Our Mission

Light The Legacy is a community-based organization dedicated to working collaboratively to improve end-of-life care for the people of Central Minnesota. We are positively impacting the quality of health care in our community by implementing comprehensive programs to facilitate patient- and family-centered end-of-life care, promoting informed decision-making, and encouraging conversations related to health care directives, hospice care, and palliative care.

Our History

Light the Legacy emerged in November 2009 as a community group of physicians, nurses, chaplains, administrators, and volunteers who came together with the common goal of improving end-of-life care in Central Minnesota. The multidisciplinary group included representatives from Heartland Hospice, St. Cloud Hospital Hospice/Home Care, V.A. Medical Center, St. Cloud Hospital Palliative Care Program, St. Cloud Hospital Pediatric Palliative Care Program, Coborn Cancer Center, Geriatric Services of Minnesota, Quiet Oaks Hospice House, and area nursing homes.

In January 2010, it was determined that a community project centering on advance care planning would have a significant and measurable impact on the level of care provided to patients in Central Minnesota. After attending a presentation by Dr. Ken Kephardt regarding the experience of the Fairview system with Honoring Choices, a Twin Cities advance care planning initiative, the local group decided this was how Light The Legacy was meant to proceed in its mission. Honoring Choices utilizes a staged approach to advance care planning as developed by Respecting Choices in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Partnering with and modeling itself after Honoring Choices, Light The Legacy began bringing this powerful movement to the St. Cloud area. Members of the original group and additional volunteers soon formed the Advance Directives Initiative Steering Committee in order to implement the project.

Light the Legacy’s current goal is to promote the utilization of health care directives by adults of all ages in Central Minnesota. In February 2011, our organization was awarded a grant from CentraCare Health Foundation that allowed us to begin implementation of a three-phased project. The first phase, involving planning and preparation, was executed successfully. This brought us to Phase 2, a pilot program to test our methods and perfect our program. We are excited to report that our first pilot project is well under way at Health Partners Central Minnesota Clinics under the direction of Dr. Patrick Lalley. We are now looking expectantly toward the completion of Phase 3, expansion and permanent establishment of Light The Legacy’s Honoring Choices-based program in Central Minnesota.

Board of Directors

President

VICKI MORGAN
Morgan Family Foundation
Professionally Retired
Annandale, MN
vicki@morganmemory.com

After practicing medicine as a nephrologist for more than 17 years, I realized that often patients were not satisfied with the care they were receiving, and I asked myself why that was so. I came to realize that medical professionals had neglected to take the viewpoint of patients into consideration as we designed treatment options. I believe we can do better, so in 2010, I shifted my practice to Palliative Care and dedicated myself to improving the care for patients nearing the end of life. As part of that mission, I joined with other community members to help found Light the Legacy, an organization dedicated to improving conversations about medical care near the end of life. I’m very proud to continue my involvement with LTL, as we improve medical care for our community.

Vice President

MERRYN JOLKOVSKY, MD
St Cloud Hospital
Physician Director of Transitional Care
St Cloud, MN
JolkovskyM@centracare.com

Secretary

PATRICIA “PATTY” BRESSER, RN *

Nursing Faculty
St. Cloud State University, Nursing Dept.
pjbresser@gmail.com

Treasurer

JOY HRNUNG, CPA

Operations Manager
Clifton Larson Allen
Joy.hornung@claconnect.com

Board Members

LAURA SCHERER, BSN, RN, CHPN
20 yrs. Home Care & Hospice experience
Annandale, MN
LschererRN@gmail.com

SHANE SMEBY, CPA

Terming & Ross Company
shanesmeby@yahoo.com

JENNY BAUERLY, RN, CNS
CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center
St Cloud, MN
bauerlyj@centracare.com

CHAD ROGGEMAN
Attorney
Rajkowski Hansmeier, Ltd.
St. Cloud, MN
chad@roggemanlaw.com

CATHERINE “CATE” ANDERSON
Palliative Care Coordinator
Catemarie3@icloud.net

NOLA VARILEK
Community Outreach
varilekn@gmail.com

Christopher Miller, MD
CentraCare Health Radiation Oncologist
Christopher.miller@centracare.com

Michelle Jaskolka
St Cloud Hospital
Coordinator, Palliative Care
Michelle.Jaskolka@centracare.com

Executive Director (Ex-Officio)

LYNN MACKENZIE
St. Cloud, MN
lynn@lightthelegacy.org

Lynn knows first hand how important it is to complete your health care directive when young and healthy. At age 39 years of age, Lynn’s first husband, Bruce was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and lost his battle 11 months later. After radiation and extensive chemotherapy, Bruce was eventually hospitalized and put on the ventilator – His choice! Thankfully, Lynn and Bruce completed their Health Care Directive years earlier when they were young and healthy. Lynn was appointed Bruce’s Health Care Agent. They had many conversations regarding Bruce’s health care wishes in the event he could no longer speak for himself. That scenario happened and Lynn found herself making some of the most difficult decisions of her life on her husbands behalf, but she could do so with peace of mind and confidence because Bruce left her with a road map (Health Care Directive). Lynn was not only grateful for Bruce’s Health Care Directive, but the many conversation they had long before ending up in the ICU unit. As Lynn would tell anyone – Completing your health care directive is one of the greatest gifts of love you can leave your loved ones.

LTL Board Assistant Secretary (Ex-Officio)

LYNN MACKENZIE
St. Cloud, MN
lynn@lightthelegacy.org