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Screening of our new short “Rasheida’s Story” at PIFVA

March 31st, 2014

Pleased that we were able to screen “Rasheida’s story”, our recently released animated narrative which illustrates secondary trauma, at PIFVA (Phila Independent Film and Video Assoc.) on March 12 with an interesting Q an A which followed. See:

Happy to release 2 new shorts from CAREgivers film project

March 5th, 2014

“Rasheida’s Story” at is a compelling narrative by educator/social worker, Rasheida Peay, about the tragic death of a 10 year old student/client of hers, who was killed in the crossfire of urban violence, while on a class errand to pick up pastries for her other students. Rasheida shares her personal struggle with professional grief/ secondary trauma and the help she received from her next organizational setting (Wordsworth in Philadelphia).

The second short is entitled: “Caregivers of Hospice and Palliative Care: Our Job This Side of Dying.” It depicts the work of 3 professionals from Samaritan Hospice (New Jersey)-a medical social worker, a doctor, and a bereavement counselor-as they visit 3 different patients and then reflect on the impact of their poignant work upon themselves as professional caregivers. This short can be viewed on line at:

Please enjoy and share with me your responses to this work at !!

CAREgivers film – interview in NASW news article

March 5th, 2014

Happy to report that CAREGIVERS FILM is featured in the article “Compassion Fatigue a growing concern” by Paul R. Pace in NASW NEWS (January, 2014) at

An excerpt from the article states in reference to CAREgivers: “Social workers, nurses, doctors, firefighters and other caregivers share their experiences in the film. There are also stories of hope that offer those suffering with compassion fatigue the knowledge that progressive organizations are working to make a difference…”

Columbia University Professor Tim Wu Responds to NY Times’ “Too Many Movies”

January 24th, 2014

We believe that Caregivers film has the potential to help the public and other dedicated professionals appreciate the human side of professional caregiving, including the rewards AND the significant personal risks or toll that often occur. We hope you’ll help us to spread the word about CAREgivers film to your friends and colleagues. We will be releasing the completed film later this year. Some shorts will also be posted soon.

Hope you’ll also enjoy reading the following article which enters the debate about the proliferation of many independent films:

Appreciation for Dr. Charles R. Figley’s Interview

December 31st, 2013

Dr. Charles R. Figley ( who invented the widely used term “compassion fatigue” has done both extensive pioneering and continuing research on Secondary Trauma. Recently he was interviewed on camera by Vic Compher about the emotional impacts upon professional caregivers who provide services to traumatized patients or clients. He referred to emotional “fingerprints that can be left on the hearts of caregivers” who provide such professional support. Our team is very grateful to Dr. Figley for his valuable input and interest in Caregivers film project.

Dorothy Johnson-Speight: CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

December 31st, 2013

Congratulations to Dorothy Johnson-Speight who has been awarded Citizen of the Year by The Philadelphia Inquirer!! Dorothy has channeled much of her grief into support for others and advocacy for legislation and programs to end gun violence. Dorothy was featured in our last completed film: I Cannot Be Silent. (See also:
The Philadelphia Inquirer article appears at:

Secondary Truama-Police Officers and Suicides

November 26th, 2013

Please check out the article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, HOW TO HELP POLICE WHO ARE SUICIDAL? It describes secondary trauma and the high incidence of suicide among police officers. There is clearly much need for additional training in this area and supportive assistance for officers who are exposed to trauma in their difficult jobs, “After years of officers’ witnessing trauma and taking care of others, Salvatore said, ‘a lot of the resilience, the strength they could be using for their personal lives, they’re using just to keep themselves together on the job.’ … Various studies have found that the rate of officer suicide is two to four times higher than in the population at large and that more officers take their own lives than are killed in the line of duty…”

CAREGIVERS film featured on Philadelphia Film Office website

October 23rd, 2013

CAREGIVERS film project is delighted to be the featured currently in the “filmmakers spotlight” for the Philadelphia Film Office. Please check us out at


September 30th, 2013

It’s been an exciting end of summer and beginning of the fall season for the CAREGIVERS film project. Two of our Advisory Board Members, Don Friedman and Bob Groves, have been actively contacting national level professional associations in the areas of medical care and public health to share with them information about CAREGIVERS documentary. We are excited to have had the privilege of interviewing and filming a group of six first responders and firefighters of the Philadelphia Fire Department about the impact of their high risk work. We’re delighted also by the outstanding interview granted to us on camera by Dr. Sandra Bloom on the subject of secondary trauma. We are continuing our outreach to prominent child welfare and veteran organizations. Progress is being made in creating an artistic framework for our hospice material, including the creation of interesting b roll and voiceovers. And finally, we are exploring creative uses of animation!

Workshop Participant Offers Personal Experience

August 14th, 2013

Each year it is my privilege to offer many times the workshop which I call, “When Trauma or Death Occurs on the Caseload: Ways of Supporting Staff and Clients and Promoting Learning”. The workshop is described on this website and is offered to organizations in a manner that is flexible and suitable to that organization’s setting and needs. Following is a thoughtful comment about the workshop that was sent recently to me. (Vic Compher, Trainer and Director/Producer of CAREGIVERS film)

“…your training that I took in February was pivotal for me receiving the help I needed. The things that were especially powerful for me… being able to see that I needed help… the list of symptoms and the section of your documentary. I was able to relate to the testimonies of the professionals and I was also able to see that these were also competent people… that their work got the better of them….I didn’t know how out of touch I was with myself and my needs and my ability to function…But the biggest thing is that I am able to dream again – for myself and for my social work…”  J.A., workshop participant