The Compassionate Friends Northwest Coast Chapter and Sutter Coast Hospital present

For PDF and registration information please click here 


Carlene Bettencourt, RN, PhD

Carlene is the Oncology Nurse Navigator at Sutter Coast Hospital, Crescent City, CA. She has extensive education and thirty-eight years of professional experience in the field of medicine. Carlenes Doctoral Dissertation was A Study of the Use of Psychoacoustic Techniques in Decreasing the Effects of Compassion Fatigue in Professional Hospice Caregivers.

As a high-school student enrolled in a nursing assistant course, Carlene was always drawn to the dying patients. Often with no visitors or left alone for long periods of time, the dying process seemed very lonely. This began Carlenes journey in caring for the terminally ill and their families. However, over the years this took a toll on her mental and physical health and began to affect her relationships with others. Leaving the field of hospice and even nursing itself became a real consideration. She went from deeply caring for each individual and grieving for their loss to feeling nothing at their suffering. Unknowingly, what she was experiencing was compassion fatigue. This launched her journey into exploring the phenomenon and

helping other caregivers understand what it is and how to minimize its effects. Subsequently, she has provided educational opportunities on this subject to many organizations and individuals.

The healthcare field is becoming more aware of the profound emotional disturbances that occur in healthcare providers when they witness the suffering and pain of their patients. Recent studies show that those who work with the suffering suffer themselves because of the work. This is evidenced by increased work conflict, missed work, insensitivity to patients and their families, reduced social support and poor stress-coping methods.

Compassion fatigue is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Levels of compassion fatigue among healthcare professionals, and its effects, have serious consequences in the healthcare profession. In addition to the detrimental physical, psychological, and interpersonal/social effects, high levels of compassion fatigue may lead to an ongoing staff shortage which can pose a threat to patient safety and quality patient care.

Understanding contributing factors to compassion fatigue as well as understanding ways to minimize its effects is important to preserve the overall health and well-being of individuals at risk for compassion fatigue.

The goals of the presentation are to identify the prevalence of compassion fatigue, burnout, and compassion satisfaction through use of a self-evaluation tool; to explore the relationship between various personal characteristics and compassion fatigue; to provide a means of prevention and minimization of compassion fatigue symptoms; and finally, to provide a self- care tool that can be used to decrease the effects of compassion fatigue.

Maria Kubitz

Maria lost her four-year-old daughter, Margareta, in a 2009 drowning accident. After years of working to transform the overwhelming pain of grief into opportunities for personal growth and learning about life on a deeper level, Maria created a grief support website,, in 2012. Her articles provide a heartfelt window into her personal experience and insight about grief, the healing process, and re-embracing life with a new understanding of what matters most. Marias articles have been featured in printed and online publications including, but not limited to:

  • We Need Not Walk Alone, The Compassionate Friends (TCF) Inc. newsletter.

  • Journey's End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, a book by Victoria Brewster and Julie Nierenberg.

  • Open to Hope, an online community offering inspirational stories of loss, hope, and recovery.

  • Great Schools, a national nonprofit that provides school information and parenting resources.

  • Numerous TCF chapter newsletters and the TCF Blog

    Maria will tell of her life after Margaretas drowning in the family pool, the years it took to process her guilt, and how she learned to live again.

Georgia Cockerham

On May 25, 2003, Georgias twenty-seven-year-old son, Zachary Owen Ward, died in a motorcycle accident on the date of his first wedding anniversary. At the time of Zachs death, Georgia was a successful self-employed investment advisor and insurance broker. She was a single mom during the years of raising Zach and his brother, and married Bruce Cockerham just four years prior to losing Zach. The world Georgia had known shattered, enveloping her in a darkness that, for several months, devoured all hope of surviving Zachs death, threatening her marriage, her business, and her relationship with her surviving son and his family.

Sixteen months after losing her son, Georgia and Bruce formed the Brookings (later renamed the Northwest Coast) chapter of The Compassionate Friends, Inc. (TCF). For the past sixteen years, Georgia has overseen the chapter, its revolving Steering Committee of bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings, and a chapter Advisory Board of key people within the community. She has been the primary facilitator for monthly grief meetings, and has, in her leadership capacity, been in contact with more than two hundred and fifty bereaved within the communities served. Georgia served five years on the TCF National Board of Directors, and four years as Regional Coordinator for the state of Oregon. She has taught many grief related workshops for TCF National conferences throughout the U.S. and facilitated leadership workshops for Oregon TCF chapters.

Today, Georgia is a published author of books in several genres. She will speak about her journey from the dark into a world much different than the one she left. Georgia hopes that her success in adapting to this new world will encourage and inspire other bereaved parents still struggling to find their way.



There are many hotels in Brookings and Harbor from which to choose. Below are hotels with special reduced rates on a small block of rooms for conference attendees. These special conference rates apply for the nights of March 26 and/or March 27.

Hotel reservations are entirely up to each attendee. They are not a responsibility of the conference.


1143 Chetco Ave, Brookings
(541) 813
-1444 |

$135.00 per night for one king or two queen beds.

Additional 10% off for AARP, AAA, or military.


16008 Boat Basin Road, Brookings (541) 469-7779 |

Ocean front room
$209.79 per night for two queen beds.

These special room rates are limited. Rates are good until the earlier of March 1, 2021 or all rooms reserved.

When booking a room, ask for a room in the March 27 Conference block and/or under the name of Georgia Cockerham.

For PDF and registration information please click here
Questions? Call Georgia for questions, at 541-469-5814. 
April 2021
<<April 2021>>
 • April Meeting

Month: Year: