Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board supports Bridget's Cradles by assisting the Executive Director and our core administrative team in planning and decision-making. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to help us maintain and grow our programs, effectively deliver our resources to hospitals across the country, and fulfill our long-term vision and goals.

 

Bridget's Cradles has two Advisory Board Councils: a Bereavement & Medical Council and a Development & Strategy Council. Our councils are made up of nurses, pastors, counselors, medical directors, nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, businessmen, a mayor, a news anchor, and a funeral home director. We are grateful to have some of the brightest and kindest professionals in Wichita on our team to help advance our mission.

Bereavement & Medical Council 

Allison Morris Walden
Vice President, Downing & Lahey East Mortuary

Allison is married to Tyler, and they have two young daughters.


She is the Vice President of Downing & Lahey Mortuaries & Crematory. She is also involved with St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Junior League of Wichita, and Executive Women International.

Allison works daily with families who are mourning the loss of a loved one, young or old. She hopes to connect families who have suffered the loss of a child with resources that will help them to remember the life of their little one and find support on their grief journey.

Christy Schunn, LSCSW
Executive Director, Kansas Infant Death and SIDS Network, Inc.

Christy is the Executive Director of the Kansas Infant Death and SIDS Network and is licensed by the State of Kansas as a Clinical Social Worker. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, The International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death and the Association of Death Educators and Counselors. Additionally, she serves on the Kansas Maternal Child Health Council, the Center for Research on Infant Birth and Survival board of directors and is secretary of the Postpartum Support International Kansas Chapter.


Christy has worked with bereaved parents and families as director of the KIDS Network, within the hospital, hospice and foster care settings and is an adjunct instructor at Bethel College in the Social Work Department. She currently provides counseling to those affected by infant death, conducts research and development on the KIDS Network Safe Sleep Certification Program for healthcare providers, childcare providers, and embeds safe sleep curriculum in hospitals, home visiting, and prehospital settings across the state in collaboration with numerous community partners to reduce infant mortality.


Christy and her spouse, Kevin, enjoy traveling, being a part of a faith community in Newton, KS and following the adventures of their daughter, Kate.

Frank Celestin
Support Group Counselor, Central Community Church

Frank is a Masters Level Bible Based Christian Counselor, a licensed Minister and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has been practicing as a counselor since 2010, and is currently the Director of the Abundant Living Counseling Center, an adjunct of the Hope church in Wichita Kansas. Frank specializes in Christ centered healing therapy models for individuals, and in Marriage and Family Counseling.

 

Frank is a Vietnam Veteran, with U.S. Army and Air Force. He is also a retired commercial pilot. He has been married to his wife Marsha for almost forty four years, and together they have a grown son and daughter, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He has passion and a heart for people whose hearts are hurting which drew him to Christian counseling because it seems to actually offer permanent healing and answers with hope where at first there seems to be none.

Jayme McEntire
Labor, Delivery, Recovery & Postpartum Manager, Via Christi Hospitals Wichita

Jayme is married to Cory and they have three girls together, Gretta, Violet, and Ivy.


She is the Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum/New Life Center Manager at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita, KS. She has been involved in women’s health since 2008.


She has compassion for bereaved families and wants them to feel supported and comforted.

Jennifer Magill
Director of Nursing Excellence, Wesley Medical Center

Originally from Canada, Jennifer's profession of nursing brought her to the United States. While at her first nursing job in Savannah, Georgia, she met her husband who was serving in the United States Army. Jennifer and her husband later moved to Kansas and were blessed with two beautiful children.

Jennifer is the Director of Nursing Excellence at Wesley Healthcare in Wichita. She also serves on the Butler Community College Nursing Advisory Board. As a nurse, Jennifer has had the distinct pleasure of serving both the Emergency and Obstetric population. Although both services can be very different, what ties them together is the constant focus on patient education, injury prevention, and the promotion of healing.

 

Wanting to provide a better way to assist with the healing process for families experiencing pregnancy loss, Bridget’s Cradles entered into Jennifer's practice. She is constantly seeking out a better way to care for the patients she serves. It is what drives her to be a great nurse and mom.

John Carney
Care Pastor, Central Community Church

John is married to Kay and father to two adult daughters, Bethany and Lindsay. He is, also, Papa to grandson, Talon.

John serves on staff at Central Community Church in Wichita as Pastor of Congregational Care. He has been in ministry for nearly 40 years and desires to live out the verse of scripture in First Corinthians 16:14, “Do everything in love.”

He believes his life experiences, Masters of Arts degree in Leadership, and pastoral heart is a perfect combination for serving the Bridget’s Cradles purpose and mission. What a blessing to work and serve alongside others with hearts to love and care for grieving families.

JoLinda Kelley
Women's Nurse Navigator, Wesley Medical Center

Jolinda Kelley, a Wichita native, is the Perinatal Nurse Navigator at Wesley Medical Center. She has been a nurse at Wesley for 17 years and been in her current position for five years. As the Perinatal Nurse Navigator, Jolinda serves women and families who experience a high-risk pregnancy, stillbirth, or infant loss. She is passionate about comforting families who are grieving the loss of a baby and walks each family through their hospital journey with empathy and care. It is through her role at Wesley that she met Ashley and cared for her while she was hospitalized while pregnant with Bridget as well as after her delivery.

