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Give Voice for Amberwing - 1

We Are Excited to Welcome a Little Change

February 2nd, 2015

As the short days of winter lengthen, you’ll see small but important changes in the look and feel of the Miller-Dwan Foundation’s website.  First, we’ll simplify the site. Whether you want to give a gift or write a grant, you should be able to easily find what you need when you need it.

Second, our grant application process is now online. Just go to our website and click on grants and how to apply. Before you can access the application, you’ll need to contact the Miller-Dwan Foundation staff to get more information. We’ll help you determine your eligibility, direct you to the proper fund and provide you with an access code. Don’t miss our next grant deadline – March 1.

Third, we will make it easier to follow our current projects. From fun community events, to educational healthcare sessions, and new innovative focus areas, we want to share with you the exciting progress we make every day towards a healthier region. You will be able to sign up for e-newsletters and Foundation mailings, view what’s coming up on the calendar, connect with us on social media, and much more.

Our new site will be complete at the end of April, but please, don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have questions. We are available and happy to help.



November 17th, 2014

Every day here at the Miller-Dwan Foundation we are given the chance to look on the world in wonder as physicians, nurses and care takers of all kinds open their hearts to our region’s most acutely ill patients. We admire their skill, their compassion and their tenacity. And we stand in awe of those courageous patients –– patients who’ve been badly burned, who’ve lost a limb or who struggle with life-altering mental illness ––those who through the support of our region, heal, hope and find dignity in their difficult journeys.

This year’s card, donated by Kenspeckle Letterpress, symbolizes, for us, not just the wonder of the season, but also the brilliance of emerging possibility.

If you would like to recieve this year’s card click here.

If you would like to make a Holiday Gift to Miller-Dwan Foundation click here or on the ornament below.


September 16th, 2014

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of charitable requests you receive? I have. Do you ever wish you had more to give? I do. Have you ever struggled to decide where to donate your dollars? I have.

I used to give a little to everyone. A few dollars here; a few dollars there. Every cause received a small token of my commitment to a cause.  As I became more settled demographically, however, I discovered just how important it is to give locally ––to support the community that sustains me, entertains me and provides my healthcare. When I ask myself, what is the most important to me in my life? (And that’s a hard question when you’re grateful for so much). I can easily say I cherish the trees, the water and the fresh air that engulfs this city. The library, my family and friends, and my health.

One day, I and my loved ones might not be so healthy. One day, chances are, we’ll all need to rely on our local healthcare providers much more than we do now. And when we do, I just know we’ll be most grateful for the best physicians, the best equipment, and the best healing. That’s why I give to my local health care provider.

When people say to me, “But there are so many needs!” and “They’re all so worthy!” I always recommend choosing three ––three organizations that speak to your highest values. When you give to just three organizations, your dollars have a greater impact. And I always hope that healthcare will be one of those priorities. You may not recognize it now, but our health and our local healthcare system is so very precious, so very important to you, to your family and to all those you love. 


ARTcetera Emphasizes Expressions of Giving

August 7th, 2014

artceter_logoWhen: Saturday, September 27th | 5pm-Midnight

Where: DECC Harbor Side Convention Center & Ballroom | Duluth, MN


This fall, the Miller-Dwan Foundation’s 16th Annual ARTcetera event will bring together incredible, philanthropic ladies and gentlemen to emphasize expressions of giving. ARTcetera 2014 will be hosted by event chair, Marsha Hystead. Hystead is the Chief Creative Officer and Partner at HTK Marketing Communications and sits on the Miller-Dwan Foundation’s Board of Directors.

ARTcetera 2014 will feature a gourmet dinner, live entertainment provided by the Twin Ports’ local musicians, The Lounge Hounds, and 135 exclusive and exceptional live and silent auction items up for bid.

The money raised at ARTcetera 2014 will support the Miller-Dwan Foundation’s Innovations Fund –– the Fund that, through community generosity, explores new, not-yet-defined possibilities in healthcare, finds creative solutions for change and promises a new tomorrow for all. From Amberwing and Solvay to a future of possibility, healthcare in our region relies on expressions of giving.

