Celebrating over 20 years of changing the way we care

Core Faculty

kirsten deleo

Kirsten DeLeo, International Trainer
Drawing on over 20 years of experience in accompanying the dying, Kirsten leads seminars and retreats for healthcare professionals and the public around the world. Kirsten is on the faculty for "Contemplative End-of-Life Care", a professional certificate launched at Naropa University in 2003. She is trained in the Hakomi mindfulness-based somatic approach to psychotherapy and has been immersed in contemplative practice and study for many years including attending a three-year meditation retreat. Kirsten has published numerous articles on the contemplative approach to care.


Pam Russell

Pam Russell, LMSW, Senior Educator
Pam has been a meditation practitioner for over 35 years, and she is currently a student of Sogyal Rinpoche. For more than twenty years Pam worked as an activities director, specializing in the care of elders and directing volunteer programs for long-term care facilities. Her work as a social worker has focused on facilitating bereavement support groups, most recently with Hope Club, a division of the American Cancer Society located in upstate New York. Pam has presented at numerous conferences, and she has facilitated workshops at medical facilities across the U.S.


Ann Allegre

Dr Ann Allegre MD, FACP, Director of medical programs, Kansas City Hospice, medical director of palliative care, Providence Health, professor of medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine and educator for the Spiritual Care Education Program.

She was awarded the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine "Project on Death in America Community Leadership in Palliative Care Award" in 2007, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the advancement of the field of palliative medicine through the education and training of future leaders. She was named as Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2008 and honored with the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon 2011 Award in the senior palliative care physician category.
Ann is an Educator with the Spiritual Care Program and faculty of Spiritual Care's "Contemplative End-of-Life Care Certificate Program".


Eto Youske

Youske Eto, LCSW, is passionate about human service. He began his service as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, then as an outreach worker for individuals experiencing homelessness in New York City, and later volunteered for the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.

For the past 15 years, he's supported and accompanied terminally ill patients and their families as a social worker. He currently works at Housecall Providers Hospice in Portland, OR.

Youske has been a meditation practitioner since 1999, and a meditation instructor since 2003. He has facilitated support groups with the Spiritual Care Program for people facing illness, loss, and bereavement and presented at the Oregon Hospice Association annual conference on cultivating authentic presence through meditation.


Kaushal Kulkarni

Kaushal Kulkarni is a board-certified ophthalmologist and neuro-ophthalmologist in private practice in San Diego, California and has been studying meditation and Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of Sogyal Rinpoche since 2001.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in New York City, and then attended medical school at Rutgers University in New Jersey where he was accepted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed a rigorous residency in ophthalmology at Georgetown University/Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., followed by sub-specialty training in Neuro-Ophthalmology at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida, the number one eye institute in the nation.

He has been featured on local San Diego television on Episode #14 of The Sharp Experience.

Kaushal has been an active member and instructor in Rigpa for 15 years.


Online Faculty

Chrisitine Longaker

Christine Longaker, International Trainer and co-founder of the Spiritual Care Programme.
Former director and staff trainer of the Hospice of Santa Cruz County in California, Christine has provided hospice training internationally since 1978. She is the author of Facing Death and Finding Hope: A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying, which is translated into nine languages.


Karen Wyatt

Dr. Karen Wyatt author of the book What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying, is a family practice physician who spent most of her 25-year career in medicine caring for patients in challenging settings such as nursing homes, hospices, free clinics and homeless shelters. Her work with patients who were facing the end of life inspired her to write What Really Matters, which describes the spiritual lessons she learned from her hospice patients.

Dr. Wyatt also hosts an online interview series entitled End-of-Life University, which features interviews and conversations about all aspects of the end-of-life. She has won numerous awards for her volunteer service including the Spirit of the American Woman Award and being named one of Utah’s 100 Notable Women. She has been featured in USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Huffington Post, Shift Magazine, Light of Consciousness Journal, the Denver Post and numerous medical journals.

Dr. Wyatt teaches that in order to live life fully we must each overcome our fear of death and embrace the difficulties that life brings us. She is an inspired teacher who truly embodies the message she brings to the world.


Angela Anderson

Dr. Angela C. Anderson, MD, FAAP, is a graduate of the Contemplative End-of-Life Care Certificate. She is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and Director of Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

She received her M.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio and completed her residency in Pediatrics at Yale Medical School. She then completed fellowships in both Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

She is quadruple boarded in Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Clinical Toxicology, and Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine. Dr. Anderson has received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Emergency Medicine Residents' Association, the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award from Brown Medical School and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.


Christina Puchalski

Dr. Christina Puchalski is the founding director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWISH) at George Washington University, where she seeks to integrate spirituality into health care in both the clinical setting and in medical education. There, she has developed a spiritual assessment tool called FICA that is used widely in clinical settings around the world. Dr. Puchalski is also a professor of medicine and health sciences at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Puchalski is an active board-certified clinician in internal medicine and palliative care and has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Colleague Award from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha.

Dr. Puchalski is the author of several book chapters and the author of Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Seriously Ill and DyingMaking Health Care Whole, and most recently The Oxford Textbook of Spirituality and Health Care.

She received her M.D. from the George Washington University School of Medicine and is a member of a contemplative lay order, the Secular Discalced Carmelites.


Elizabeth Rider

Dr. Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD, pediatrician and educational consultant, is Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and founder of the Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism. She received her MD from Harvard Medical School, and MSW from Smith College. A Harvard faculty member, Dr. Rider brings her dual background as a physician and child/family therapist to her leadership, teaching and clinical roles.

In 2009, Dr. Rider was named Community Pediatrician of the Year by Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2012 she received the National Academies of Practice’s Nicholas Cummings Award, a national award for “extraordinary contributions to interprofessional healthcare education and practice.” She is Chair of the Medicine Academy of the National Academies of Practice, founding member of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare (IRCCH), and leads IRCCH’s International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare initiative. In 2014, she was appointed to the Global Compassion Council of Charter for Compassion International.

Dr. Rider teaches and consults internationally on relationship-centered care, professionalism, values and everyday ethics, communication, relational competency, and medical/interprofessional education. She is a Section Editor for Patient Education and Counseling, Associate Editor for Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, and lead author of A Practical Guide to Teaching and Assessing the ACGME Core Competencies.