You are not alone. Meet ROOTS Bereavement Coordinator Ellen Holtz, RN, CPLC.

UM St. Joseph's ROOTS (Recognizing Others Overcoming Their Struggles) Perinatal Loss Program offers support to grieving families of babies who have prematurely passed.

The program honors women and families who have experienced an infant loss, miscarriage or stillbirth by acknowledging the lifelong parenting and bereavement process. ROOTS provides education, resources and support with compassionate, loving care.

Family Support at UM St. Joseph

At UM St. Joseph, families are encouraged to create the most compassionate and comprehensive bereavement experience through holding their baby before and at the time of their death, when possible.

ROOTS makes available holistic care, support and follow-up to families who are grieving the loss of a child from any gestational age through the newborn period. We offer: 

  • Private patient rooms and the Edward V. Julio Family Bereavement Room, which allow families the privacy needed for grieving, consultations and making memories
  • Exceptional personalized care from our team of doctors, nurses and spiritual care chaplains
  • Spiritual care, including a baby-naming ceremony, baptism and blessings
  • Burial and memorial services, held twice a year, for all families who have experienced a loss
  • Follow-up care for grieving parents and family members, such as follow-up calls and cards
  • A special Baby Memory Box contains a book and other keepsakes
  • Our resource library's supply of books and information on relevant topics ranging from miscarriage to full-term loss as well as local bereavement service locations
  • Bereavement photos (with some limitations) and a memory card as time-honored reminders of babies who have prematurely passed.

Support Group: Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss

The ROOTS Parent and Family Support Group is for those who have suffered a loss in any stage of their pregnancy. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month from 8 – 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd floor in the Edward V. Julio Family Bereavement Room.

Free Parking – Validation stickers will be available for your convenience. Please RSVP to Judy Hvisc, support group facilitator, at

Due to COVID-19, in-person meetings have been suspended but will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. Please know that, in the meantime, our families and their babies remain lovingly in our prayers.

For more information, please call the ROOTS support line at 410-427-5440, or email

To make a charitable donation in support of ROOTS, please contact the UM St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation at 410-337-1397 or email