MA in adult education. Jennifer is the creator of the End of Life Doula program and the Indigenous End of Life Guide Program at Douglas College. Her mission is to ensure that all Canadians have equal access to quality end-of-life care. Jennifer resides in Grand Forks BC with her husband and five children (2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 horses).
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Sarah Muxlow

End of Life Doula / Social Work


Sarah Muxlow is Co-Founder of the End of Life Doula Association of Canada and holds a degree in Social Work from the University of the Fraser Valley. Sarah’s passion for improving end of life care began after experiencing the loss of a loved one in 2013. She has dedicated herself to expanding education and services surrounding hospice, palliative care, and grief and loss. Sarah and Jennifer first met in 2016 and recognized the need to establish a scope of practice, governing body, standard of practice, and ethics for End of Life Doulas. Since 2016, Sarah has volunteered with the Chilliwack Hospice Society and is trained in vigil, hospice and bereavement care. She co-coordinates the Chilliwack Hospice Vigil Outreach Team and continually seeks to provide education on hospice palliative care and grief and loss support to her community.