Published on June 21, 2021

Endowment Helps Community Age Well

Linda Kiefner smiling at the camera with children gathered in the background

“Each dimension was presented by an expert guest speaker. Getting the facts was important—but the group discussions added unique value to this class and helped keep me accountable,” reflected Linda Kiefner, a participant and retired teacher.

Everyone shares the desire to age happily and well. That’s why seats filled up for the first-ever Aging Mastery class offered in Brainerd Lakes this past fall. Thanks to funding through the Essentia Health Community Health Endowment, Crow Wing Energized, and Juniper launched this eight-week class for community members age 50+ who are interested in the six dimensions of aging well: personal health and well-being, gratitude and mindfulness, finances and future planning, connections and community, creativity and learning, and legacy and purpose.

The program empowers participants to make and maintain small but impactful changes. “Each dimension was presented by an expert guest speaker. Getting the facts was important—but the group discussions added unique value to this class and helped keep me accountable,” reflected Linda Kiefner, a participant and retired teacher.

The Aging Mastery sessions were offered at no cost via Zoom, and the group enjoyed not only educational content but also new friendships. One of the program goals is to support people in taking steps to improve their lives via deeper engagement in their community. The inaugural group took this challenge to heart and opted to continue their cohort for another eight-week class. Linda is even fulfilling part of her community and connection wellness dimensions by serving as the next group’s co-facilitator!

The practical information, tools, and peer support created an encouraging springboard for all participants looking ahead to a new season of life. One member shared, “I was a little worried about retirement, but this class has given me the courage to find my new purpose.”

Founded in 2013, Essentia Health and Crow Wing County have partnered to provide programs—like Aging Mastery—that redefine how the people of Brainerd Lakes perceive wellness.

The Community Health Endowment Fund serves as a sustainable funding source for community health programming well into the future. Our goal is to raise $1 million to ensure that vital community health programming remains a permanent resource for our area for generations to come—and to date, we are halfway to our goal! We invite you to help us raise the final $500,000. Your gift of any size helps make programs like Aging Mastery possible and enriches the lives of our community.

Make your gift online today, or discuss a gift of stock or appreciated assets by contacting David Jeremiason at David.Jeremiason@EssentiaHealth.org or 218-820-6893.

How to Make an Online Donation

Visit our Give a Gift page and select from our list of Essentia Health campaigns and local foundations.

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