ARTcetera will be held on September 27th starting at 5 pm in the DECC’s Harbor Side Convention Center and Ballroom.

Tickets are $150 and may be purchased online at www.mdfoundation.org/artcetera or by calling the Miller-Dwan Foundation at 218-786-5829.


More about ARTcetera

ARTcetera’s live and silent auctions showcase local and regional artists including Cheng-Khee Chee, Aaron Kloss, Tim Cortes, Jeffrey Larson, Anne Labovitz and many more.

A signature live auction item, “The Beach House Bungalow,” is a custom-designed and custom-built playhouse that emulates the perfect atmosphere for summer fun, inspired adventures, and even relaxation. The Bungalow features warm-toned walls and light wood floors to mimic sunny days and whitewashed beaches. Built-in bunks with crisp sheets and comfortable bedding invite lazy afternoon reading by the vintage caged lights. Artwork, playful accessories and baskets of beautifully printed beach towels are scattered throughout, making this a wonderful getaway for kids of any age.

The Beach House Bungalow will be on display in August and September in front of Essentia Health-Duluth (Miller-Dwan) at 502 E. 2nd Street. Personal tours may be arranged by contacting the Miller-Dwan Foundation office at (218) 786-5829.

Another signature live auction item is a brand new 2014 KIA Soul. Graciously donated by KIA of Duluth, this six-speed automatic urban hatchback crossover is fun to drive, with a quiet, plush interior totally tailored for comfort. The newly refreshed 2014 model has a striking, refined and modern look and delivers great fuel economy, awesome driving dynamics and a ton of passenger and cargo space.

In addition to fine art and jewelry, many individuals and businesses have generously donated a variety of truly spectacular culinary experiences, exotic travel opportunities and exquisite luxury items such as a private 13-day, African safari, as well as a private jet flight to Chicago for six to attend a Blackhawks game. These items in detail and the complete ARTcetera auction line-up are available for viewing at www.mdfoundation.org/artcetera.

New logo unveiled

July 31st, 2014


We are thrilled to announce the official unveiling of our new logo! The inspired new design features warm, inviting colors that reflect the Foundation’s focus on health, healing and compassion, as well as three prominent flames that ascend from the Foundation’s name. These iconic symbols represent the key partnerships that come together to support a healthier region, while maintaining the rich history and integrity of the original logo.

Collaboration between the Foundation staff and the creative team at HTK Marketing Communications led to the final product: a fresh and innovative logo that symbolizes stability and innovation and reflects the Foundation’s mission of improving the health of the people of this region.

The largest flame represents those who support the Miller-Dwan Foundation and its initiatives. From medical center staff to people throughout the region, Foundation supporters are truly the heart of our organization.

The top flame represents patients and community members. From first time visitors at Amberwing to returning supporters at ARTcetera and all of those in between, patients and community members are the driving force and motivation behind all Miller-Dwan Foundation initiatives.

The middle flame represents the Foundation and the connection between its supporters, patients and community members. The flames rise from one another to illustrate success and growth over all obstacles. As a whole, the logo symbolizes stability and innovation, key qualities the Foundation represents.

What do you think of our new logo? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

The amazing Patty Duke

May 30th, 2014

Thanks to everyone who joined us last night to hear from show business legend and mental health advocate, Patty Duke. It was truly an inspirational evening filled with tears, laughter, sadness and joy. No matter who we are, we can all learn from Ms. Duke’s compassion and drive to help people with mental illness. There is no doubt that her passion lit a fire for everyone in the room.

Many thanks to our event partners for making such a wonderful evening possible: Amberwing – Center for Youth & Family Well-Being, Essentia Health-Duluth, and the Duluth Superior Film Festival.

P.S. Be sure to check out Duluth Superior Film Festival’s screening of Patty Duke’s well-known film, “You’ll Like My Mother,” on Sunday evening at Glensheen. Ms. Duke will be in attendance. Visit the Film Festival’s website www.ds-ff.com to purchase tickets!