 

Because of this special connection, Jolinda and Ashley became friends and have remained in touch. Jolinda has been a consistent encourager and supporter of Bridget’s Cradles from the very beginning and helped Wesley Medical Center be the first hospital with cradles!

 

Jolinda is a Safe Sleep Instructor for the state of Kansas. She is also a part of the Fetal/Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) committee. Jolinda has been a foster care parent and cared for over seventy little ones in her home over the years. She has six children, two of whom have passed away. She serves grieving families in her role at Wesley and in Bridget’s Cradles in memory of Billy and Destiny and all the perinatal hospice babies and families that she has walked this journey with.

Katie Fulghum
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NICU Nurse), Ascension Via Christi

Katie is married to Jason, and they have two very busy sons, Brady and Connor.

 

As a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with a Master’s degree in Nursing, Katie started working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Ascension Via Christi in 2006. She cares for the most vulnerable infants and their families. She has a passion for quality improvement and family centered care. 

 

Katie has tremendous compassion for those facing the loss of a child. Having used the cradles that Bridget’s Cradles provide, she has seen first hand the dignity they provide these fragile babies.

Morgan Tracy
Women's Nurse Navigator, Wesley Medical Center

Morgan is married to her wonderful husband, Loren, and they have three boys and a little girl. She has a history of two miscarriages and has worked in Labor and Delivery at Wesley Medical Center for eight years.

 

As the Maternity Nurse Navigator at Wesley Medical Center, Morgan gives tours and helps families with birth plans. Her goal is to help ease anxiety when it comes to labor and delivery. Morgan knows the ins and outs of Labor and Delivery and meets with moms to talk about their labor process and what to expect and what is most important to them during this time.


Having experienced two miscarriages and then worked alongside women who have lost babies further along, Morgan knows how traumatizing those experiences can be. She believes that with Bridget’s Cradles, hospital staff can give families true hope in their time of need.

Development & Strategy council

Bruce Pearson
Independent Insurance Broker

Bruce and his wife Beverly have been married for 47 years. Together, they have 3 married children and 8 grandchildren.


Bruce is currently president of Pearson Risk Consulting, Inc. He also serves as President of the Central Community Church Council and Secretary of Westside Rotary Club.


Integral in their family are 3 international adoptions. Bruce and Beverly came to know Matt and Ashley Opliger during the excitement and later loss of their first child, Bridget Faith, and have seen what God is accomplishing through what has become Bridget’s Cradles.

John Speer
Mayor, City of Kechi

John is married to his wife, Pattie, and father to five grown children and seven grandchildren. John and Pattie's first grandchild, Alexis, was stillborn at 27 weeks in 2000.


John spent the majority of his career in radio broadcasting as "John Boy" on KFDI and KEYN. He was an educator for ten years and is the current mayor of Kechi. Additionally, he serves on the greeting team at Newspring Church.


John is so pleased to have this wonderful ministry here in his hometown of Kechi. He is committed to helping Bridget's Cradles continue to grow and bless grieving families.

Josh Wells
General Manager & Executive Director, Doc's Friends, Inc.

Josh is an Andover and Wichita native, father of three, and a proud graduate of Kansas State University.

 

Currently the General Manager & Executive Director for Doc's Friends, Inc., Josh is a career communication and marketing professional and has worked in radio news and politics before becoming a communicator and government relations team member at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita.


Josh's passion to be involved with Bridget's Cradles comes from his friendship with Jake and Casey Siegrist, as as well he and his wife Alicia's journey through becoming adoptive parents of their third child.


Josh is a local school board member in Andover USD 385 and serves on the Wichita YMCA Metro Board. In addition to his volunteer activities, Josh is a public address announcer for local high school athletics. He enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, singing and supporting K-State athletics and community events.

Melissa Scheffler
News Team Anchor, KWCH

Melissa is married to her awesome husband, Rob. They have a beautiful rainbow baby together. After moving around the country for her career, Melissa is happy to be back home in Kansas. She earned her Bachelor in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently the evening and managing anchor at KWCH12.

The mission of Bridget’s Cradles immediately touched Melissa, after seeing a news story about beautiful Bridget. Melissa would love as many families as possible to know about the amazing work, devotion, and healing that comes from this organization.

Mick Green
Owner, The File Depot

Having deep roots in Kansas, Mick earned both a MS and a PhD from Kansas State University. With his education, leadership, and non-profit experience Mick brings a wealth of knowledge into his new business adventure which he along with Linda, his wife, began in 2015. He has quickly brought a friendly and knowledgeable reputation to the Wichita area.

 

Mick enjoys cruising on his motorcycle, camping, hiking, reading, home projects, watching sports, and volunteering in non-profits serving needs of disenfranchised and marginalized people groups.

 

He has chosen to support Bridget’s Cradles because of his desire to see people find hope and healing as they experience the hardship of losing a child.

Patrick Hanrahan
President, United Way of the Plains

Pat and Renee enjoy two children, five grandchildren, and one great grandson. 

 

He is President and CEO of the United Way of the Plains and has served in three communities as a United Way executive since graduating from the University of Iowa. He is involved with the Wichita Partnership and Project Wichita among many others. 

 

He chose to get involved with Bridget's Cradles after witnessing the dedication, passion and “can do” energy of the many volunteers who built this caring network. 

Contact

PO Box 316 Kechi, KS 67067

 

info[at]bridgetscradles.com

 

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