Board of directors
President, Wendy Ostrow
Wendy received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of New Mexico. She is an Advanced Practice Nurse and Certified Nurse Practitioner with a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of California San Francisco.
Wendy has 37 years of experience providing healthcare, education and expertise in many Nursing specialties including palliative, and hospice care, geriatric, primary, and women’s health care in a variety of hospital and out-patient settings. She utilizes complementary medical practices with allopathic such as massage, healing touch and meditation.
Living in San Francisco during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic she became a leader in end-of-life advocacy and the “home” hospice movement. She was involved as a volunteer and trainer for Zen Hospice Project at it’s inception and served as a volunteer and Board member of Maitri AIDS Hospice from 1989-1995.
Treasurer, Maura Noel
Maura left a career as a project manager for a large computer company to become certified in Patient Advocacy. She has extensive experience in fundraising for nonprofits and grant writing. Along with financial responsibilities, Maura serves Tara Home doing social media outreach, assists with business plan visioning, and provides hands-on care.
Secretary - TBD
Alicia Kennedy, RN, Part-time Director & Care Manager
Alicia Kennedy, RN was one of the founding members of Tara Home and has served as a lead helping the admissions committee, scheduling and training of volunteers. She has spent her career in the field of nursing in a variety of settings and has supported the core services for Tara Home with dedication, creativity, and wonderful clinical skills.
Truus is a founding member of Tara Home. She has deep knowledge of and has assisted with all aspects of the program, and has provided back up and on-call services to make sure all residents and volunteers are well-supported during their stay at Tara Home. Truus is a strong supporter of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s vision for LMB as a Universal Education (birth to death spiritual support) center, citing the importance of the common values of the world’s wisdom traditions. She has a deep commitment and interest in the well-being of the individual, interpersonal communication, the importance of taking personal responsibility, community building, interfaith coordination and outreach; and the sharing of these ideas and inspirations with others.
Truus is the lead for the financial coordination of Tara Home; and handles numerous other activities to ensure that each resident’s unique requirements are met during their stay, including providing hands-on care. Truus manages incoming messages and inquires for admission, assists with admissions, shows Tara Home to prospective guests, assists with vetting potential volunteers, organizes and assists with volunteer trainings, assists with operations, and serves as care manager on a rotational basis.
Majel Jordan is a founding memeber of Tara Home. She has worked in the human services field in Santa Cruz County for over 35 years, beginning in 1974 as a grant writer and program developer with the Community Action Board. She then began working with and developing programs in the field of aging and in 1981 was the founding director of Elderday Adult Day Health Center. In 1992 she founded The Gardens Residential Care Facility that was designed especially for elders with Alzheimer’s disease and those with mental health problems. Both Elderday and The Gardens received national recognition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Alzheimer’s Association for quality and innovation.
Over the years, Majel has served on many community boards and commissions, all of which are designed to provide services to those in need in our community. She has also served on the Community Bridges Board of Directors. Majel serves Tara Home as an administrative advisor, and provides hands-on care.
Lennie is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree in Psychology. Her career has spanned birth to death, with mental health and holistic health included. She has been a childbirth educator and assistant, a psychiatric nurse, was a founder of the Holistic Health Institute in San Francisco and spent the last seven plus years of her employment with Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
After her retirement in 1998, she devoted herself to the development of Tara Home, a guesthouse for terminally ill people at Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, providing around-the-clock care by a team of trained volunteers. She also frequently leads Buddhist meditations and talks for Road Scholars (formerly Elderhostel) groups.
Lennie has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism since 1975, has three children and four grandchildren and lives in Capitola.
In 2005, she was personally honored by H.H.Dalai Lama as an 'Unsung Hero of Compassion' for her work in creating Tara Home.
Gan Neh Na Downing, RN, Outreach
Gan Neh Na is a Registered Hospice Nurse. Gan Neh Na supports outreach activities, and provides hands-on care for Tara Home.
Dawni Pappas, Program Support
Dawni is a Spiritual Practitioner of Higher Consciousness, graduating from Inner Light Ministries Formal Curriculum in 2012. She is trained in spiritual leadership, prayer support, pastoral care, and developing cross cultural awareness and compassion. Dawni has also enjoyed many years of giving in home health care support, business and spiritual group marketing, fundraising, and working with others through deep and transformative life changes. Dawni assists with volunteer recruitment, and provides hands-on care.