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About Gentle Passage Doula Collective

Welcome to the Gentle Passage Doula Collective, where healthcare professionals and educators unite over a shared passion for compassionate end-of-life care. Our company is born out of a deep sense of purpose and a commitment to supporting individuals in their journey toward becoming certified Death Doulas. 

Drawing inspiration from our founders' experiences and the healthcare landscape's evolving needs, our comprehensive training program equips aspiring Death Doulas with the knowledge, skills, and empathy needed to serve individuals and their families during this sacred transition.

Our Principals

The Gentle Passage Doula Collective is a group of healthcare professionals who recognized the need for specialized end-of-life care and felt a calling to fill that void. Through their years of experience working in various healthcare settings, they witnessed firsthand the challenges patients and their families faced as they navigated the often complex and emotionally charged process of dying. 


Motivated to improve the quality of care and support provided during this profound period, these healthcare professionals created a company dedicated to training individuals as Death Doulas.


Meet Your Teachers

​​Empowering Compassionate End-of-Life Care: The Journey of Gentle Passage Doula Collective


Founder, SW

Kathy Bates

Kathy is a licensed Social Worker and Geriatric Mental Health Specialist with 30+ years of experience in skilled nursing facilities. In that role, she supported patients and their families to feel fully supported emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically at the end of life. She realized that guiding and supporting a dying person was her sacred calling and became a certified end-of-life doula. 

She provides a sacred space for a dying person to navigate their conscious death and dying journey with grace and ease instead of fear and anxiety.


Kathy received her Sacred-End-of-Life Doula certification from the Conscious Dying Institute in 2019 and is also available for private consultations. 

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Founder, DC, MSN, RN, End-of-Life Coach Conscious Dying Educator

Colleen Hewes

Colleen is a Registered Nurse with over 30+ years of expertise in Geriatrics, Psychiatric-Mental Health, and Hospice Nursing. She’s held faculty positions at Loma Linda University, UCLA, and the University of Texas.


Colleen is a graduate and former Conscious Dying Institute faculty member specializing in end-of-life care and conscious dying education. Through her organizational talks and classes, Colleen goes beyond traditional Advance Directives, providing a life-changing journey of self-discovery.


She encourages living a life of awareness, ensuring that one can reflect on loving well, living fully, and learning to let go at the end of the journey.

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Founder, MS, RDN, CN

Kathleen Putnam

Kathleen is a Master of Nutrition with 30+ years of experience as a dietitian, educator, and coach. As the founder of NutritionWorks (est. 2001), she’s spent a lifetime guiding people through the many health transitions in their lives, with a focus on personalized self-care practices.

In her work as an End-of-Life Doula and Grief Coach, Kathleen compassionately supports families and individuals during the dying and grieving process, aiming to reduce suffering and prioritize what is most meaningful. She teaches classes and offers private consultations for those experiencing grief through the Institute of Birth, Breath, and Death as a Holding Space Consultant.

Kathleen also co-hosts the weekly video podcast "A Different Kind of Doula," an educational program centered around end-of-life conversations. 

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Founder, MN, RN

Bonnie Blachly

Bonnie is a Registered Nurse with 40+ years of experience in long-term care, home health, and nursing education. She served on the faculty of various universities and held advisory roles in palliative care and hospice programs. 

As the President & CEO of BLB Nurse Consulting Services, Bonnie mentors nurses in leadership positions and trains long-term care staff on end-of-life care. She is a certified Advance Care Planning facilitator, assisting clients and families in documenting and honoring their wishes.


Bonnie volunteers as a Parish Nurse in a Memento Mori Ministry program, which educates individuals on death and dying. 

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Founder, RN

Maureen Kures

Maureen is a Registered Nurse with over 35+ years of expertise in Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, ICU, and Hospice care.


Maureen is dedicated to assisting families in making decisions, documenting and discussing their end-of-life plans, and bringing peace to their loved ones. 

With certifications as an Advance Care Planning facilitator and End-of-Life Doula, she collaborates with organizations like Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest and Before I Go Solutions. 

She co-hosts "A Different Kind of Doula" on the WinWinWomen.TV channel.

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Get to Know Us

The Gentle Passage Doula Collective is driven by the heartfelt conviction that every dying person deserves to be supported and cared for with compassion and dignity. We believe people should be supported in ending their life’s journey exactly as they want. The multi-faceted nature of our programming provides the foundation for our doulas to do just that.

Our founders harnessed their expertise, experiences, and passion to create a company that trains individuals to become certified Death Doulas. Our comprehensive training program empowers aspiring Death Doulas to provide personalized care, emotional support, and comfort during this sacred transition. 

Together, we are dedicated to transforming end-of-life experiences and fostering a culture of compassionate care.

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