Jan has worked as a nurse for over 33 years within the intersection of quality of life and end of life, and she is deeply curious about what creates and sustains wellbeing throughout the human experience.
Her initiation into the world of death and dying came during nursing school as an unexpected calling. She had started school with the intention of becoming a midwife and helping birth babies. But then she heard this clear call to serve instead as a midwife for the dying. Since that time, Jan has never looked back. Her work trajectory has taken her from the bedside of hospice and palliative care patients to supporting the wellbeing of caregivers, and now into the larger community to further open our cultural conversation about end of life.
Jan’s current work is as an Integrative Nurse Coach around the practice of wellbeing in aging, illness, and dying -- supporting people in navigating serious illness, helping families to talk more openly about end-of-life priorities, and providing health coaching for both professional and personal/family caregivers.
She also serve as faculty for the International Nurse Coach Association, including the Integrative Nurse Coach certificate programs, an End-of-Life Nurse Coaching program in collaboration with the New York Open Center, and co-created an advanced training program called Coaching Conversations for People Living with Chronic & Advanced Illness.
She loves to work with deepening practices and reflections on aging and dying. It not only serves to better prepare us for a more intentional end of life—it also seems to clarify and transform how we live the time we have. Jan served as co-faculty for a course in the Washington, DC area called Sacred Journey: Being Present with Aging, Illness & Dying, in collaboration with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC, and is a current faculty for the monthly retreat program called Companioning the Dying: Opening Fully to Living. Additionally, she’s led workshops and given presentations on the transformational possibilities of end-of-life work at places like the Alcyon Center, the New York Open Center’s Art of Dying conference, and the Integrative Healthcare Symposium.
Kamala is a certified Sacred Passage End of Life Doula through the Conscious Dying Institute and is also an Ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister & Counselor through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City. Kamala is happy to be a part of the team at Conscious Dying Institute where she works as a Program Advisor for the Sacred Passage End of Life Doula certification in the US and Canada.
She has had many experiences around death, beginning at age five, which have allowed her to see death through a different perspective than the fear and taboo that is exists in our society. This made her somewhat of a seeker of knowledge and experience of the afterlife and the dying process itself. After serving family and friends as a “go to” person working with death processes, she began death work as a volunteer for a local hospice in the hospice house, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and homes and sat vigil with people in the dying process and their extended families.
Kamala feels that this training allows her to be able to meet people where they are spiritually and “speak their language”. She enjoys creating ritual and ceremony, especially celebrations of life and rites of passage. She is also a Licensed Massage therapist utilizing Healing Hospice Touch Therapy in her work. She has studied around the world with various cultures and wisdom traditions regarding dying and the death process, indigenous practices and energetic medicine techniques, and holds a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Psychology and Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts & Design. She feels the CDI Sacred Passage Doula training brought her full circle to the work that she began as a child - easing fear of death, giving space to talk and listen, fully expressing end of life wishes and allowing for the mystery and miracles around death to unfold. She feels that this work allows her to be a ripple in the pond of elevating human consciousness by changing the way we see not only death, but life itself. She is thankful to be a part of the educational and societal change taking place in the way we view death.
Kelly (RN, PhD, NEA-BC) received her nursing education and training in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts at Boston College. She has been a nurse for almost four decades. Kelly has lived in North Carolina for more than 25 years. As a nursing clinician, her focus has been various in areas of critical care, oncology, geriatrics, palliative care, hospice and nursing leadership. She considers herself a devout follower of Dr. Jean Watson’s Caring Science Nursing Theory. She believes that compassion and connection are the strongest healing forces in our practice.
Kelly received her PhD from Twente University in the Netherlands. Her dissertation, “Reconstructing Nurses’ Relationships with Older Patients” looked at the impact of I:Thou beliefs on healing and wholeness. She considers herself a caring, healing, presence and has dedicated her nursing studies for the past seven years to tending to the miracles that occur at the end of our lives.
Since childhood, Leann has been most interested in deep conversations and quiet introspection. She has found great interest in witnessing and understanding the inner workings of systems and individuals. She grew up in a small, rural Minnesota town, completed her first degrees in Family Life/Child Development and Sociology in a bigger, rural Minnesota town, traveled, then completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she currently resides.
While learning about the human experience through these academic, Western lenses, Leann immersed herself in health and wellness modalities from Earth, Energy and community based traditions. She has found great emotional, spiritual, and physical freedom through Reiki, yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Thai yoga bodywork, Mindfullness Meditation, journey work, and time with creatures and the elements outdoors.
As a MSW, Reiki Master Practitioner, RYT200, and Certified Sacred Passage Doula, Leann strives to embody and practice the tools she has acquired so as to be deeply present for those she serves. She loves organizing, spreadsheets, being a resource, and has creative ideas almost everywhere she turns. While this sometimes disturbs her sleep, she has been blessed with many collaborative opportunities and positions. She has served as United Way of Central Minnesota’s Multicultural Projects Coordinator (a national service position with AmeriCorps), Event and Student Coordinator at Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness, as well administrative positions within medical facilities. Leann feels blessed to be guided in this life by the teachings that come through the clients at her private practice, New Moon Rising, LLC. It was reflection on her own grief, made visible through the brave grief of her clients, that brought Leann to the Conscious Dying Insititute’s Sacred Passage Doula Certificate program.
A lover of living life through the senses and physical experience, Leann can be found eating good food, listening to and, sometimes, playing music, cracking open geodes with extended family, soaking in the elements at the dog park with her pup, snuggling with her kittens, and dreaming of her next vacation with her sweet husband, Elijah. She has continued interest in personal evolution and believes it is not possible, responsible, or ethical unless access to this evolution is available equitably to all beings.
Mitzy has been in the medical field for a little over 18 years. She received my formal nursing education and training in Florida, but has resided in diverse cities across the country. As a nursing clinician, her practice began as a critical care nurse, then transitioned to oncology, followed by community nursing. Finally, she is practicing nursing education. Nursing passion means many things to many people. For Mitzy, nursing is the deep experiences and connections made with others. She began her career saving lives, then moved on to assisting others with life changes. Finally, she transitioned to embracing the stories about the lives lived.
One of the most important aspects for Mitzy is embracing cultures through the lives of others. Foods, customs, rituals, scents and stories are foundational for her when acknowledging and understanding the death and dying process within families. As a sacred passage doula, she assists in bringing all those elements forward to assist person and family during the transition moments of life and death, with love and compassion.
For her nursing is an experience, a journey in which you will be well versed and you will be humbled. Nursing is not simply the skills to improve health. Nursing is the act of nourishing the soul, the body, the environment, and the transformation. As a doula, it is an honor to hold space for the narratives that will live on in the minds and hearts of all those that are willing to listen.