Deva Nation builds Compassionate Communities for End of Life Care.

  • We model a new public health approach to modern palliative care, as promoted by Public Health Palliative Care International.

  • We work to establish strong and equal partnerships between citizenry, civic institutions, and health systems so that together.

  • We can effectively provide continuity, equity, and compassion in the delivery of care to everyone who needs it.  


The citizens of the Greater Mankato Area are invited to participate in the development of our country's first Compassionate Community for End of Life Care.

Take a look at the video of our model/partner city in Frome, England: HEALTH CONNECTIONS MENDIP. Compassion abounds in our community with excellent programs and services offered. Our work is to maximize our 'social connections' so that when anyone is dying, caring or grieving, we all know what to do. 
 Meet the Team>>

A Compassionate Community recognizes that all natural cycles of sickness and health, birth and death, and love and loss occur every day. It acknowledges that care for one another during life’s most testing moments is not solely a task for health and social services but is everyone’s responsibility.
— Professor Allan Kellehear

Current Initiative:

Phase I: Complete. (January 2017 – October 2017) The assessment of Deva Nation’s six-month community interview process determined the feasibility of the project. Please view the results and the powerful ‘community voices’ in the Deva Nation Interview Report  
Funded by the Mankato Area Foundation

Phase II: Complete. (November 2017 – December 2018) Advanced local alliances with health and social service organizations, educational institutions, and non-profits; researched local, regional, national and international resources; produced community events to help normalize conversations about death, dying, and loss; provided death and dying workshops; attended state/national meetings and built alliances with affiliated organizations focused on healthy aging, hospice and palliative care, green burial, family-directed after death care, death doula, dementia, bereavement, and population health; initiated relationships with regional and national funders.  Funded by the Andreas Foundation

Next Steps:

Phase III: (January 2019 – January 2021)
Civic ActionEstablish the Deva Nation Advisory Team (complete 1.10.19) and the Compassionate ‘Kato Towns’ Steering Committee to oversee the Compassionate ‘Kato Towns’ Charter; implement and coordinate cross-sector, community-developed social action as designated by initial charter policies put forth from the Steering Committee with input from their sector members and the Deva Nation Advisory Team.

Population Health - Coordinate the asset mapping/research/evaluation of multi-sector database, Aunt Bertha platform, (compatible with Epic electronic health records) for Nicollet and Blue Earth Counties ( a Health Connection Directory); provide trainings throughout the community on use of directory for engaging “Community Connectors” who can suggest or ‘signpost’ people to resources in the community.

Education Initiate and facilitate two new community programs:  1) The Journey Circle Course: a 6-week guide for peer-led conversation circles in neighborhoods, faith organizations, and community at large, and 2) A Teacher Training Workshop on Grief and Loss for health, public safety, and community professionals; Co-facilitate training of 40 students as End of Life Doulas through Conscious Dying Institute; Continue and expand the current talking cafes, art collaborations, and guest speaker events.


Please email Mary Ann Boe ( if you would like to contribute your experience, ideas or resources for our compassionate community movement to support citizens in need. Thank you!

Deva Nation Goals

  • In partnership with our model city of Frome, England and under the guidance of Dr. Julian Abel, Director of Compassionate Communities UK, we are creating a design for social action that will build community capacity to provide practical non-medical care, comfort, and support for those in need.

  • We are directed by the community and in strong alliance with health and social services, recognizing that we all have a role to play in attending to the diverse set of needs that arise in our shared journey of aging, loss, dying, caring, death and bereavement.

  • We are a connection movement. We work to link and leverage existing resources, organizations, and institutions that will give people the support and control needed to achieve well-being to the end of life.

  • Through wide-spread community efforts, the naturally occurring networks of care that often form around death, dying, and loss will be encouraged, supported and expanded. Together we will deepen the quality and extent to which a community may look after its own members in the art of living and dying well.

Deva Nation is a charitable organization under the fiscal agency of the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. We are grateful for this fiscal agency support and for our funding support
from the Mankato Area Foundation and the Andreas Foundation.


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