Vitalia Brooks, MDiv, MFT, was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 1989. She grew up in New York City and moved to Oregon in the late 1990’s. Vitalia holds a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies from University of Oregon, and completed her Masters of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts (MA) in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies under the guidance of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche from Naropa University in 2007.
Upon graduating, Vitalia entered a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency program in Portland, and has completed six units. Vitalia has been a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche since 2004, and received Endorsement and Ordination to serve as a chaplain from Nalandabodhi Sangha.
At present, Vitalia is a clinical chaplain, bereavement coordinator, and grief counselor. Since completing CPE residency Vitalia has spent 11 years serving as a hospital and hospice chaplain. In these settings she has enjoyed the opportunity to provide a full ministry of pastoral care, spiritual/emotional support, counseling and bereavement to patients and families who are facing critical care and end of life transitions. In addition, Vitalia is deeply passionate about medical ethics and trauma informed care, and has served as an active member of her employers’ ethics committees.
In addition to healthcare setting experiences, she also had the privilege to serve as a university chaplain as well as resettlement specialist for the refugee community.
Vitalia’s life experience as well as her professional background has allowed her to gain insight of the basic human condition, believing all human beings possess resiliency of spirit, profound strength, and the deep desire to be seen. Today Vitalia continues to serve individuals in their most critical time of major life transitions with a sense of compassion, honor, and dignity. She believes that a person’s spiritual understanding and strength is often enhanced by the birth of a child, loss of a loved one, a terminal illness or a pending death. She defines her role as a chaplain is to walk along with patients and families through these times and to gently guide them to use their own spirituality and to bring meaning to their unique experience.