Staff

Executive Director
Carly Woythaler-Runestad, MHA

Carly Woythaler-Runestad, MHA, is the executive director of the Mourning Hope Grief Center. Runestad began work at Mourning Hope on April 1, 2008. An Iowa native, she graduated with a B.M. in music therapy from the University of Iowa. Following graduation, Runestad served as the recreation therapy director of a 165-bed long-term care facility in Minneapolis, and as the director of a 26-bed Alzheimer's unit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In 2004, Carly returned to Iowa City to pursue a Master's in Health Administration degree. Upon graduation, she worked for the Nebraska Hospital Association as the director of health policy, providing advocacy services at the local, state and federal level for 85 Nebraska hospitals.

Runestad has served on a number of statewide boards, including as the President of the Nebraska Rural Health Association and the Area Health Education Statewide Advisory Board and currently serves on the National Alliance for Grieving Children’s Board of Directors. She is a frequent speaker on issues such as health policy, community health, human resource management and leadership. Carly is thrilled to serve as Mourning Hope's executive director, and is committed to promoting healthy communities through innovative programs and partnerships.

Program Director
Caitlin Mason, MTS

Caitlin Mason, MTS, is the Program Director of the Mourning Hope Grief Center.  Caitlin graduated in 2007 from Saint Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin with B.A. in Religious and Cultural Studies.  In 2010, Mason graduated with a Masters of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN. 

Caitlin is passionately committed to Mourning Hope’s dedication to companioning grieving children and their families.  Most recently, Caitlin worked in eldercare as a Bereavement Coordinator for a local hospice organization and is excited to come alongside folks from the other end of life’s spectrum to encourage them in their grief journey.   Her work in bereavement care has led Caitlin to realize that all people have a story to share, and need a safe place to share it!  She believes that she can contribute to Mourning Hope being a beacon of light in the Lincoln community, bringing attention to grief awareness and combatting the cultural stigma that you have to grieve alone.  

Camp Erin Program Director
Pam Fuhr Dinneen, MS, LMHP, FT

Pam Fuhr Dinneen is the founder of the Mourning Hope Grief Center. As an educator and counselor, she found herself working with children and seeing the devastating impact grief had on so many aspects of their lives, affecting their learning, behaviors and choices. After serving on the crisis response team for Lincoln Public Schools and becoming acutely aware of the need for support services for grieving children, teens and their families, she traveled to centers across the United States, learning about ways to support them.

In 1994, the first Mourning Hope teen group began with a concurrent group provided for their caregivers. After attending those sessions, families requested groups for their children and later their college age young adults. Throughout these years of providing services to grieving families in Nebraska, the program has continued to expand, adding more opportunities to address the needs of those grieving.

Pam’s passion is to companion people, walking with them through the most difficult times in their lives and helping them have hope, healing and happiness again. She continues to be very active with Mourning Hope as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Board. Pam is also on the Program Committee, Training Team and serves as a consultant for Mourning Hope’s mission.

Pam is currently the Director of Care for Southwood Lutheran Church, where she offers counseling and adult groups. She is a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and holds a Fellowship in Thanatology through the Association of Death Educators and Counselors.

Community Outreach Coordinator
Sandi Fabry

Sandi Fabry is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Mourning Hope Grief Center. Before being hired for this new position, she served on the Mourning Hope Board of Directors. Sandi graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hastings College and moved to Lincoln in 1964 to become part of Lincoln Public Schools. After graduate work at UNL and teaching both elementary and middle school, Sandi retired from the classroom but was rehired to work with the Ventures in Partnerships and TeamMates programs.

Sandi is convinced that Lincoln is clearly one of the best places in the nation to live and work. Community service, with particular attention to children's issues, is a passion. Sandi serves on the Children, Youth and Families Board at First-Plymouth and on the Board of Directors for Downtown Rotary Club #14.

All children across the city and their families are welcome at Mourning Hope following the death of a friend, a family member or someone important to them. For the Mourning Hope staff and volunteers, serving those who most need a companion at a very difficult time in their lives is truly an honor.

Program Resource Coordinator
Lauren Eynon Patton

Lauren Eynon Patton, is the Program Resource Coordinator of the Mourning Hope Grief Center. Originally from Austin, Texas, Lauren graduated in 2006 from Baylor University with a B.A. in Political Science. Lauren is also a first year Marriage and Family Therapy graduate student at UNL.

Lauren began at Mourning Hope as an enthusiastic volunteer and jumped at the chance to make her passion for grief work official by accepting the role of Program Resource Coordinator. Now she gets to work with other enthusiastic volunteers every day! Prior to Mourning Hope, Lauren worked as a corporate digital marketer before finally taking the leap to pursue her dream of working with grieving families. Lauren is passionately committed to providing grief care to everyone who wants or needs it and is thrilled to be a part of Mourning Hope as it grows and continues to meet needs in the community.

Community Program Coordinator
Aylssa Christensen

Alyssa Christensen, is the Community Program Coordinator of the Mourning Hope Grief Center. Originally from Sioux Falls, SD, Alyssa graduated in 2013 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in Psychology. Alyssa also works full-time as a Bereavement/Volunteer Coordinator for Hospice Community Care.

Alyssa’s passion for grief work started after a Death and Dying class in college. It sparked her interest in becoming a Hospice Volunteer, leading to a career in the field. To further her interest in the area, she came across Mourning Hope at a conference she was attending and a few months later she was an official volunteer. Alyssa is passionate about the Lincoln Community and is very honored to be a part of growing Mourning Hope’s school programs to allow even more children to feel that they are not alone in their grief journey.

Camp Erin Clinical Director
Kristal Flaming, LMHP, PLADC

Kristal Flaming, LMHP, PLADC is the Camp Erin Clinical Director for the Mourning Hope Grief Center. Kristal received her Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Master’s of Counseling at Doane University-Lincoln. Kristal navigated crisis situations for 10 years in the intimate partner violence field, providing advocacy and mental health support to individuals struggling with dating and domestic violence. She provided individual and structured group support to children who suffered losses due to domestic violence and/or substance use. During her time working with families, Kristal was connected with Mourning Hope. She is thrilled to now be a part of the amazing Mourning Hope team and Camp Erin.

In addition to Mourning Hope, Kristal currently uses her counseling skills at Lincoln Wellness Group and Doane-University in Crete. Her higher education background includes teaching graduate level counseling students at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and teaching in the Continuing Education department at Southeast Community College.

 

 

Work Study Student
Kacie Tremain

Kacie Tremain is a work study student for Mourning Hope.  She studies at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Kacie is a freshman this year.  Kacie has been working at Mourning Hope since the Fall of 2016.