An Evening with Patty Duke – session is full

May 5th, 2014

We are thrilled to welcome Patty Duke to Duluth later this month. The actress, author and mental health advocate will tell her story of bipolar disorder during a free community presentation at the Holiday Inn’s Great Lakes Ballroom on Thursday, May 29.

The Miller-Dwan Foundation, Amberwing and Essentia Health, with special partner, the Duluth Superior Film Festival, present “An Evening with Patty Duke.” This is the inspirational story of Anna Patty Duke Pearce, a person who struggled with self-loathing, mental illness and suicide attempts, only to become a mental health speaker and one of the most brilliant actresses of our time.

Ms. Duke is a true show business legend. Her career has spanned six decades, conquering Broadway, film and television. She has appeared in more than 90 television and theatrical movies and has received 12 awards, including an Oscar, two Golden Globes and three Emmys.

Ms. Duke became a New York Times two-time best-selling author with the publication of her autobiography, Call Me Anna, and its follow up, A Brilliant Madness, both of which detail her harrowing childhood, rise to fame and diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She was the first celebrity to go public with her diagnosis and has contributed to de-stigmatizing bipolar disorder. Ms. Duke has since become an activist for numerous mental health causes. She has lobbied the U.S. Congress and joined forces with the National Institute of Mental Health and National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, in order to increase awareness, funding and research for people with mental illness.

Her book’s success also launched Ms. Duke’s journey as a mental health spokeswoman, publicly revealing her innermost secrets as a manic depressive who found a happy ending. Writing the book, playing herself in the movie adaptation and speaking about mental health has made it possible for Ms. Duke to help others—as well as herself—in understanding that those who are mentally ill are not alone, and that there is help out there for those who want it.

Thursday, May 29
Holiday Inn Great Lakes Ballroom
Social hour: 6:00-6:30 pm
Program: 6:30-8:00 pm

2014 Employee Campaign

April 3rd, 2014

The Miller-Dwan Foundation Employee Campaign runs through the end of May. Last year, employee donors raised $100,000 which was used to help heal patients and create healthier work environments. When we compare ourselves to other employee campaigns throughout the nation, we see that we have more donors than almost any other hospital–a testament to employee dedication and compassion here in the Miller-Dwan Building.

If you’re not already a donor, look for donor pamphlets in the lobby of the Miller-Dwan Building beginning April 7. We’d love to hear from you.

If you are a donor, we have something new and fun for you this year. This year we’re asking you to enlist new donors! And for every new donor you get, we’ll put your name in a hat for a $250 Visa gift card. (New donors don’t need to be from your own department.) Just have them complete the tear-off sheet from the Employee Campaign pamphlet, and you deliver it to the Foundation. It’s that easy.

The more we all participate, the more we all benefit.

If you have questions, contact the Miller-Dwan Foundation at 65829 or at pmarshall@mdfoundation.org.

International speaker Frank Ostaseski to visit Duluth

March 4th, 2014

We are excited to welcome world-renowned teacher and end-of-life care educator, Frank Ostaseski, to Duluth in April. He will present two free workshops to community members and healthcare professionals that focus on the subject of mindful and compassionate end-of-life care.

Session 1: Being a Compassionate Presence

Audience: General public, family members, clinicians and medical students

Tuesday, April 1
/Social Hour: 6:00-6:30 pm
Presentation: 6:30-8:30 pm

Holiday Inn Duluth
200 W. 1st St.
Duluth, MN 55802

Cost is free, though pre-registration is required. Click here to register now.

In this special presentation for the general public, family members, clinicians and medical students, Frank will discuss the challenges, rewards and lessons learned on the journey of being a “compassionate companion” to seriously ill or dying loved ones. He speaks of the journey as a continuous discovery, requiring courage and flexibility. A journey that asks us to open, take risks and forgive constantly. Frank will share inspiring stories drawn from over 30 years at the bedside and introduce his “Five Precepts of Service.” These five practices are invaluable tools for accompanying others facing serious illness or death, while also having relevance for each of us in living a wise and compassionate life.

