Journeying With Care Partners

by outgoing Executive Director, Kay Grindland

I love that both Care Partners’ mission and vision— a community that is fully supported to navigate through our shared journeys of aging, chronic illness, and end-of-life—use the word journey. The road each person walks through these transitions is so unique. And yet, there are profound similarities, too, as we touch what it means to be human. It’s been an honor for me as part of Care Partners to walk with so many elders in our community for a part of the way.

I am so grateful for the journey I have had, leading Care Partners for the past thirteen years. It is amazing to think of the early days with community hospice volunteers, Dr. Sandy Stover, and others from the hospital, clinic, and North Shore Health Care Foundation. Judy Meath of the foundation was my mentor. Jeannette Lindgren, our first Care Coordinator, was my partner as we began to shape Care Partners and I learned about the field of aging and how to be an administrator. It’s been exciting over the years to see Care Partners grow its programs and find its niche.

It’s the people and programs that I hold most dear as I retire—People packing the clinic classroom for programs on dementia. Heart-felt moments of shared loss at Light Up a Life Ceremonies. The wonderful volunteers who keep showing up at trainings and meetings to share stories of their times with clients and the little things and
gestures that meant everything. Our clients—gracious, salty, tough, wise, humorous—who face what life brings them each day. The amazing staff and board members through the years, who brought their own brand of compassion, wisdom, and vision to the work. Jayne Johnson, our Board President, who has faithfully supported Care Partners and my leadership every step of the way. And finally, the Cook County Aging Coalition and its Aging Well Resources, culminating years of networking with other providers.

As I leave to enjoy a simpler life, Care Partners will be in good hands with our staff, volunteers, board, and all of our community partners and supporters. These are very challenging, shifting times and I am glad for the experience and direction Care Partners’ new Executive Director, Julie Wilson will bring. I know, together, they will rise to meet the journey ahead.

Open House for Kay Grindland

May 15 from 2pm – 4 pm

Grand Marais Rec Park Rec Hall

Please join us to celebrate and honor Kay for all she’s done
to build Care Partners into the amazing organization we’ve become
and wish her well on her retirement!
Any questions contact

Board Members Needed

Are you passionate about the mission of Care Partners and have experience in strategic thinking and nonprofits?
Consider applying to join Care Partners Board of Directors. Contact Jayne at

Kay Grindland (left) with new Executive Director, Julie Wilson

Welcoming Julie Wilson!

Care Partners Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Julie Wilson as our new Executive Director. She will start April 11th. For Julie, it is all about synchronicity—finding a position and organization that are such a great fit, just as she committed to moving to Grand Marais.

“I feel at home already and look forward to being a part of the Cook County Community, especially Care Partners and the Aging Services Community. I love working with older adults and their families. I have a Masters in Social Work with a focus in Health, Disability and Aging, and a Gerontolology Certification, through the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I’ve worked as a social worker in a nursing home, home care, and have run a small company overseeing assisted living and senior housing. I had the privilege of working with the Metro Area Agency on Aging, and served on the Minnesota Gerontological Society (MGS) Board. I am thrilled to have purchased a piece of property just outside Grand Marais and we will be transitioning up here from the Twin Cities over the next couple years as we build our home.

Personally, I grew up on a farm, north of Detroit Lakes, the youngest of 8 kids. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Paul, for 26 years and we have two very spoiled pups, Daisy and Asoka “Soki”. I enjoy the outdoors, meeting new people, a good cup of coffee, and good conversation. I have loved the welcoming spirit of Cook County and feel blessed as we lean into our future in this community.“

From the President

While we are so very sad to see Kay leaving us as the Executive Director, we have so much to be grateful for! Under Kay’s incredible leadership, Care Partners has grown into an essential and respected organization in Cook County that provides help and support to our older adults who can benefit from a little help in order to remain in the County. Our financial position is strong and we have been blessed to find an amazing new Executive Director in Julie Wilson, who we expect will continue to solidly lead us forward in the months and years ahead. We are also blessed with truly wonderful staff members in Christie, Martha, and Marnie, plus an engaged and committed Board of Directors. Not to mention our dedicated volunteers, without whom Care Partners would not be possible!

