Our Team

Our team at Zen Caregiving Project is devoted and deeply dedicated to our work. Regardless of our title, we each see ourselves as caregivers and our lives are enriched by those we serve.

Roy Remer

Roy, Zen Caregiving Project's Executive Director, has been an end-of-life caregiver and educator since 1997. He trained with Zen Hospice Project (ZHP) to become a volunteer and served at the bedside for six years at the Guest House facility before serving for seven years on San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital’s Palliative Care Ward. Roy served on the ZHP board of directors from 2002 until 2008. In 2008, he completed a yearlong end-of-life caregiver training at the Metta Institute in Sausalito, CA.

Roy also guides wilderness-based rites of passage programs in partnership with EarthWaysLLC of Sebastopol, CA.

A dedicated practitioner in Soto Zen tradition, Roy is a student at the San Francisco Zen Center.

Naomi Stoll

Naomi, Zen Caregiving Project's Research and Development Director, joined the team in January 2019. With over 10 years of experience in social research, evaluation and project design she has worked with teams across the globe to help implement, improve and measure projects that have a positive social impact. Naomi draws on her diverse experience to build on and grow existing programs within Zen Caregiving Project and to explore new ways for the organization to support those in need.

Naomi is also serving at the bedside at the Palliative Care Ward at Laguna Honda Hospital as part of the Zen Caregiving Project Volunteer program.

Alistair Shanks

Alistair, Zen Caregiving Project's Volunteer Program Manager, began serving as a volunteer with Zen Hospice Project at the Guest House in 2004, and then Laguna Honda Hospital, where he served for 10 years. During that time he also helped facilitate the New Volunteer Training which he continues to lead as well as teaching Mindful Caregiver Education courses.

Alistair holds a Master’s degree in Buddhist Studies and Chaplaincy from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He completed the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program at Sati Center for Buddhist Studies in 2007.  Other volunteer activities have included serving as a Buddhist chaplain at SF General Hospital and leading meditation sessions in the San Francisco County Jail.

Alistair has been a dedicated practitioner and teacher of the Taoist Internal Martial Arts for over 20 years. He was an adjunct faculty member at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine/CIIS where he taught Tai Chi from 2008 to 2019. He has long been involved in the Bay Area music scene, playing with San Francisco’s legendary hardcore polka band Polkacide until its demise in 2017 and currently playing with nerd rock group, Three Day Stubble.

Scott Stadum

Scott, Zen Caregiving Project's Marketing Manager, originally hails from Cambridge, Ohio and is a BGSU alumnus, is a digital marketer with a long career in non-profit work. Scott has had the great privilege of working with many incredible organizations, from Guyana to Tbilisi to Buenos Aires, including watchdog groups, aid organizations and the Peace Corps amongst many others. Thanks to his ever-expanding digital marketing skillset, Scott has been able to blend his two passions - creating change while furthering digital innovation. Scott currently resides in the East Bay, and he spends his free time helping non-profits and small businesses.

Lev Scanlon

Lev joined the team at the beginning of 2015 after years of working in a UCSF nonprofit healthcare training center and Silicon Valley film production studios. Lev brings the "tech", coordination, collaboration, and creativity from her experience in production, distance learning and filmmaking into our daily operation. She has even been a contributing artist, retelling stories told by our guest house residents, their families, staff, and volunteer community through video. Serving as our Operations Manager, Lev feels right at home with providing warmth, care, and attention in everything we do.

Mary Doane

Mary, Zen Caregiving Project’s Senior Instructor, has been integral to the training and education programs of Zen Hospice Project for more than a decade. First becoming a volunteer in 2005, she served at the bedside for five years each at Laguna Honda Hospital and the Guest House. Mary has facilitated our New Volunteer Training and served as Volunteer Program Coordinator. Mary is currently the lead facilitator of Mindful Caregiver Education courses. She collaborates in curriculum development and mentors newer instructors.

Mary completed Buddhist Chaplaincy Training at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies, and is certified by the Stanford University School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) as a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT™) Instructor.

Amanda Coggin

Amanda, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, lived and taught in Southeast Asia in 2000 where she began Vipassana Meditation in the S.N. Goenka tradition. She discovered Zen Caregiving Project through a mindfulness grief group and became a volunteer caregiver in 2011, and later joined its staff as Volunteer Coordinator until 2014. Amanda completed Clinical Pastoral Education training at the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and was the unit chaplain in the Emergency Department, Acute Care for the Elderly, the Birth Center, and the Intensive Care Nursery. Amanda facilitates both our Open Death Conversations and Mindful Caregiver Education.

Cassandra Palmer

Cassandra, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, has served as a volunteer caregiver at the Zen Hospice Project Guest House for five years and is committed to providing mindful support to families and residents experiencing the end of life process. Cassandra is an active facilitator in the Mindful Caregiver Education and Open Death Conversation programs and is passionate about providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to explore their relationship with death and compassionate care. Cassandra is also trained in being an End of Life Doula and has an academic background in Holistic Psychology and Counseling.

Celeyce Matthews, BSN, RN

Celeyce, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, first came to the Zen Hospice Project's Guest House as a volunteer caregiver in 2014. So moved by this experience she became a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant on the nursing staff at the Guest House. Celeyce is now a neonatal intensive care nurse. Additionally, Celeyce is a writer and has published stories about her experiences as a caregiver at the Guest House. She has been practicing mindfulness for more than two decades.

Hephzibah Plotkin, MPH

Hephzi, a Zen Caregiving Project Facilitator, has been a member of the Zen Caregiving Project community since 2008, serving as a volunteer caregiver at both, Laguna Honda Hospital and the Guest House. Since 2014 she has facilitated Open Death Conversations and Mindful Caregiver Education courses. A teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Hephzi seeks to be present in each moment at the bedside for whatever is arising. She has also been a therapist in Scotland since 1989 and has been trained as a Rosen Method Bodywork practitioner.

Kristin Bowers

Kristin has been a Volunteer Caregiver with Zen Caregiving Project since 2015; serving first at the ZHP Guest House and more recently on S3 at Laguna Honda Hospital. She is a certified conscious dance instructor with Open Floor International. Kristin is passionate about supporting caregivers and persons coping with loss to process grief and strong emotions through movement of the body. She is also a dedicated practitioner of mindfulness meditation and is an executive in the trade book publishing industry.

Irene Smith

Irene, a Zen Caregiving Project Guest Facilitator, is considered the founding visionary of the hospice massage field having introduced massage into hospice care on the West Coast in 1982. As the founder of Everflowing, Irene is an internationally respected author, educator, and practitioner in the field of Mindful Touching Irene has taught health care providers Mindful Touching for over three decades, creates educational resources utilized by health care institutions worldwide and holds a private hospice massage practice in San Francisco California. As a west Coast assistant to the late Elisabeth Kubler- Ross MD, Irene brings extraordinary depth and wisdom to her work.