Leadership

Executive Committee

BOARD CHAIR

Mary Ellen Wells

U of M Schools of Public Health
Member since 2017

“My core purpose is healing…it’s about people healing…that, combined with a lifelong commitment to giving, led me to the organization.”

Mary Ellen Wells

VICE CHAIR

Deborah Laxson

Founder, Heath Care Agent
Member since 2018

“The Health Care Directive really becomes the anchor on how to make the best decisions for our loved ones.”

Deborah Laxson

TREASURER

Joy Hornung

Public Accounting—Operations Manager, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Member since 2016

“As a parent of grown children, I would hate for them to have to guess what I want…so I think having the Advance Care Plan is very important for all ages.”

Joy Hornung

SECRETARY

Patricia Bresser

St. Cloud State University
Faculty Emerita
Member since 2015

“I think Advanced Care Planning is one of the critical issues for twenty-first century health care, and there are a lot of critical issues for twenty-first century health care.”

Patricia Bresser

Staff

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lynn MacKenzie

“I had to make some very difficult decisions on behalf of my husband…but I could make those decisions with a clear conscience because we had talked about it and I knew what his wishes were.”

Lynn MacKenzie

Board Members

BOARD MEMBER

Michelle Jaskolka

Palliative Care Coordinator, CentraCare Health
Member since 2017

“Anyone who is not familiar with what Advance Care Planning is or what Light the Legacy does really just needs to know that they have the power to ask the questions…everybody has a voice…it’s all about putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your own care.”

–Michelle Jaskolka

BOARD MEMBER

Merryn Jolkovsky, MD

Palliative Care Physician, CentraCare Health
Member since 2015

“It finally occurred to me to ask ‘what’s wrong with the care we’re giving [patients] that they’re not happy?’ I started focusing on the end of life issues then…”

Merryn Jolkovsky

BOARD MEMBER

Catherine “Cate” Anderson

Hospice Palliative Care Coordinator, St. Cloud VA HCS
Member since 2017

“I saw a lot of ‘bad’ deaths in my day as an RN and then I thought that it really doesn’t have to be this way…”

–Catherine “Cate” Anderson

BOARD MEMBER

Natalie Spiczka

Care Transitions Coordinator, St. Croix Hospice
Member since 2020

“When you go in to care for a loved one there’s no instruction book on how to care – having a Health Care Directive gives that guide to help your loved one.”

–Natalie Spiczka

NEW BOARD MEMBERS

Abdalle Jamaa

Spiritual Care Cultural Liaison, St. Cloud Hospital
Member since 2021

Sangheeta Jha

Faculty, St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Member since 2021

Kirsten Huepenbecker

Attorney
Member since 2021