Board of Directors

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr. Otsang Tsokchen - Founder and Visionary

Dr. Tsokchen holds a medical (M.D.) degree in biomedicine and is one of the leading experts on Tibetan Medicine today. Dr. Tsokchen is Founder and Chair of Arura Tibetan Medical Group, Professor, and the President of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College, President of Tso-Ngon Tibetan Medical Hospital, Director of Tso-Ngon Tibetan Medicine Research Institute, and Director of the P.R. China Tibetan Medicine and Cultural Museums. Additionally, Dr. Tsokchen holds the position of President of Tso-Ngon Tibetan Medicine Association and Honorary President of Tso-Ngon Biomedical College of Tso-Ngon University.
 
Dr. Tsokchen was first appointed as the President of the Tso-Ngon Tibetan Medical Hospital in 1989. He has worked tirelessly on Tibetan Medicine development and preservation with majors of education, quality of care, research and literature preservation, history and cultural preservation, and medicine production. Dr. Tsokchen gradually established the Tibetan Medical College, Tibetan Medicine Research Institute, Tibetan Medicine and Cultural Museums, and Arura Pharmaceutical Company.
 
Under the umbrella of Arura Tibetan Medical Group (ATMG), every year these institutions serve over 12,000 patients and train students of Tibetan Medicine at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degree-levels. These students receive training in clinical medicine, pharmaceuticals, and Tibetan Medicine management. Additionally, ATMG has collected over 3,000 Tibetan Medicine classical ancient texts and published over 100 books including 78 undergraduate and graduate textbooks on clinical medicine, pharmaceuticals, and Tibetan Medicine management. All of these books are based on the ancient classical texts, compiled and edited into a six-volume series on Tibetan Medicine called Tibetan Medicine: An Extraordinary Collection of Classical Texts.
 
Under the Dr. Tsokchen’s leadership and management, ATMG became the largest center for education, health care, cultural preservation, research, and production of Tibetan Medicine in the world today.
 
In 2009, Dr. Tsokchen met Mr. Gyaltsen Druknya and shared his vision for establishing Arura Medicine of Tibet along with Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen. In 2010 Arura Medicine of Tibet was established as a nonprofit organization of Tibetan Medicine.
 
 

Gyaltsen Druknya - Co-Founder and President

Gyaltsen Druknya was born in a nomadic family in Dola, a small Tibetan village in Amdo. In 1983, after the third grade, he left school to study under His Eminence (H.E.) the 4th Tashi Rinpoche, one of the highest lamas at Kumbum Monastery in Amdo. Given his natural talents and intelligence, he was accepted by H. E. Tashi Rinpoche, who besides his scholarship and learning in Buddhism, had a special gift in Tibetan medicine and was considered an expert on the subject.  Kumbum Monastery became Gyaltsen‘s home of learning and maturity. Besides learning Tibetan Literature and Buddhism, he had a keen sense of passion for Tibetan medicine which Rinpoche taught him with care. He was also fortunate to learn under Gyayak Rinpoche, the personal tutor of the 10th Panchen Lama.  Given his diligence and devotion, Gyaltsen became H. E. Tashi Rinpoche’s main assistant at the monastery. Later, Gyaltsen traveled to Lhasa, then to India and Nepal and had a wider education and perspective on life. His mission in life has always been to be of service to his people back home.
 
In 2001, Gyaltsen was able to come to Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. In Charlottesville, he met and married Tashi Dolkar, who had been brought up and educated in India. Today, they have a son and daughter and own a salon business in downtown Charlottesville. Gyaltsen is versatile and engages in several productive and educational and cultural programs in collaboration in the United States through Professor Jeffrey Hopkins'' Uma Institute for Tibetan Studies and American Heritage Voices.  At the same time, he endeavors to raise funds for the revival and construction of monasteries in the Kham and Amdo regions of Tibet. Together Gyaltsen and his wife continue to support young Tibetans in Tibet with their education and health.
 
In 2001, Gyaltsen reconnected with his roots in Tibetan Medicine through Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen and the Seattle-based non-profit organization ‘Tibetan Healing Fund‘ (THF).  Gyaltsen’s passion and skill in conducting major fundraising campaigns for THF made the establishment of the Tibetan Natural Birth and Health Training Center in Repkong, Amdo a reality. Through his work with THF, maternal and child health care for thousands of Tibetan women and children is now available.
 
