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 has served as a hospice and nursing home volunteer co-ordinator and spiritual counselor and has been a pioneer in the development of online learning for caregivers. She currently works as staff supervisor at the Sukhavati Center for Spiritual Care/ Germany and is on the faculty of “Authentic Presence Contemplative End-of-Life Care”, a US-based certificate program launched at Naropa University in 2003. Kirsten 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 is a passionate writer and has published numerous articles on the contemplative approach to care.


Pam Russell

Pam Russell, LMSW
Pam is currently a hospice social worker for The Community Hospice of Saratoga and Montgomery County of upstate NY. Pam supports patients and families living with terminal illness and facilitates bereavement support groups for parents and children. Pam serves as senior educator with the Spiritual Care Program and as faculty member for “Authentic Presence – A Certificate Program for Contemplative End of Life Care”. Pam has developed and led contemplative educational trainings and retreats for both public and healthcare audiences based on her 30 years of meditation practice. She brings her past experience as an activities and volunteer director for long term care facilities and work with the American Cancer Society to benefit people facing chronic illness and dementia, and their family and professional caregivers.

She has led numerous trainings and workshops since the 90’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, has supported and accompanied terminally ill patients and their families as a hospice social worker for the past 18 years. He is currently the lead social worker at Housecall Providers Hospice in Portland, OR.

He received his BA in Leadership Studies and International Studies at University of Richmond, and MSW from Portland State University where he was awarded a Barbara Roberts Community Service Scholarship

Prior to pursuing his MSW, Youske served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, volunteered for the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, and worked as an outreach worker for those experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Youske has been a meditation instructor since 2003 and an educator for the Spiritual Care Program for their flagship program, “Authentic Presence – A Certificate Program for Contemplative End of Life Care”.


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.


Rosamund Oliver

Rosamund Oliver, BA, Dip Psych, ECP, International Trainer

Rosamund Oliver qualified as registered psychotherapist and supervisor in 1996 and trained psychotherapists for five years at the Karuna Institute in Devon. As a UKCP psychotherapist and supervisor, she had a large practice for private clients in North London for many years. She also worked in psychiatric care focusing on bereavement with the elderly.

Her education work includes tutoring at St Josephs Hospice, teaching meditation and mindfulness skills, creating a prison meditation project and three years developing the first Buddhist-based psychotherapy training in South Africa.

She has done extensive training in meditation since the 1970’s with various teachers and schools.


Andrew Warr Andrew Warr has had a regular meditation practice for 40 years and has been studying and practicing Buddhist meditation since 1982. He has been teaching meditation for over 20 years and since 2001 has been leading courses, seminars, and retreats, principally on the subject of loving kindness, in Europe, Australia, and North America.




Testimonials →