2022 Miller-Dwan Foundation Year in Review

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As we reflect on 2022, we are grateful, and in awe, of all that has happened. We are thankful that you’ve been by our side.

Take a look back at some highlights from 2022



We continue to focus our work on our strategic planning journey that began in May of 2021. We knew it was time to make some changes to the work we do, not because something was wrong, but 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. Learn more about HopeX.

In addition, our partnership with University of Wisconsin-Superior was solidified with ongoing meetings to culminate in a solution to Douglas County’s mental health crisis.


We were pleased to welcome Carl Crawford, Dr. Brad Davis and Missy Meierhoff to our Board of Directors. Our board is our foundation, and we are so fortunate to have added these three to the group. Meet them and our board.


Miller-Dwan Foundation helped bring virtual reality to physical rehabilitation. Learn more about how rehabilitation therapists are using VR units to help individual patients focus on range of motion, balance, cognition and more.


Our annual report Unseen was published. When we come together to see beyond barriers and despair, we share hope and understanding with those around us. This is what drives our work: to see the unseen and address unmet needs. Through your generosity, Miller-Dwan Foundation is able to provide the financial support needed to elevate mental health care and physical rehabilitation, provide grace through end-of-life, and bring joy and peace in uncertain times. Read stories about how we are meeting unseen needs.

National Therapy Animal Day

We celebrated National Therapy Animal Day with some animal-assisted therapy in our office, with special guests Spirit and Gracie, mini therapy horses from Rocky Run Stables. Nova, the Newfie that owns our hearts, also visited.


Bring on the doggos! We got the green light to bring back some of our volunteer pet therapy teams and Gunner was the first out of the gate. We were so excited to welcome him and his owner Theresa, as well as the other pups. Learn more about animal-assisted therapy.

Amberwing 10th Anniversary

We were thrilled to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Amberwing – Center for Youth and Family Well-Being with the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 5,000 youth and their families have been positively impacted by the services provided by Amberwing. It has certainly been a decade of hope, healing and love. Learn more about Amberwing.


ARTcetera 2022

Our annual gala fundraiser was an incredible evening, with over $100,000 raised for mental health care in our region, and we couldn’t have been happier to be back in person. Learn more about ARTcetera 2023.


Through the LIVEWELL! Northern Wisconsin #BetterTogether initiative, we partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Superior to identify innovative ways to address the current mental health crisis in Douglas County. Read more about this initiative.


Rick Gertsema Joins Miller-Dwan Foundation Team

We were thrilled to welcome Rick Gertsema, Mental Health Senior Advisor, to our staff. Gertsema has worked in a variety of mental health care settings for over 40 years. Most recently, he has been Manager for Outpatient Behavioral Health at Essentia Health and has worked to solidify and strengthen outpatient services, as well as the entire mental health continuum within the hospital system. The experience and skills he will bring to Miller-Dwan Foundation are pivotal as we take on the renewed focus of eliminating the mental health crisis in our region.

“Having the privilege to help give voice to the mental health crisis in which we all live, being a part of bringing all of us together in creating solutions and creating hope, all while working with the highly respected team at Miller-Dwan Foundation is an incredible culmination of a 40+ year career in behavioral health,” said Gertsema.

Solvay/Super One Partnership Brings in Record-Breaking Donations

A heartfelt thank you to Super One Foods and our generous community for this incredible donation to Solvay Hospice House. Read more about this continued partnership.

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