In 2009, Gyaltsen hosted Dr. Otsang Tsokchen of the Arura Tibetan Medical Group in Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) and Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen during their visit to Charlottesville.  Dr. Tsokchen was impressed with Gyaltsen’s personal achievements and his capacity to support Tibetan culture, healthcare, and religion. And, they soon became very close friends.  Dr. Tsokchen invited Gyaltsen to be his Arura representative in the U.S. and to establish a non-profit organization for a Tibetan Medical Center to preserve and promote this knowledge and skill in the US.  This became a reality in 2010 when they founded Arura Medicine of Tibet in Charlottesville, Virginia.
 
In April of 2012, Gyaltsen arranged a major conference in collaboration with the University of Virginia entitled "Symposium on Tibetan Medicine and Meditation" for over 500 participants. He was able to invite and host many American leaders in Tibetan Studies to this symposium, including Professor Robert Thurman from Columbia University, Professor Judith Simmer Brown from Naropa University, and others.  As well as, nine prominent Tibetan doctors who are leaders in Tibetan Medicine inside Tibet also joined this cross-cultural event.
 
In July of 2013, Gyaltsen organized a delegation from Charlottesville to travel to Siling (Xining) and attend the "Western and Tibetan Medical Professionals'' Dialogue on Compassionate Care of the 21st-century Medical Care" at Tso-Ngon University Tibetan Medical College,  Qinghai Province in the People’s Republic of China.  Delegates consisted of local Arura Board members and medical professionals from the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community, including Dr. Leslie Blackhall (Professor of Palliative Medicine at UVA), cardiologist Dr. George Beller, the former Mayor of Charlottesville, David Brown, and others.  They visited all of the Arura Tibetan Medical Group branch institutions, including Tso-Ngon University Tibetan Medical College, Tso-Ngon Provincial Tibetan Medical Hospital, Tso-Ngon Provincial Tibetan Medical Research Institute, and the Arura Pharmaceutical Company’s production facilities.  During their tour, members discussed and exchanged ideas about bringing Tibetan Medicine to the United States.  At the same time, Dr. Beller attended the “Western & Tibetan Dialogue – Heart and Mind" at Tso-Ngon University Tibetan Medical College.  This was a meeting of many professionals and Dr. Beller’s attendance made provincial headline news in China.
 
In May 2014, Gyaltsen opened the office of Arura Medicine of Tibet in the historic downtown mall of Charlottesville, Virginia.  This new facility will enable the expansion of the practice of Tibetan Medicine in Charlottesville as well as ongoing academic collaborations with the University of Virginia.  It is the first step in realizing Arura Medicine of Tibet’s goals to create a center for the education and training in Tibetan Medicine and other subjects of Tibetan studies and to provide wellness care to the greater community using the valued and tested methods of this ancient wisdom of Tibet.
 
 

Ms. Bobbi Grant Llewellyn - Co-Founder and Vice President
RN, LCSW, BCD - B.S., M.S.W.

Bobbi has a degree in Nursing from the University of Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from The Catholic University of America. She is a founding member of the Board of Palpung Choekyi Gyaltsen Buddhist Study and Meditation Center in Charlottesville, VA. She was also chair of the capital campaign on the Charlottesville Waldorf School Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2011 and won the prestigious John and Anna Koehne Award for outstanding leadership, support, and service to the Charlottesville Waldorf School. She assisted Gyaltsen Druknya in establishing Arura Medicine of Tibet in Charlottesville and is currently the Board’s Vice President.
 
 

Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen - Co-Founder and Program Director

Dr. Kunchok Gyaltsen, D.T.M., M.I.I.M., M.P.H., Ph.D. is a leading Tibetan healthcare specialist and the first Buddhist monk to complete a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (UCLA, 2010).  Dr. Gyaltsen holds two masters degrees in Primary Health Care Management from ASEAN Institute for Health Development at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, and in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.
 
Dr. Gyaltsen is a Professor and Tibetan Medical Doctor at Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College and holds various appointments, including Mingyu President of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) Tibetan Medical Hospital and Kumbum Tibetan Medical Hospital.  Dr. Gyaltsen is also the Senior Advisor of Arura Tibetan Medical Group in P.R. China and a Professor at the Shang-Shung School of Medicine in Conway, Massachusetts. Currently, Dr. Gyaltsen is Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the University of Virginia’s Department of Medicine.  Dr. Gyaltsen has rich experiences in clinical practice, teaching, management, and leadership. He specializes in integrated healing of body and mind though Tibetan Medicine, lectures widely in the U.S. and elsewhere, and is the author of many books and articles on Tibetan Medicine.
 
