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 / Next Steps:

  • Phase I Complete: (January 2017 – July 2017) The assessment of interviews has determined the feasibility of the project. Read the "Deva Nation Community Needs/Asset Assessment Report">> (Greater Mankato Area Interview Report).  Conversations in the community revealed that people desire more education around end of life issues, a better understanding of the difference between hospice and palliative care, access to more supportive care in the community, and help from the moment of diagnosis of a serious illness in the form of guidance, counseling, and social support. Caregivers want emotional and practical support as well as respite. Additionally, the interviews disclosed that people who want to give often don't know what to say, and people who need help sometimes don't know how to ask. 
  • Phase II: Continue the work of building and strengthening community connections; provide end of life education through presentations, workshops and talking cafes; map all existing community resources for the compilation of a Greater Mankato Health Connections Directory; train a network of volunteer Community Connectors to offer support to those in need and guide them to appropriate sources of help identified in the service directory; and form groups requested by members of the community to meet newly identified needs.  
  • Phase III: In partnership with health systems, create one-to-one support relationships through liaison with Health Connectors; convene with the various community sectors to harness the wisdom of experiences that will go forward as best practices and policies for the Greater Mankato Compassionate Community Charter.  

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.