A social hour with hors d’oeuvres will take place prior to the session at 6:00 pm.

Session 2: Mindful and Compassionate Service

Audience: Healthcare professionals and those dedicated to end-of-life care (4.4 contact hours of continuing education will be provided)

Wednesday, April 2
: 7:30-8:00 am
Presentation: 8:00 am-12:00 pm

The Inn on Lake Superior
350 Canal Park Drive
Duluth, MN 55802

Cost is free, though pre-registration is required. This session is full.

Healthcare professionals and others dedicated to end-of-life care face increasing institutional constraints, exposure to intense suffering, multiple deaths, the potential for secondary trauma and emotional exhaustion that can dramatically impact the clinician’s personal well-being and their ability to offer patients the best care possible. These stressors can contribute to self-neglect, distancing from patients and a disconnection from their motivating intention to serve. 

During this half-day seminar, participants will explore three key elements that support healthy, renewing and sustainable ways to work in the current environment that leads to an experience that is invigorating, rather than depleting. The development of self awareness leads to self-responsibility, an ability to concentrate on tasks, emotional resilience, self-knowledge and an integrated sense of well-being. Cultivating compassion fosters self care and an empathetic engagement with patients that is present-time oriented, well-boundaried and sensitively attuned. Self-awareness and compassion combine with the skillful action necessary to serve others effectively with gratitude and commitment. Participants learn to listen deeply, communicate clearly, work collaboratively with colleagues and provide care that is relationship-centered.

Frank Ostaseski is a dynamic and visionary Buddhist teacher and international lecturer. In 1987, he co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2004, he created the Metta Institute to provide broad-based education on mindful and compassionate end-of-life care. He is a frequent keynote speaker for healthcare organizations such as Harvard, the Mayo Clinic and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. His groundbreaking work has been widely featured in the media, including the Bill Moyers television series On Our Own Terms, The Oprah Winfrey Show and in numerous print publications. In 2001, he was honored by the Dalai Lama for his years of compassionate service to the dying and their families. For more information, please visit www.mettainstitute.org.

These sessions are made possible by the generous support of Essentia Health, Merrill Lynch Sieh Yung Group, St. Luke’s Foundation and the Miller-Dwan Foundation.

The Color Dash 5k Run/Walk for Amberwing

February 12th, 2014


The Miller-Dwan Foundation is bringing the world’s brightest 5k to Duluth’s Bayfront Festival Park on Sunday, May 18. The latest craze in 5ks, The Color Dash is a hugely popular, untimed, family-friendly run/walk that will raise money for Amberwing by dousing participants in color explosions as they make their way along a 5k route.

The Color Dash is colorful fun mess with no winners or official times, and it’s perfect for anyone from families with kids, to college students, to co-workers! The event will also include color explosions, live music, food vendors, giveaways and more fun activities for participants and spectators.

Join the party at www.thecolordash5k.com. Tickets are $35 for teams, $40 for individuals and $85 for families of three, with $15 for each additional family member, up to six, who live in the same household.

The Color Dash 5k Run/Walk for Amberwing is presented by the College of St. Scholastica. Additional sponsors are Essentia Health, NU92, Duluth Running Company, National Bank of Commerce, The Edge Pilates, Northland’s NewsCenter, Arrowhead Printing, Upper Lakes Foods, Jane Cane Photography, Nordic Waste, Duluth Fire Department and UMD Health Services.

Proceeds from The Color Dash 5k will benefit Amberwing – Center for Youth & Family Well-Being. Amberwing is an outpatient wellness center in Duluth that provides mental health and substance abuse treatment and ongoing support to children and young adults from birth through age 25. The center employs evidence-based practices and innovative, holistic care to the patient and the family. Amberwing is a charitable project of the Miller-Dwan Foundation, and care is provided by Essentia Health-Duluth.

The Color Dash is a Minnesota-based organization whose mission is to raise local money for local causes. In 2013, The Color Dash helped local organizations raise more than $287,390 for their communities.