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Minnesota Chapter

Welcome to Star Legacy Foundation – Minnesota Chapter! Minnesota is the “home base” for Star Legacy Foundation.  Most of our programs are piloted and launched here first.  We welcome you to join our efforts!

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: 


Minnesota-specific projects:

Minnesota Center for Stillbirth & Infant Death

This is a statewide program that provides a framework for early referral and intervention when a baby dies in Minnesota.  Eligible families are those who live in Minnesota and experience the death of a baby through stillbirth, neonatal death, SUID/SIDS, or any other infant death.  The Center is Minnesota’s resource for information on strategies to reduce the risk for stillbirth and infant death.  We provide comprehensive answers to frequently asked questions, as well as grief resources, funeral assistance and support for bereaved families.  Click here to learn more.

Family Support

  • Peer Companion Program
    • Trained individuals who have first-hand experience with pregnancy losses and infant deaths are available to answer questions,families to resources, assist with memory making, and be a support person in the weeks and months that follow.
    • Peer support, including in-hospital support, is available.  To request peer support, call 952-715-7731, ext 2
    • If you are interested in becoming a peer companion, contact us at [email protected]
  • Support Groups
    • Click here for details about current support groups.
    • Star Legacy Foundation provides live, interactive, online support groups for families who have experienced a perinatal loss and for individuals experiencing a pregnancy after a loss. Groups are held via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing and facilitated by trained mental health professionals.  You do not need a video camera on your computer to attend but it is very helpful if you do. Registration required for first session only – after that participants will receive a reminder email prior to each session.
    • Our Support Group Facilitators include: Debbie Fischer, MS, LAMFT, Joanne O’Leary, PhD, Doug Stewart and Kathleen Massmann, LPCC
  • Care Packages
    • We provide a variety of support items in care packages to families experiencing a pregnancy loss or infant death. The care packages are provided through our peer companion program or through specific hospitals.  To inquire about obtaining care items for your hospital, contact us at [email protected]
    • Fiscal Sponsor for “Blessed with More”. This service by Janelle Wourms in Duluth, MN provides care packages for families at St. Mary’s and St. Luke’s Hospitals.


Minnesota passes Dependent Tax Credit for Families of Stillborn Babies
  • Minnesota Stillbirth Tax Credit Information - A project of the Minnesota ChapterIn 2016, Star Legacy Foundation led efforts to make Minnesota the 5th state in the US to offer a Dependent Tax Credit to families who have experienced a stillbirth. Effective January 1, 2016, this legislation will provide financial support to families at a difficult time.
    .  Click here for the MN application for Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.
  • Minnesota Maternal Child Health Task Force
    • In 2015, Minnesota legislators encouraged the Maternal Child Health Task Force to include stillbirth. Star Legacy Foundation has teamed with several individuals across the state to form the Stillbirth Working Group that is now preparing a proposal for the Task Force with recommendations on how to better support families after a loss and how to reduce stillbirth rates in the state.


  • Pregnancy Research Project – In June of 2019 the Star Legacy Foundation launched the largest research project of its’ type dedicated to pregnancy & infant loss.  To learn more or participate in this important study click here.


  • Let’s Not Be Still! Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Run/Walk – each year on the last Saturday of September.
  • Present information about pregnancy loss and neonatal death to community organizations throughout the state.  Contact us for more information.


  • Stillbirth Summit
    • While a national project, the Stillbirth Summit will be held in our backyard! We hope you’ll plan to join us to learn from leading researchers focused on stillbirth prevention.   Information about volunteer opportunities will be available soon.
  • Health Professional Education
    • Star Legacy Foundation has hosted health professional retreats for several Minnesota hospitals including Ridgeview Medical Center, Maple Grove Hospital, United Hospital, and Essentia Health. We are blessed to partner with Faith’s Lodge for local retreats in a beautiful and healing setting!
    • Half day and full day presentations offered throughout the state to discuss bereavement care, resources for families, emerging evidence and self-care.
    • If you would like a retreat or education day for your facility and staff, please contact us at [email protected]

Minnesota Resources Other Families Have Found Helpful:

Contact Us:

If you would like to join our efforts, please contact us at [email protected] or 952-715-7731

Chapter Leadership Team 

  • Gladys Nissen, Co-Chair 
  • Carlie Roffers, Co-Chair 

Saving-Babies-Lives-Care-Bundle v2Reducing Stillbirth in Scotland: Changing Culture and Practice – A Success Story. – Dr. Catherine Calderwood



INUTERO — Jane Warland & Claire Foord

Does Successful Shared Decision Making Obviate The Need For Signed Consent Prior To Fetal Membrane Sweeping To Induce Labor? – Dr. James McGregor

Post-traumatic stress disorder following stillbirth: Rick factors, identification and early intervention – Dr. Deb Rich

Why & How Perinatal Loss Parents Grieve Online — LIndsey Henke, Dr. Joann O’Leary

After Stillbirth: Improving Maternal Mental Health Outcomes Through Midfulness Techniques – Dr. Ivy Margulies

Caring for Couples at the time of loss and in the pregnancy that follows – Dr. Margaret Murphy

Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss: A Clinician’s View from the Front Line – Dr. Barbara Toppin

What can the Stillbirth Autopsy Tell Us? – Dr. Debra Heller — (Dr.  Heller prefers not to share her slides due to the graphic nature of content and prenatal consent issues)

What Women Want After Experiencing a Stillbirth: A focus group study – Dr. Tosin Popoola

Improving Care in Pregnancies After Stillbirth – Evaluating The Rainbow Clinic – Louise Stephens

The Ripple Effect of Perinatal Loss: Impact On Grandparents And Adult Siblings – Dr. Joann O’Leary & Annette Klein

Stillbirth And Reproductive Justice: Addressing Disparities In Perinatal Loss And Biases In Care — Dr. Suzanne Pullen & Deanna Mallareddy

Moments of Reflection – Jennifer Kouri, RN (No Slides)

The Pregnancy Research Project: A Collaborative Approach to Pregnancy Research – Dr. Louise O’Brien and Lindsey Wimmer

Placental Findings in IUGR – Dr. Mana Parast

Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss: A Clinician’s View From The Front Line — Dr. Barbara Toppin

Reducing Stillbirth in Scotland: Changing Culture and Practice – A Success Story. – Dr. Catherine Calderwood

Understanding Stillbirth Stigme: Why Breaking the Silence is Not Enough – Danielle Pollock

Marginalization of a Woman’s Grief Following a Stillbirth – Stephanie Inks (Ms. Inks is planning to publish her information so will not release her slides at this time)

A Systematic Review of the Association Between Umbilical Cord Structure, Complications and Stillbirth – Deter Hayes

Tools to Assess IUFD and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – Dr. Harvey Kliman

Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Management , and Prevention of Stillbirth – Dr. Lisa Gill

Randomised Controlled Trials – Are they Always the Gold Standard for ‘rare outcomes’ like stillbirth? – Dr. Jane Warland

The Role of Maternal Sleep in Stillbirth – Dr. Louise O’Brien

The Association Between Altered Fetal Activity and Stillbirth – Dr. Alexander Heazell

Restoring Joy And Resiliency To The Practice of Medicine – Dr. William Maples

Medical Paternalism and Ignorance of Stillbirth – Jill Lens

What to Do When Needed Change is Not Happening – Dr. James Nicholson

Panel Discussion: What Do We Know? Where Do We Go? (No Slides)

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