Expanding equitable health care and healthy living in Cook County
Closing Care Gaps
The North Shore Health Care Foundation works to address health care gaps and needs in Cook County. We believe in the possibilities of people, organizations, businesses, and governments working together to create healthy communities for all in Cook County.
We believe health is not just the absence of illness, but that a healthy community is reflected in the health of individuals which is embodied in prevention and education regarding health; a community that maintains health through its systems of food, housing, employment, clean water, clean air, healthy exercise and social norms; and access to quality, affordable health care for all.
Our primary contributions for creating a healthy Cook County lie in our ability to provide and leverage funding, provide educational opportunities including convening community partners to address critical health issues facing the community, and by advocating with others to help us achieve a healthy community. Where gaps exist, the Foundation also develops and incubates programs to address critical needs.
Board of Directors & Staff
Our Board of Directors is dedicated to making positive change and being a bright light for local health care providers, emergency services, and community groups implementing equitable health-focused programming. Directors serve three-year terms and are appointed through an application process. The Foundation also has opportunities to serve on committees, in the office or for special events. If you might be interested in joining our team, contact our Executive Director for more information.
Ms. Andress believes that collaborative thought done in the spirit of community is the key to being effective and building the necessary trust to maintain relational sustainability. This is a valuable understanding Andress has learned on her journey as a leadership advisor, working with a variety of business and non-profit organizations. Her book Kai-Zen: Breathing Life into Leadership communicates how these principles breathe life, not only into leadership, but also inspire people to work together for the well-being of all.
After moving to the Lutsen area of Cook County from Denver, Inger sensed a calling to understand how to come alongside this community and encourage collaboration. For Andress, it has been a joy to participate in local events, consult businesses and meet with a variety of leaders, listening to the heartbeat of what makes Cook County tick.
“These are exciting times, and I am glad that NSHCF has been a part of leading the way in exemplifying how to serve the community of Cook County.”
Mike Boomer lives in Grand Portage MN with his wife of 31 years Lori, “Sam”. Mike and Lori own and operate Ryden’s Border Store & Duty Free. This is a 3rd generation business actively involved in the Grand Portage community. Mike and Lori have two children, Brea and Kale both growing up in Cook County attending Grand Portage schools and graduating from I.S.D. 166. Brea and Kale went on to get college degrees and are now pursuing life dreams and challenges.
Mike was an assistant Football coach for the Cook County Vikings for over 23 years coaching under Lyle Anderson, Mitch Dorr and Mike Prom. He continues to have positive interactions with many of the young men he coached and holds those relationships in very high regard. Boomer was also part of the leadership team that built the Mt Rose Community Church (Maamawiitawin) in Grand Portage. Mike also developed a course for dads who attended Early Childhood Development classes offered by Adult Community Education called F.A.N. (Fathers Are Needed) and taught this for several years.
I have always been on the other side of non-profits (Okontoe and Coldwater) either via financial support or volunteering in some form. I am looking forward to being more involved in nuts and bolts of the North Shore Health Care Foundation. I am also interested in helping bridge the east end of the county with Grand Marais. We can be isolated out here, and I look forward to positive, results-orientated resolutions to issues effecting all families in our community.
Patty and her husband, Paul, live in Grand Marais. Patty and her husband have been visiting the Grand Marais area for many years, purchasing their first home in Grand Marais in 2013. In 2018, Patty and her husband achieved their goal of moving to Cook County and becoming permanent residents. Patty grew up in southwestern Minnesota and is pleased to return to her “home state!” She and her husband feel blessed to live in a place that offers peaceful scenery and a variety of outdoor activities during all seasons.
Patty is professor at Rasmussen University, teaching in the Justice Studies and Paralegal online programs. She enjoys the opportunity to help students further develop their skills and knowledge for success in the legal field through serving their communities.
Patty is honored to serve on the NSHCF Board having the opportunity to learn more about my community and to become an active member, working to improve and maintain the health or our community.
She looks forward to helping to establish and enhance partnerships between community members, businesses, and government organizations to meet the health needs of Cook County for the future, with a focus on meeting the needs of the aging population.
Patty’s other legal experience includes private law practice and serving as an assistant Fargo City attorney, wording in the areas of prosecution and other city matters including planning and zoning, building and code enforcement, and litigation.
In her free time, Patty enjoys traveling, gardening, and outdoor activities with her husband, Paul. She has two awesome step-daughters and large extended family who she frequently is trying to convince to relocate to Cook County.
Barb Bernardy-RoseBoard Member
Following a 40+ year career as an RN in a variety of settings, Barb identifies as a community nurse most recently providing direct care, education and support to individuals and families at St Paul’s Health Care for the Homeless, the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center, and Woodland Hills in Duluth.
Her interest in patient education led her to become a licensed parent educator with the South Washington County School district Outreach program, where she enjoyed “filling the gaps”. Barb’s responsibilities included facilitating groups, home visiting, writing curriculum for teen parents and childbirth education classes, teaching GED and ABE, developing a comprehensive program for new parents, supervising the School Age Family Education program, and collaborating with the medical, school and business communities.
A former Lutsenite and frequent visitor to Cook County, she is delighted to have been able to retire and move permanently to the Shore. With her daughter, son-in-law, and three of her seven grandchildren, she is enjoying life on the east end of the county, in Hovland. An avid reader, crafter, and back roads explorer, she looks forward to putting her energy into serving her neighbors as a North Shore Health Care Foundation Board member.
Anna Cariad-BarrettBoard Member
In her work, Anna explores how the human-nature relationship creates wellbeing and wholeness. She is the author of two books, Shamanic Wisdom for Pregnancy and Parenthood, and Sacred Medicine of Bee, Butterfly, Earthworm, and Spider. Anna has worked with children, families, and individuals as a counselor and minister, and has a Doctorate of Ministry, Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family, and Bachelor’s Degree in Family Social Science.
