The Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort's mission is to minimize the isolation and loneliness experienced by individuals with life threatening illness who are facing the end of their lives alone. Individuals are known beyond their diagnosis, through special relationships with a Doula Volunteer.
The Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort is the only nonprofit organization of its kind specializing in recruiting, screening, specially training, carefully matching and supervising Doula Volunteers who visit individuals weekly in hospitals, healthcare facilities and at home. Our Doula Volunteers will visit one individual weekly until he or she dies. The Doula Volunteers and those they visit form meaningful connections in one visit, over weeks and over years that touch both their lives.
The Doula Program to Accompany and Comfort has been training, assigning and supervising Doula Volunteers since 2001.
In 2012, after 11 years under the auspices of a social service agency JBFCS (Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services), The Doula Program was established as an independent nonprofit organization under the leadership of Amy Levine, the Program Director at the time.
Phyllis Rothschild Farley died peacefully and
encircled by love on February 29th, 2020.
The rich history began in 1998 when Phyllis Farley, a philanthropist in the birthing center movement, attended an end of life Conference sponsored by JBFCS emphasizing the importance of accompanying seriously ill patients through the dying process. Ms. Farley proposed that well-prepared volunteers could make a significant difference to those who would otherwise be alone at the end of life. Ms. Farley conceptualized a volunteer program, using "doulas" to meet the needs of individuals at the end of life.
In June 2001, a joint project between JBFCS and NYU Medical Center, trained the first group of Doula Volunteers. Ms. Farley was one of those first trained Doula Volunteers. Through the dedication of social workers, Harriet Feiner (JBFCS/Shira Ruskay Center) and Maxine Skurka (NYU Medical Center) the Program's training curriculum and design was created.
Since that time, the Doula Program has grown, and gained national and international respect for our work with individuals facing the end of life.