Death By Design


The Connecticut Association for Home Health at Home

Season 3, Ep. 39

The Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home is the largest member group of home health & hospice leaders championing home-based solutions as vital to better health in CT. Through networking, education and advocacy leadership, the Associations is helping those in the CT healthcare continuum get connected, be informed and create change.

Tracy Wodatch

President & CEO


Courtney Verissimo

Membership & Events Manager


Doreen Napoli

Education & Events Planner


Alison Clark

Operations Manager

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Mariah Riess, MSW

Season 3, Ep. 37
Mariah Riess tells her story:MY STORYOn any given day, from my practice in Dover, MA, I speak with weight management clients from Seattle to Baltimore who seek compassionate support and expertise. Via phone, Skype or in person, I help many do the seemingly impossible: lose weight and develop skills to prevent weight gain.On a parallel track are clients who have experienced heartbreaking loss: both human and four-footed. Grief is an experience deserving compassion and expert care. If dismissed, suppressed or silenced, a world of pain may remain.In a culture that is ever hesitant to truly acknowledge the oh-so-human phenomenon of mourning, I have dedicated myself to providing a home for a different, kinder path.I discovered my constellations of callings through a series of events over the course of life.I began working with overweight patients in 1982. As an early stage employee of Health Management Resources,a Boston based start-up committed to providing effective, high quality behavioral treatment for overweight, I became Director of Overweight Treatment.HMR, a company on the rise and requiring many hours of dedication from each employee, was the perfect training ground as I was determined to make a difference with a population in despair.In my role, I co-led teams of trainers who implemented the program nationally,rapidly sharing and bringing this effective treatment method to many.Fast-forward fifteen years, while raising two children, Kerrin and Devon, and wanting to spend more time closer to home, I launched my private practice in Dover, MA.Bringing a compassionate, effective approach that would have a lasting impact requires teaching clients skills for weight loss and the prevention of weight regain. Working closely with my clients and having an appreciation for the deep challenge health management represents, allowed individuals and families to re-set, attaining lower weights and establishing healthier lifestyles.My practice quickly grew.While working closely with my clients on weight over many years, I also shared their personal losses - a parent, a child, a friend. In addition, I experienced the illness and passing of several dear to me. As a result, in 2013, I began to explore the profound challenges related to the process of mourning. This path included post-graduate training and many hours as a hospice volunteer. With these experiences and training, I incorporated grief support counseling into my practice.“The world of loss is omnipresent in our lives. Grief does not have an expiration date. Often complex, heartbreaking, and confusing, loss may be difficult to make sense of or for others to be around. Grief and loss work is the way in which I can hold the hand of another and not let go, when others might.”