 

Dr. Dorjee

Dr. Dorjee is a senior Tibetan medical doctor and currently the President of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) Tibetan Medical Research Institute and Vice President of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) Tibetan Medical Hospital. Currently, Dr. Dorjee is also a professor at the Tso-Ngon University Tibetan Medical College and he is a well-known Tibetan medical scholar in the region. He has conducted enormous research projects including the preservation project of ancient, classical Tibetan Medicine books. Under his leadership, over 200 Tibetan Medicine classical books have been published.

 
 

Prof. Lhusham Gyal 

Professor Gyal is Professor and Dean of Tso-Ngon (Qinghai) University Tibetan Medical College; a part of Arura Tibetan Medical Group in Siling (Xining), P.R. China. He received his Tibetan Medicine training from many Tibetan senior teachers throughout the Tibetan regions, including Amdo and U-Tsang. He obtained his bachelor and master degrees in Medical Studies from Tibetan Medical College in Lhasa, Tibetan Autonomous Region. Professor Gyal is an author of many books on Tibetan Medicine and is a well-known modern Tibetan medical scholar throughout the Tibetan regions.
 
 

Dr. Lhusham Gyal 

Dr. Gyal is Vice President of Tso-Ngon (Provincial) Tibetan Medical Hospital and Board Vice President of Arura Tibetan Medical Group. Dr. Gyal graduated from Malho Medical School in 1985 and became one of the senior Tibetan Medical Doctors in Tso-Ngon Province, P. R. China. Dr. Gyal has worked in Tso-Ngon (Provincial) Tibetan Medical Hospital as a Tibetan Medical Doctor for thirty years and treated thousands of patients from not only Tibetan areas, but also from various Chinese areas. In 2003, Dr. Gyal was appointed as the Vice President for Tso-Ngon (Provincial) Tibetan Medical Hospital and became one of the youngest presidents for the provincial level Tibetan Medical Hospital. The Tibetan Medical Hospital developed from a small clinic in the 1980s and currently, the hospital has approximately 1,000 beds and over 500 doctors and health care workers and is the largest Tibetan medical hospital in the world.
 
 

Dr. Sonthar Gyal 

Dr. Gyal is General Manager of Arura Tibetan Medicine Research and Innovation Institute and General Manager of Arura Tibetan Medicine Pharmaceutical Company. Also, he is board Vice President of Arura Tibetan Medicine Group. He specializes in Tibetan Medicine research, pharmaceutical production, and marketing.
 
 

Mr. Jianxin Wang 

Mr. Wang is Deputy Director of Tibetan Medicine and Cultural Museums. He graduated from Nanjing Institute of Economics and received a bachelor degree in Economics. Mr.
Wang was Office Manager of Tso-Ngon Tibetan Medical Hospital and sectary of the Medical Bed Center at the Tibetan Medical Hospital.

Dr. Yangdron Kalzang

Dr. Yangdron Kalzang earned the Tibetan Medicine degree from the Tibetan Medical University in Lhasa, Tibet, and her Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University, Graduate School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in Santa Cruz, California. She is an Acupuncturist licensed by the state of California and an Acupuncturist and Herbalist certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

She works closely with the Shang ShungInstitute, School of Tibetan Medicine in Conway, Massachusetts as one of the original curriculum developers and consultants in the planning of the certificate program. For the past ten years, she has taught Tibetan Medical courses at her alma mater, the Five Branches University. Yangdron Kalzang and the Tibetan Wellness & Healing Center serve as frequent educational resources for the University of California at San Francisco and Stanford University medical students and faculty.

She regularly lectures and delivers seminars on Tibetan medicine. Highlights include The International Forum on Buddhism and Medicine in Montpellier, France 2006, along with lectures at Stanford University, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Rice University, Amherst College, and many Buddhist centers. She lectured at the 1998 and 2003 Congress of Tibetan Medicine in Washington D.C. and the California State Oriental Medical Association Conference in 2002 and 2003.

Mempa Kalzang was first introduced to Tibetan Medicine as a young child by her uncle, who served as Chief Physician for the Integrative Unit of the Tibetan Medical Hospital in Lhasa (Men Zee Khang). She was later fortunate to work under his supervision at the Tibetan Medical Hospitals in Lhasa and Chengdu.

With a strong commitment to better health and education, Yangdron Kalzang provides compassionate and effective healing services to the whole community. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two young children.