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Arlen Grad Gaines

Arlen Gaines, MSW, LCSW-C, APHSW-C has been working in the hospice social work field for over 15 years. As a Hospice Director of Social Services, she leads teams of social workers, chaplains, volunteer staff, and manages a bereavement program. She developed a specialization in supporting children with developmental disabilities in their grief, and speaks nationally on this subject. She is the first social worker in the inaugural doctoral program in Palliative Care at the University of Maryland Baltimore, and has a research interest in the intersection of grief and disability, particularly as impacting children.

She lives in Bethesda, Maryland. 


Meredith Englander Polsky

Meredith Polsky, LCSW-C, MS Special Education, has been working at the intersection of social work and special education for over 2 decades. She has a proven track record of recognizing an unmet need and creating a successful solution. She founded Matan, Inc. ( in the year 2000, recognizing a significant gap in the Jewish community’s ability to include children with special needs and their families. She has successfully taken Matan from the idea stage to a nationally recognized non-profit organization that has changed the face of Jewish education for tens of thousands of families. Ms. Polsky is a 2017 Covenant Award recipient who also specializes in working with children with Selective Mutism at Counseling Out Loud.

She lives in Gaithersburg, MD.

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