Our Mission & Values
Our mission is to promote an awareness and understanding of compassion fatigue and its effect on caregivers. We are committed to gathering, documenting, and disseminating useful information that can be readily introduced into caregiving environments in order to impact the lives of caregivers in a positive way.
CFAP Founder Patricia Smith
Patricia Smith is the Founder of the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project and Healthy Caregiving, LLC. As a certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist and Educator with nearly two decades of hands-on experience, she writes, speaks, and facilitates trainings in service of those who care for others in all of the helping professions.
Patricia's extensive work in the field of compassion fatigue began in 2002. As the training & development manager for the Humane Society Silicon Valley, she created a critical shelter-wide compassion fatigue training for employees that proved successful in increasing the staff's well-being and work satisfaction. With the implementation of this project, Patricia recognized the dire need for resources about compassion fatigue and self-care amongst caregivers across the helping professions. She founded the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project that same year.
Patricia became a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist and Educator in 2003, which led to her presenting workshops nationwide as a Compassion Fatigue consultant for American Humane, the premiere national organization advocating for children and animal rights. Since then, Patricia has consulted with hundreds of organizations and presented workshops and seminars worldwide, including working with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York to create a nationwide compassion fatigue program for its leadership and staff.
With a background in journalism, Patricia’s writings have appeared in many publications, including the San Jose Mercury News where she was a correspondent for more than 20 years. Patricia has authored five books on compassion fatigue and self-care. Her seminal book, To Weep for a Stranger: Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving, is a comprehensive look at compassion fatigue, its causes and symptoms, and how to begin the healing process. Her follow-up book, Compassion Satisfaction: 50 Steps to Healthy Caregiving, guides readers toward authentic, sustainable self-care and compassion satisfaction.
Her training manuals are used by organizations and individuals across the US:
Healthy Caregiving: A Guide to Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue: Presenter's Guide Level 1
Healthy Caregiving: A Guide to Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue: Student Guide Level 1
Most recently, Patricia joined with veterinary surgeon, Inmaculada Perez Madrigal, to co-author Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout Handling in Veterinary Practice, published by Grupo Asis. The comprehensive look at the veterinary field worldwide brings into focus the challenges the profession now faces. The book is also available through Amazon Spain.
Patricia has received many honors and accolades for her writing and compassion fatigue work, including the 'Excellence in Writing Award' presented by the National League of American Pen Women. Under her direction as Program Director, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford received the 2005 'Best Bets' award for its 'Healing Arts' program; and she has twice been awarded writing scholarships sponsored by the University of Washington as a Helen R. Whiteley Scholar.
In September 2016, Patricia presented a TEDx talk on the subject of compassion fatigue titled How to Manage Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving. You can view all of the talks from this event which was organized around the theme: Quality of Life.