Anna teaches and volunteers as a Master Gardener in Cook County, and you can often find her working in her pollinator garden. Indoors, Anna loves to knit, do crosswords, and tend her orchid collection. She loves connecting with nature in every season: cross-country skiing, hiking, kayaking, birdwatching, and spending time along the shores of Lake Superior. She is the mother of two awesome elementary-aged kids, and also a devoted dog-mom.
Michael HeroBoard Member
Mike Hero has been a year-round resident of Cook County since 2006. He has been a practicing Attorney for 40 years. He previously served for 24 years as a President and Trustee of Laura Baker Services Association, an organization dedicated to the care of persons with developmental disabilities, and served from 2006 to 2020 as Corporate Secretary and Director of Heywood Bancshares Inc., a national bank holding company.
Coralyn KoschinskaBoard Member
Coralyn was born and raised on the east side of St. Paul, Minnesota. She and husband Greg have been their married life living in Minneapolis and the suburbs raising three children and volunteering in numerous capacities.
The Koschinskas then built their home and moved to the North Shore in 1996, where Coralyn has been involved in several non-profit organizations, including:
- West End Garden Club, Treasurer
- Schroeder Area Historical Society President during the renovation of the Cross River Heritage Center and the first several years of operation.
- We Connect, Chair of the Board. WE Connect is a community organization in the West End serving elders and families.
“Helping to further the health and well-being of citizens and visitors to Cook County through community programs is supremely important to all of us and is deserving of our best efforts to make changes that will improve the quality of life for all people. The North Shore Health Care Foundation is doing its best to help realize this goal and I am proud to be a part of this.”
Working at Seagull Lake during summers as a college student, Sue fell in love with the area and promised to make her home here one day. It took 40 years but that goal was achieved in 2021, when Sue moved full-time to Grand Marais. In the intervening years, Sue graduated from St. Catherine’s College with a degree in Occupational Therapy, working for a number of years in that field until deciding to put that professional work on hold to concentrate on parenting 6 children. She became a licensed Realtor in 2004 and since 1996 has owned and operated a number of residential investment properties. Whenever it was possible, a trip to the North Shore or the Gunflint Trail has been a priority.
Community involvement has also been important. Sue has served on a neighborhood board for the City of St. Paul and has volunteered on school and church committees. As a Realtor, Sue has placed an emphasis on helping people with economic challenges achieve homeownership and on increasing diversity in the Real Estate profession. She acted as a mentor to new real estate agents and was the Chairperson of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors.
Sue and her husband, Bill are putting down roots in Cook County. It is an honor to be involved in the important work of the Northshore Health Care Foundation helping to promote personal and public health.
Valerie Marasco EliasenExecutive Director
Our Executive Director, Valerie, is an energetic, visionary leader with an innate ability to make things happen, bring ideas to life and bring people together. A former Director of the Office of Emergency Management & Public Information for Cook County, she served as the Emergency Manager and Communication Director for the Sheriff’s Office and county government. Valerie also chaired the Pigeon River International Emergency Management Committee which brings together all emergency services agencies including Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Homeland Security & Emergency Management, Public Health and Customs/Border services between Cook County, Minnesota and Thunder Bay, Ontario, and helped execute the first-ever MN/ON international cross-border emergency services mutual assistance agreement, recently signed in 2019.
Prior to coming back to her home state, she served with the City of Thunder Bay as the Supervisor of Corporate Communications and PIO for the Emergency Operations Control Group and a member of the City Manager’s leadership team for more than a decade helping to develop and implement many capital projects and community development programs for the city of 120,000. In 2003, after immigrating to Canada from Minneapolis, she co-founded and operated a private public relations and marketing firm. She is an honor graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and La Universidad de Guadalajara Mexico, and holds a double BA in Communications & Public Relations and Spanish.
Georgene DaubantonExecutive Assistant
CEO – Sawtooth Mountain Clinic
513 W 5th Ave
Grand Marais, MN 55604
CEO/Administrator – North Shore Health Hospital & Care Center
515 W 5th Ave
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Julie Wilson, Executive Director
Care Partners of Cook County
513 W 5 th Ave, Suite 106
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Cook County Emergency Management
411 W 2 nd St
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Values In All We Do
We believe in the possibilities of people, organizations, businesses and governments working together to create a healthy community for all in Cook County. Our values represent what we believe in, what we stand for and how we approach everything we do at the North Shore Health Care Foundation. They provide a guideline for making decisions at all levels of our organization and include:
- Responsible stewardship
- Collaboration and partnerships
- Efficient and effective governance
- Inherent dignity
- Being nimble
A Little Goes a Long Way
By giving to the Foundation, you can support a variety of valuable programs and services dedicated to health care, emergency services, education and healthy living in a single donation. Be a partner in your own health system.
Have an initiative that helps work towards our vision of a healthy community for all in Cook County? You could be eligible for a NSHCF grant.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
The North Shore Health Care Foundation (NSHCF) strives to act inclusively in all that it does. The NSHCF recognizes the diversity of human differences, and values the inherent worth of all people. NSHCF does its work with compassion and inclusivity by creating healthy communities with partners and in the conduct of its business internally. The NSHCF recognizes that health and well-being are directly connected to honoring the truth and wholeness of each person. Toward that end it strives to respect and support diverse identities in the communities it serves. The NSHCF endeavors to be nimble and open to teachings from those communities so that it can serve as an ally and partner in creating greater equity and inclusion for all in Cook County. The NSHCF ask all partners and grantees to honor these values in our work together.