The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.


Saying Goodbye to Helen

Lisa Foss OlsonBy Lisa Foss Olson, Director of Public Relations & Communications, Care Providers of Minnesota
June 22, 2018  |  All members

It was December 22, 2014, when we first met Helen. She was just one of several individuals at Woodbury Senior Living being filmed that day for a new statewide campaign to raise awareness around aging. But right off the bat, there was something about Helen Miller—you could see it in her eyes. Yes, her body was older, but Helen was still vibrant, and full of life, ideas, and joy.

Helen Miller photos
December 2014: Kathy Dunleavy & Helen Miller (left); photo shoot for the start of the campaign (right)

At the January 2015 press conference at the Capitol to officially kick off the campaign, it was Helen’s captivating face on a poster board that stood front and center—along with Representative Joe Schomacker and Senator Tony Lourey—drawing attention to this important campaign. 

Helen Miller photos
January 2015: Campaign kick-off (left); Rep. Joe Schomacker & CPM President/CEO Patti Cullen with Helen’s poster (right)

At our annual Day at the Capitol a few months later…there stood Helen—well, it was her picture at the front of the room—that legislators stood by as they talked about reforms to benefit seniors and caregivers.

Helen was a hit. At an event held in her honor that summer, Helen held audience with legislators who listened to her stories and admired her hobby of painting, including Representative Kurt Daudt. Later that year, Helen, along with Kathy Dunleavy and Margaret Wachholz (Woodbury Senior Living), were presented with our Grassroots Advocacy Award for their combined efforts in advocating for senior care issues. 

Helen Miller photos
Rep. Kurt Daudt admires Helen’s paintings (left); Patti Cullen & Tom Pollock present Helen, Kathy, Margaret with award (right)

Helen Miller photoShe was the face of the initial Face Aging Minnesota campaign—but then her advocacy took off in a different direction as her blogging career began. Over these past few years, Helen has diligently blogged about issues close to her heart.

There was so much we learned about and from this spunky woman. She blogged about trying new things (she began painting in her 50s), the importance of travel, catching that big fish, her transition to hospice in April of this year, and to her final blog for Mother’s Day.

Though there are other faces now associated with Face Aging MN, it is Helen, the first poster woman and spokesperson, who remains in our hearts and will be missed. 

Find out more about Helen here

Lisa Foss Olson  | Director of Public Relations & Communications  |  |  952-851-2483

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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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