More about me and my work

Theresa (Tre) Bessette is an independent patient advocate, end-of-life educator, spiritually independent minister and chaplain who is passionate about empowering people to reclaim agency around the decisions that impact their lives and deaths. Too many health and death related decisions have been surrendered to an overworked, profit driven medical system that has lost sight of what health, wellness, and a good death look like. Tre is doing her small part to help change that.

Tre worked in the medical system as a clinical laboratory scientist in hospital, public health, and research settings for over 25 years. This work honed her expertise in pathophysiology – the study of disease and how it affects the body, and also offered the opportunity to see “under the hood” of our medical system and learn to navigate the medical maze. Her educational credentials include a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Health Education and Health Literacy.

 Tre came to this work of witnessing, companioning, and comforting the dying after having had the privilege and honor of accompanying her mom at the time of her death She says that something shifted while being present with her mom during her last days; a shift of priorities, of perspective, a shift to a more heart centered way of being in the world. 

Since 2018, Tre has focused on educating, supporting, and advocating for changes in our health care system especially on matters related to end-of-life. She has served as a hospice volunteer, Medicare counselor, and is a certified end-of-life doula. In June of 2023, Tre was ordained as an interfaith minister/chaplain where a Ministry of Presence and Compassionate Listening emerged through mindfulness and other spiritual practices. Tre completed her first unit of Clinical Pastoral Training at a Baystate Hospital in the spring of 2024.

Tre is an effective advocate, an engaging teacher, and most importantly a skillful and compassionate listener. She is committed to using her knowledge, skills and experiences to empower others to better understand, navigate, and utilize the medical system and other resources to create and sustain an accepting mindset around death and cultivate tools to live fully.

My never ending journey of learning

● Ordained Interfaith Minister, Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, Portland, ME, June 2023.
● Master of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, June 2007.
Area of focus: Community Health Education and Health Literacy.
● B.S. Nutritional Sciences, University of CT, Storrs, CT, 1989.
● A.S. Medical Laboratory Science, Manchester Technical College, Manchester, CT, July 1985.

● Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 1 Unit. Baystate Hospital, Springfield, MA, 03/2024.
● Advance Care Planning Facilitator Certification, Respecting Choices, 04/2024.
● G.R.A.C.E. Compassion cultivation training for health care workers. Upaya Zen Center, 12/2023.
● End of LIfe Doula Certificate, University of VT Lerner School of Medicine, 2/2020.
● Emotional CPR Training, 02/2023.
● Nonviolent Communication Training, 05/2022.
● Website Design and Build Udemy, Bootcamps, Elementor, WordPress.
● S.H.I.N.E. Certified Medicare Counselor, 2018.
● Board Certified Patient Advocate, 2020.
● 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, Sivananda Ashram, NY, 2016.
● Master Gardener Certificate, University of RI, 2015

Certifications & Organizations