Your Instructors

Lifespan Doula Association was founded in 2016 by co-owners Merilynne Rush and Patty Brennan for the purpose of providing End-of-Life Doula Training and Certification. Together, Merilynne and Patty created the curriculum used to train End-of-Life Doulas and they serve as your instructors for the doula training workshops offered through Lifespan Doula Association.

Merilynne RushMERILYNNE RUSH, MSHP, RN, BSN, has been working with families in transition since 1980 as a homebirth midwife, labor and delivery nurse, hospice nurse, home companion and Advance Care Planning (ACP) facilitator. She owns After Death Home Care and provides consultation about home funeral and green burial to individuals and families as well as those in the funeral and cemetery business. Merilynne has a Master of Science degree in Hospice and Palliative Studies and a Nurse Educator Certificate. She is President of the National End-of-life Doula Alliance (, sits on the NHPCO End-of-life Doula Council and the Washtenaw Health Initiative ACP committee, and is a Certified Respecting Choices® ACP Instructor. She has served on the board of directors of the Green Burial Council, the National Home Funeral Alliance, Doula Connection and the Michigan Midwives Association.
Patty BrennanPATTY BRENNAN, BA has been a healthcare educator and consumer advocate for 35 years. She is a DONA International certified birth and postpartum doula trainer, a Respecting Choices® First Steps certified Advanced Care Planning facilitator, and a retired homebirth midwife. Patty has been the founder/executive director of two community-based nonprofit doula programs in Michigan and is an expert in the Doula Model of Care. She is the author of The Doula Business Guide and The Doula Business Guide Workbook. Patty is the owner of Center for the Childbearing Year, Michigan’s premier doula training and childbirth education organization. She became interested in end-of-life issues after supporting two sets of parents through their final days and witnessing the remarkable similarities between the processes of birth and death.