Kara Carter, MSW, LMSW
I am interested in studying death within the healthcare setting. Specifically, the bereavement outcomes of children who lose a parent within the medical context. I am interested to know if certain variables affect bereavement outcomes, including age of child, socioeconomic status of child, race, and gender. Additionally, I would like to examine if the circumstances related to the type of death impact bereavement outcomes (sudden vs anticipated, traumatic cause, stigmatization, etc.). I am also interested in carried and complicated grief.
My professional experience began in the non-profit realm. I worked in the oldest and largest domestic violence agency in Georgia for several years. Providing advocacy services within a shelter and in the community I began to see how loss comes in many forms, and people respond in very different ways. The next several years I worked at the Iowa City VA Health Care System. While my primary role was program management, my patient care experience provided a quick education in post traumatic stress. I was fascinated with both the similar and individual responses to post-deployment adjustment. The next professional chapter called me to hospice. Providing in-home hospice care in extremely remote Southern Colorado was the most rewarding social work role I have had. This experience rounded out my views of grief and loss, unveiling the idea that it is humanly possible to have “good grief.”