My Personal Healing Winds Vermont Story
I’m a lifelong fan of the healing elements in nature – water in particular. My mother’s side hails from the island province of Newfoundland and my father’s family has spent decades regularly enjoying the Jersey Shore. I deeply understand the peace and power that being on, in and near the water can bring.
In 2018, I received the profound gift of being a Healing Winds Vermont nominee. It was a perfect summer evening and one I’ll always remember. I was moving through my breast cancer journey and invited some of my loved ones to join me. Being on our gorgeous Lake Champlain with people I adore was both meaningful and memorable. I particularly enjoyed sitting privately with each of them on a different section of the boat (it’s a big boat!) and thanking them for their kindness and support over the past few months. The beautiful sail was a gesture of gratitude that I was able to share with those who had been standing steadfastly by me.
Communications and Health Care
I have worked in communications and engagement strategies for almost 30 years. The past 11 have been with The University of Vermont Medical Center and The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. I have been committed to reducing stress and anxiety for patients and their families as they navigated health challenges and the health system through refining communications, developing educational offerings and looking at what is needed through the eyes of a patient. I have also had the honor of producing “First with Kids” a weekly health segment that features The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital’s Chief of Pediatrics, Lewis First, MD.
I am grateful for my existing relationships with The University of Vermont Health Network, The University of Vermont Cancer Center, and The Larner College of Medicine, as their patients and families are the people we serve at Healing Winds Vermont. When the opportunity came to be Executive Director of Healing Winds Vermont, I chose to embrace it. It’s been a long road leading me here.
A Parallel Path
Over 18 years ago, I began a parallel path of multiple certifications, registrations and trainings in healing arts, movement practices, evidence-based health and wellness coaching, holistic cancer coaching and community-based volunteering. I’ve had longtime Board and committee involvement with Lyric Theatre Company and Girls Night Out Productions, acting with both of them, as well as with Essex Community Players and Shelburne Players. I’ve also volunteered with Yoga4Cancer, Stowe Weekend of Hope and more.
This feels like the perfect time in my life to integrate these areas of talent, knowledge and life experience: communications, leadership, community engagement and influencing healing.
My Promise to You
I promise to bring to our interactions an understanding of what cancer can be like, as well as strong optimism, a fierce heart, a boatload of creativity, appreciation for the importance of living in the moment and a commitment to offering one tiny little gem to the world each day – through intention, word or action.
I understand how chronic stress can hijack peace of mind and negatively impact your health and healing journey. I also realize that sometimes “healed” doesn’t mean “cured.” Healing Winds Vermont’s mission of supporting Vermonters who are in need of a healing escape on our largest water “playground” is one that deeply resonates. It’s about gracefully holding space for people while they are surrounded by the magic of nature and loving connection.