2023 Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative Annual Report

As a non-profit volunteer organization providing short-term non-emergency and non-medical wellness services to the residents of Big Canoe since November 2015, the Wellness Collaborative proudly celebrated the delivery of our 2,000th service program in 2022. We’ve continued to grow the organization by expanding the variety of services offered. In addition to our core service programs of Info (intake and referrals), Meals, Rides, and Visits, participation increased last year in our Support Groups program, blood drives, and educational presentations while we continued our vaccine clinics and co-sponsored CPR classes with Public Safety.

Another accomplishment last year was the completion of strategic planning activities by the board of directors as input to our 2023 goals. We’ve also gone through the transitions that all boards experience as terms expire and organizations evolve. However, we feel very fortunate to have recruited terrific new board members.

First of all, we want to thank Dr. Ross Milley and Jim Braley for their valuable service on the board. Ross joined just before the pandemic hit and provided us with important guidance with his medical experience, helping us establish appropriate safety protocols to keep our volunteers and clients safe during this challenging time. Jim was instrumental in the creation of the Wellness Collaborative and has served as VP of the board for several years. His vast experience with the POA and Big Canoe organizations and his principled perspective has been a big key to our success.

As we bid a fond farewell to Ross and Jim, we’re welcoming three great new board members: Sharon McCoy, Kathy Niemann and Sandy Pullara. Sharon is a lawyer working on elder care issues at the McCoy Law Firm with her husband. Kathy is a retired RN with 36 years of experience, which includes working as a case manager to promote short and long-term actions to improve her patients’ health. Kathy has taken on the role of board secretary. Sandy held financial executive positions with several healthcare organizations and, most recently, was the chair of the POA’s finance committee, where their recommendations better positioned Big Canoe financially. All are passionate about the mission of the Collaborative.

They join the excellent team of board President-elect Allan DeNiro, outgoing President Shiraz Alikhan, VP Jack Schroder, Treasurer Gayle Falinski, Steering Committee Advisor Linda Ricklef, Steering Committee Chair Diane LaCharite, Chapel Representative Judy Bellenger, and communications and marketing specialist Mark de la Vina.

If you would like more information about our services or have interest in volunteering or making a donation, please visit our website.


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