IPEP-Award Winner Spotlight

UNC-Chapel Hill
A meaningful look at the empathetic approach behind training for end-of-life care. A nurse’s personal experience with hospice care transfers to UNC’s Nursing Program, School of Social Work, and other medical professions.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPEP) came to us with a request for a video that they could show at their graduation ceremony, but also use at conferences and presentations related to the important work that their department does. 

In order to reach our goals for this project, the end result would need to paint a holistic picture of the heart and soul of IPEP at UNC by highlighting the work of their faculty award winner- JoAn Stanek.

JoAn works as a Hospice Nurse, and she co-teaches an interprofessional class called Death and Bereavement Across the Lifespan at UNC. She co-teaches this course with a social work professor, and the students in the course come from a variety of disciplines including nursing, social work, and humanities.

JoAn has a passion for end-of-life care, and for helping others understand how to best serve their patients and families in this special time. She also hopes to equip her students with the tools to process their own mortality and grief for those closest to them in a healthy way.

Because of the subject matter, we knew that giving the full picture of what JoAn does would involve some heaviness, but it’s always important to us to avoid over-the-top emotion for the sake of being emotional. Any heaviness should only ever be authentic, communicate the intended messaging, and maintain respect for the subject at hand. 

For this piece, we facilitated a pre-interview with JoAn to ensure that she felt comfortable with our team, and had an opportunity to express any questions or concerns before cameras were rolling. After some pre-production logistics were nailed down, we interviewed JoAn, her co-teacher, and a former student who now works in hospice care as well.

Afterwards, we gathered b-roll of JoAn – including her 20-minute drive home from her hospice job, which is often a time of reflection and catharsis. We also gathered b-roll of UNC-Chapel Hill’s beautiful campus and more specifically of JoAn’s Death and Bereavement course in which the students were working on a group activity regarding how to help a family through a traumatic and sudden death experience, namely suicide.

These topics are difficult to navigate, but they are so critical, and professionals entering any aspect of the health field will need a broad array of support and training to be able to guide their patients through some of the lowest and highest emotional experiences of their lives. 

Our team was humbled by every conversation we had with JoAn, and we are so grateful that programs like the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice exist in order to help the next generation of healthcare professionals and social workers be the best they can be.

Production Credits

Executive Producer | Mike Cole

Creative Director | Adam Hofmann

Director of Photography | Derek DeStefano

Audio Engineer | Kenny Conyers

Production Coordinator & Project Manager | Katie Ruth Bowes

Post Production Editor & Colorist | Jordan Gibson

Music & Scoring | Jordan Gibson

Graphic Artist | Adam Hofmann

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