Miller-Dwan Foundation: 2020 Year in Review

Well, we’ve almost made it. The end of 2020 is almost here and we can then literally say, “Hindsight is 2020.” All jokes aside, 2020 was a wild year. Unexpected, unprecedented, unbelievable.

While we hope that 2021 will bring a bit more love and light to the picture, we have to admit that there were some aspects of this year that were beyond incredible. We wanted to share some of the highlights of our year with you, as your support is the reason we get to do the work that we do.


We moved!

We moved from our first floor office to the lobby level of the Miller-Dwan Building, not far from Lakewinds Cafeteria. We held an open house when we were all settled, complete with popcorn and root beer floats.

Superior PHP opens

The community gathered for an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony with the Superior Chamber of Commerce for the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) at the Essentia Health St. Mary’s Superior clinic. The PHP is a multi-disciplinary, group-based, intensive program for adults who are struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. For more information about the program, call 715-817-7188.

RSM gift

The incredible group at RSM teamed up to raise $8,764 for Amberwing and children’s health and well-being in our community.


National Love Your Pet Day
Every day is National Love Your Pet Day but the official holiday is February 20. Animals play a huge role in our daily lives both in the office and at home, and we love to show off our pets whenever we can. Click here to read about the pets of the Miller-Dwan Foundation staff. We just love our pets (and all animals for that matter)!

Farmer’s Mental Health Program

Farmers in northern Minnesota feeling the stress of the pandemic can now find mental health services with the  Lake Superior Community Health Center, thanks to a grant from the Miller-Dwan Foundation. Click below for more information about the program.

Almanac North
Duluth News Tribune


Miller-Dwan Foundation staff starts working from home
As with much of the world, we packed up what we thought we might need for a bit on Friday, March 14 and the rest is history. We found a rhythm fairly quickly and are fortunate to have a dependable and cohesive team.

Beyond the Headlines: Mental Health Access in the Northland
KBJR highlights the importance of mental health awareness with the Beyond the Headlines: Mental Health Access in the Northland series, featuring Amberwing Psychiatrist Dr. Steven Sutherland.


Miller-Dwan Foundation Board of Directors meets virtually for the first time.

We appreciate their time, talents and ability to change with the times. We held our April board meeting on Zoom and while nothing compares to being face-to-face, this is our new normal and we are continuing to make a positive difference in the lives of those in our community every day.

Miller-Dwan Foundation Annual Report is released 

As the donors, friends, patients and families touched by the Miller-Dwan Foundation, kindness defines us. It’s all around us. Fostering hope. Building community. Repairing relationships. Saving lives. And it’s clearly in us, displayed daily in generous acts and brave choices, in your gracious gifts and the quiet strength of your compassion.

Our Powerful Kind responds to crisis, heals unseen wounds and transforms suffering into possibility. It is the kindness that moves mountains.

Click here to view the full report and hear from Peter, Debbie, Kevin, Jack and Jennifer.


Virtual therapy is the new norm

Zeek is a six-year-old with endless energy and a smile that makes the world better. He’s doing virtual physical therapy with his physical therapist, Kyle, and is making great progress. Here he walks across the room, with the promise of a Sasquatch drawing. Read the full story here.

Meet Nate. Nate is a 17-year-old student from International Falls. Like so many teens, he was recently going through a hard time and needed some help. And that help came from Amberwing: Center for Youth and Family Well-Being. In Nate’s words, “The PHP program improved me and helped me learn skills to use in my everyday life. My relationships are building up again with family and friends, and I am happier. My time at Amberwing saved my life.” Click here to read more.


Mary Dwan passes away

We lost of a legacy, a friend, a compatriot and benefactor. Mary Dwan passed away on June 28, 2020 at the age of 91. As a leader for the health of our region and a visionary with a quick wit and strength of character, her legacy endures through the Miller-Dwan Foundation and her community. We’ll miss you, Mary Dwan.

Virtual tour – Solvay Hospice House

Solvay Hospice House is a peaceful place that allows people to spend their time in the most meaningful way possible. A place where patients, families and friends are supported. A place to reconcile and remember. A place of dignity, comfort and peace. Click here to take a virtual tour of the Solvay Hospice House.


Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center moves to the Miller Hill Health Plaza

The Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center has moved into its new location, and is better than ever. It is a highly-specialized, advanced-care healing space and every detail was thought of with patients and staff in mind. It is an exciting time and a new chapter for Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center.


Maria Bamford has an important message in support of CyberCetera

Duluth native, Maria Bamford, shared a message ahead of our first-ever virtual gala. We are thrilled to have her support!

Fox 21 features Amberwing

Fox 21 sat down with Maren Barootian, a psychotherapist at Amberwing, to discuss mental health concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read and watch the full story here.


First ever virtual ARTcetera = CyberCetera!

Our first ever virtual gala Cybercetera hit the mark, giving us the chance to help Amberwing: Center for Youth and Family Well-Being youth through new and innovative mental health and substance use programming. Watch the full virtual event here!


Amberwing DBT Video Series
The new Amberwing DBT Video Series is launched! It features Amberwing staff in comical, yet realistic, sketches with ways to cope with everyday life. These videos are incredible tools that can be used in schools, at work and at home. Be sure to share them with your family, friends and colleagues.


National Hospice Month partnership with Super One Foods helped raise $23,023 for Solvay Hospice House!

Thanks to Super One Foods and our incredible region for your support during National Hospice Month! Because of your generosity, we raised $23,023 with 100% going to Solvay Hospice House. We are so appreciative of your continued support and this important partnership with Super One.


Lou Ann, our therapy dog in training, turned 2 years old! She is such a good girl and cannot wait to be back to work, providing some smiles from those who meet and support for those that need it.

Now, let’s hope we don’t see the clocks turns from 11:59 to 11:60 on New Year’s Eve! Be safe and enjoy the new year.

(click here to see our 2019 year in review video!)

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