Here we are! 2021 is coming to a close and as we reflect on the past year, we are grateful, and in awe, of all that has happened. It’s been a wild ride and we are thankful that you’ve been by our side. Take a look back at some highlights from 2021.


Webinar Series

The Miller-Dwan Foundation started a monthly community webinar series, focusing on education, wellness and inspiration. Topics included Integrative Health, Personal and Professional Goal Setting, How to Feng Shui Your Life, etc.

Two of these webinars are available to view here:

DBT: Coping Skills that Change your Brain with Chelsey Harju

Advance Care Planning with Wanda Paulsen


March is audit season and we are pleased to report that we received a perfect audit from our audit firm, RSM.


Annual Report: STEADY

Our annual report is a place where we tell stories of people in our community whose lives have been impacted in a big way. The title of this year’s report was STEADY:

You see it in those who’ve weathered the worst. And feel it from those who nurture the best. A powerful presence, built out of resilience and compassion. It’s what defines the Miller-Dwan Foundation. And it’s expressed in the stories, lives and healing gifts of those who believe supporting our region’s health is more important than ever before.

All of the stories included were stories of resilience and compassion. Please take a minute to read the stories and watch the videos, if you haven’t already:

Abby: Emotional pain from the past can splash into life and relationships without warning. To brace those waves, the Fermenich family tunes into faith, humor and the tools they learned from Amberwing – Center for Youth & Family Well-Being.

Abby: Emotional pain from the past can splash into life and relationships without warning. To brace those waves, the Fermenich family tunes into faith, humor and the tools they learned from Amberwing – Center for Youth & Family Well-Being.

Wayne: COVID-19 knocked Wayne down, hard and fast. Over the next 3 months, he slowly got back up with the steady help of a dedicated team of rehabilitation specialists who were learning, like the rest of the world, how to adjust during a pandemic.

Kevin: Kristin Chederquist embraced some of the biggest challenges with bold love. In the last days of her life, Solvay Hospice House offered Kristin, Kevin and their family space to experience dignity, comfort and peace.

Kale: When your world is changing fast, both inside and around you, it helps to have the right people and skills to lean on. Kale Pierson and his family foun


Strategic planning

The Miller-Dwan Foundation embarked on a strategic planning journey in May of 2021. We knew it was time to makes some changes to the work we do, not because something was wrong rather because we wanted to be sure we were moving in the right direction. Our mission is big and broad, but we know philanthropy is shifting – so we are getting ready to shift. We are soon coming to the end of our planning and we cannot wait to share the details with you.

STEADY: A Miller-Dwan Foundation Magazine
Mental Health Edition

We published our first magazine! The idea for creating this resource was born out of many conversations with behavioral health and substance use disorder professionals throughout our region, along with our Foundation team personally witnessing the challenges kids, teens, and adults have been facing over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic turned everyone’s world upside down and has caused incredible levels of stress and loss.

We hope this resource will be positive boost, with accurate, effective information and high-quality resources you can seek out for further support.

Read the full magazine here.

Mental Health Awareness

We honored Mental Health Awareness Month a variety of ways, one by wearing green to raise awareness and help reduce the stigma of talking about mental illness.


Wow! After 421 days, we came back to the Miller-Dwan Foundation office. It was a smooth transition and it brought us so much joy to run in to our colleagues in meetings, in the hallway or cafeteria.

Lou Ann, our potential therapy dog, wasn’t ready to come back in June but she’s slowly starting to make appearances. She just turned three years old!

Meet Gabriela

Thanks to funds raised at ARTcetera 2020, we were able to hire a Psychotherapist Fellow at Amberwing. Gabriela started working full-speed ahead in June and is integrating more substance education and early intervention into patient’s mental health treatment. You can read more about Gabriela here.



ARTcetera 2021 was sadly cancelled due to rising cases of COVID-19. The health and safety of everyone involved was, and always will be, our top priority.

We opted out of a virtual event and instead had a NOcetera fundraising campaign and wow, did our community pull through! We raised an incredible $124,000! All of those funds will be put towards hiring a community-based DBT Coordinator.

Now more than ever, people everywhere will benefit from learning vital skills to help them cope. Please donate to help us provide community-wide mental health coping skills. These are the skills that can help anyone anywhere, no matter who they are. The same skills taught at Amberwing. Skills that save people’s lives.

This year may have been a “NOcetera” but with your compassionate support, we’ll never stop saying “YES” to our region’s health.


We had some staff photos taken in October. Thanks to the talented Mark Fitzgibbons of Fitz Photo, we landed some great pics, with Amberwing’s natural beauty provided the backdrop.


National Hospice Month

In honor of National Hospice Month, and for the fourteenth consecutive year, Super One Foods and the Miller-Dwan Foundation are partnered to raise funds for Solvay Hospice House. Fourteen regional Super One stores sold paper house ornaments for customers to purchase and bring home with their groceries or add to a display in the stores. Our generous community raised $18,288 this year. Over the past fourteen years, this campaign has raised more than $188,000, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting Solvay Hospice House.

Touchstone Award

We were honored to receive a Touchstone Award from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation for our mental health work in Superior, WI.

The Touchstone Award recognizes and celebrates programs or projects for their leadership in transforming problems into opportunities and service into action. The award recognizes non-profits that have gone above and beyond to improve the region by fostering Generosity, Civic Engagement and Inclusiveness.

Watch the video for more information about the Superior Partial Hospitalization Program.


Lou Ann turns 3

Our therapy dog ambassador, Lou Ann, turned three on December 1! It’s hard to believe this little 11-lb pupper is now full grown. We had a fun morning celebrating her birthday!

Throughout the entire year, we are grateful and beyond appreciative for our colleagues on the front lines in our overwhelmed health care systems. In addition, we’d like to give a standing ovation to science and the COVID-19 vaccine.

We look forward to connecting with you and continuing to improve the health of those in our region in the upcoming year. Onwards to 2022!

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Together we will realize our shared vision of a community free from mental health crisis.