Register now for 2016 End-of-Life Community Conference in Tucson

| By Jodi Horton

The Casa de la Luz Foundation will host an end-of-life community conference on Friday, November 11 with Frank Ostaseski, founder of the Zen Hospice Project, as the keynote speaker.

The Zen Hospice Project is the first Buddhist hospice in America. Ostaseski also created the Metta Institute to provide innovative educational programs and professional trainings that foster compassionate, mindfulness-based care. His groundbreaking work has been widely featured in the media, and he is the author of the Being a Compassionate Companion audio series. AARP Magazine named him one of America’s 50 most innovative people, and in 2001, he was honored by the Dalai Lama for his many years of compassionate service to the dying and their families.

Following the keynote presentation, Ostaseski will sit on a Reflections and Responses panel with local leaders, including Maribel Alvarez, Executive Director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance and Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, Assistant Director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

In the afternoon, attendees will be able to choose breakout sessions. The afternoon session topics are:

Compassion Across Cultures: Moderated by Maribel Alvarez, folklorists will share insights from recent Tucson-based ethnographic findings on the role of culture and ethnic diversity in processes of grief and dying.

Self-Compassion: Rev. Teresa Cowan Jones, Director of the Compassion Coalition, personal coach, and Executive Director of the Breakthrough Leadership Institute, will lead participants on the ultimate journey to their true self and sustainable self compassion.

Passing On: This award-winning documentary was produced by Arizona Public Media and tells the stories of patients and families at the end of life. The workshop will use the film to open our conversation on the issues, concerns, and direction for our personal end-of-life planning. Frank Williams, Director of Social Services at Casa de la Luz Hospice, and Mindy Fain, MD, Co-Director of the University of Arizona Center on Aging will lead the discussion.

The event is from 8:15 a.m. – 4:oo p.m. at the Westin La Paloma, 3800 E. Sunrise Dr., Tucson, 85718. The fee to attend is $65, and registration is available online at

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