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For A Conscious End Of Life  
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The trainings at GRAND TRANSITIONS INSTITUTE are directed by DOMO GESHE RINPOCHE, a Western reincarnate lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and based on a Buddhist approach to compassionate care at end-of-life. Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the White Conch Dharma Center and regularly provides community workshops to health care providers as part of her “Healing the Healer Series.” She has a depth of knowledge regarding the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and views surrounding death, and the dying process, and is uniquely qualified to explain to westerners how to provide careful energetic support for persons at the end of life. Read more


SHARON LEFTWICH, RN, BSN: has over two decades of experience in both at-home and inpatient hospice as a care provider, trainer and manager. Most recently she built a hospice from the ground up, which she managed in her beloved New Mexico. As a certified aromatherapist and practitioner/teacher of Reiki, she integrates both conventional and complementary approaches into her practice, and offers training in these integrative skills at numerous hospice conferences and organizations. She has personally developed blends of essential oils to help manage symptoms in the dying patient and their family members. Ms Leftwich has been a practicing Buddhist for more than a decade.

BETTY KRAMER, PH.D., MSSW: a nationally recognized gerontology researcher, scholar and educator. Her research agenda is centered on improving care at the end of life. She is coauthor of the first evidence-based textbook to profile grief and bereavement interventions for human service professionals entitled Living through Loss: Interventions across the Life-Span (2006). The recipient of two national awards, the John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar Award, and the Project on Death in America Social Work Leadership Development Award, Dr. Kramer has received support to implement projects relevant to improving care at the end-of-life. Dr. Kramer offers her expertise as a consultant to the White Conch Buddhist Hospice, helping to deliver the best support possible to hospice residents and their families.


PALDEN SITARA ENDERS: Ms Enders has been caring for others at end of life since 1995. She trained and worked as a caregiver and bereavement volunteer with VNA & Home Hospice in Santa Rosa, CA and then completed a similar training in the UK, where she worked as a volunteer for St. Christopher's Hospice, London for many years. She is currently taking part in further caregiving training with a local German hospice group. Her many years as a Buddhist practitioner offered deep insight into the dying process. She has also served as German translator for Domo Geshe Rinpoche, and has been instrumental in translating the Hospice Training DVDs into German. She will be facilitating the Hospice Training Program in Germany.


NGAWANG THEKCHEN, PhD, RN: Executive Director of White Conch Dharma Center, serves as a facilitator of the Hospice Training DVDs.

CAPRI FILLMORE, MD: a practicing Buddhist for many years, Ms Fillmore has travelled extensively in her role as physician, providing medical care for underserved populations all over the world. Ms Fillmore serves as a consultant to Grand Transitions Hospice.

ANDREA VERMAATEN: GRAND TRANSITIONS HOSPICE HOUSE has come to fruition through the generosity of Dolkar (Andrea). She has offered her home as a spiritual haven for those at end of life, and is donating construction costs for the addition of a private hospice room. Andrea has a Masters Degree in Education, is a certified healing practitioner, and school teacher. She has studied various methods of healing the body, speech, and mind. Her motivation has always been the wish to help others and self in a real and lasting way. A Buddhist practitioner for over 25 years, Andrea is happy to share what she has learned and will accomplish in the future. Andrea serves as German translator for Domo Geshe Rinpoche, and will also serve as Hospice Training facilitator when in Germany.