“More than a Number:” Partners Dr. Dermot Jevens and Dr. Rebecca Heiss Create Platform for Family and Friends to Post Respects and Remembrances to Victims of the Epidemic
A new website, www.MourningAmerica.org, that allows grieving families and friends to pay tribute to loved ones who have fallen victim to the coronavirus has officially launched and is now free for users to post obituaries, photos and remembrances. The site, created by partners Dr. Dermot Jevens and Dr. Rebecca Heiss, is the largest known public online memorial that allows people to grieve their losses in a time of socially distanced, at-home-orders. With the death toll rising, and no cure or vaccine in site, Jevens and Heiss wanted to start a community for people to mourn their loved ones at a time when public and private gatherings are being restricted. MourningAmerica.org, whose tagline is “More Than a Number,” is a non-profit effort that is free to all users.
“People are suffering great losses while being isolated from their family and friends at a vulnerable time,” said Jevens. “They need an outlet to express their feelings and honor those who have passed.”
“MourningAmerica.org is our way of giving people a voice at a time when they need it most,” said Heiss. “People are trapped at home, unable to be with their loved ones, and are now experiencing profound loss. We hope this platform allows them a much-needed way to share their feelings and honor the victims of this deadly disease.”
Though just launched, the site allows families to add victims of the virus by posting a biography and photo. Each submissions is vetted by the site to assure accuracy, and then posted on www.MourningAmerica.org for viewing and messaging. Anyone who wants to honor a victim with a message of condolence or remembrance can post online from the privacy of their home. There are already more than 250 listed.
In addition, Jevens and Heiss hope to use the site to continually raise awareness of why we must all do what we need to do to prevent the spread of this disease.
“Families who have lost a member know better than anyone how devastating this virus is, and we hope they use MourningAmerica.org as a way to impart what they have learned and lost, so people are better informed and encouraged to protect themselves and those around them.”
Dr. Dermot Jevens is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and entrepreneur who currently serves as Treasurer/ Secretary for the American Animal Hospital Association. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Collaboration and Innovation for Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, where he was responsible for culture development, all specialty recruiting and innovation at a 41-hospital specialty and ER network. Jevens also served as founder/ CEO of Upstate Veterinary Specialists, a multi-specialty animal hospital with locations in Greenville, SC and Asheville, NC.
Dr. Rebecca Heiss, Ph.D. is founder and CEO of Icueity, a mobile application that focuses on building self-awareness (available in June). Her new book, Instinct, will hit shelves in 2021. Heiss is a highly sought-after keynote speaker who uses her background in evolutionary biology to inspire people to break free of limiting, fear-based behaviors.