People and Places – September 2016

Miracle Field is dedicated The Paul Adelman Miracle Field, located at Bridge View and Focus Beyond public schools at 360 Colborne St. […]

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Miracle Field is dedicated

The Paul Adelman Miracle Field, located at Bridge View and Focus Beyond public schools at 360 Colborne St. in St. Paul, was dedicated this summer. The field is the 11th Minnesota Miracle League. It gives young baseball players with special needs a chance to play baseball, according to the Miracle League. Bridge View and Focus Beyond have about 400 students with special needs.

Work on the field began several months ago. Miracle League fields are custom-designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walking devices while preventing injuries. It will provide young athletes from St. Paul and surrounding areas to have a home field for their games and tournaments.

The Paul Adelman Foundation provided a generous donation for the field. Other donors included the Finish Line Youth Foundation, Unilever, North St. Paul Suburban Kiwanis Club, Matrix Communication, Minnesota Twins Community Fund, Network Design, and TCI – Architects, Engineers, Contractor.

The Miracle League of Minnesota is a non-profit organization that provides “Every child the opportunity to play baseball.” For more information, visit


ARRM selects new leader

Cheryl Pray is the new chief executive officer for ARRM, succeeding longtime leader Bruce Nelson. Pray took the helm September 6.

Pray is a 20-year veteran in nonprofit management whose career is rooted in advocating for people with disabilities and those who support them. She began as a case counselor in a residential facility for people with disabilities, helped shape the Americans with Disabilities Act, and most recently as the state director
for March of Dimes successfully advocated for the passage of newborn screening legislation in Minnesota.

She is a board member for Self-Driving US, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that autonomous vehicle technology delivers accessible, equitable and affordable transportation to people with disabilities. Pray is also an American Sign Language interpreter. “Now more than ever the critical issues facing ARRM members demand a strong voice to ensure people with disabilities in Minnesota are living, learning, working and enjoying life in the most integrated and independent setting. I have to provide the leadership and vision to promote the extraordinary care and services provided to people with disabilities by ARRM members,” Pray said.

As a new leader is welcomed, everyone at ARRM expressed thanks for Nelson’s many years of service. During his tenure, Nelson oversaw several successful efforts to improve the support for people with disabilities and their families while at ARRM. He is happily retiring to California to pursue new passions. He will remain in an advisory role for a short time to assist with the leadership transition as ARRM prepares for an active 2017 legislative session.

“I am forever grateful to have been part of major reforms and many rate increases over the past 21 years,” Nelson said. “To be honest, the brain power and much of the hard work came from our staff and many, many members who volunteered thousands of hours and designed reforms that have improved the quality of life for Minnesotans with disabilities.” A farewell for Nelson is planned for September 15.

Check for details.


People and places - tournament


Guild names board members

Guild Incorporated, a provider of services for people with mental illness, has appointed three new board members. Tom Halverson, chief financial officer for QualiTech, Sarah Kottke, lead physician for geriatric psychiatry at United Hospital at Allina Health, and Bjorn Westgard, a practicing emergency physician, medical anthropologist and researcher, are the new board members.

Halverson brings extensive experience in financial leadership, strategy, and management as well as collaborative relationship building. After relocating from Chicago in 2009, Halverson had the “good fortune” to meet George Broostin, Guild’s development director. He’s been active as a Guild ambassador ever since. With upcoming plans to retire next year, it was the perfect time to increase his involvement.

Kottke provides inpatient geriatric psychiatry care in addition to psychiatric consultation for both adult inpatient psychiatry and a partial hospitalization program. She has worked with Guild throughout her training as a psychiatrist as well as a psychiatric provider at United Hospital.

Westgard is a practicing emergency physician, medical anthropologist, and researcher at Regions Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, and the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research. Westgard is also studying healthcare disparities and how they manifest in the emergency department to develop ways of working with patients, community members and providers to improve care and costs.



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