We could still use both more volunteers and board members! If you have some time available to volunteer for a very rewarding cause with a time commitment of your choosing, please let us know!

We are so grateful for all of our supporters – those who give financially and of their time! I feel honored to be part of Care Partners and our amazing community!

Jayne Johnson
Care Partners President

Aging Well Resources Website Goes Live!

Your guide to information and support in Cook County MN

Are you trying to find information about local aging services or resources? Want to find out about events for seniors? Thanks to the new Aging Well Resources’ website and Care Navigator, it’s never been easier! It offers a one-stop-shop for service and aging information for older adults and those who care for them.

Christie John, Aging Well Resources Care Navigator provides easy-to-use access to local aging services, regional resources, a program directory, and calendar of events for seniors. If you’d rather speak to someone or need help understanding service options, Aging Well Resources’ toll-free telephone number, 855-444-3910, will connect you with Christie John, our Care Navigator. As manager of the website, and staffer with Care Partners, she has great understanding of the options.

Aging Well Resources is the result of a collaborative effort of the Cook County Aging Coalition which includes aging service providers throughout the county and Grand Portage. Care Partners of Cook County, on behalf of these partners, was awarded a $65,000 North-land Foundation grant to develop an action plan to address barriers and help area older adults and their families successfully age in place. Many thanks are due to the hard work by Christie John and our website developer, Molly Larson of Sweetwater Design.

There is Help and Hope

An interview with a Care Partners client

For Lois, the most important thing she can do for herself and Wayne, the person in her care, is to cook organic, fresh, nutritious food. But getting from their home in Lutsen to Grand Marais to shop for groceries is not an option. As the main caregiver, she is not able to leave him for more than fifteen minutes at a time and is not able to get him into their vehicle without substantial help. “I don’t know how I’d do it without Care Partners Delivery Service.”

Twice a month, Lois arranges her grocery purchase with the Coop and calls Care Partners for a delivery volunteer. “My volunteer is absolutely great—she has a heart of gold. She smiles and takes the time to chat. As a caregiver, especially during Covid, I’m home all the time. It really lifts my spirits to connect with someone.”

Care Partners has also helped Lois and Wayne with a few chores—assembling some equipment and recycling. The Care Partners Care Coordinator was able to help Lois find some qualified people to be with Wayne when she needed to be gone for cataract surgery. “You have no idea what that lifted off my shoulders.”

Caregiving full time is not always easy, but Lois believes it is worth it to be able to stay in their home. Her advice: ask for help. “I want others to know, there is help — and hope. Don’t be afraid to call Care Partners.”

Care Partners Quilt Raffle

Detail from this year’s quilt

The 2022 Care Partners raffle quilt is here and on display at Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais! Raffle tickets are $5 each and are available from Drury Lane Books, Care Partners Board members or staff. The drawing will be held during our annual Ice Cream Social at Sydney’s Custard in Grand Marais on Sunday, August 28th. The pattern of this year’s stunning quilt by Carol Harris is “Just Another Nine Patch” designed by Shelby Morris. The quilt measures about 90″ x 90″.

Carol Harris

A BIG thank you to Carol Harris for once again creating and donating a beautiful work of art! This is the final quilt that Carol will make for Care Partners. Over the years she has made eleven quilts to help raise funds to support Care Partners! Thank you, Carol – we are incredibly grateful.

To order tickets by mail, include a check made out to Care Partners. Make sure to tell us how many tickets you’d like – you can make a note on the memo portion of the check. Mail check to: Care Partners Quilt, PO Box 282, Grand Marais, MN 55604. We’ll mail your ticket stub(s) to you. If you have any questions, feel to call us at 218-387-3788 or email us at

Click here for more photos of the 2022 raffle quilt

A few of Carol’s quilts over the years…

Caregiver Coffee

Caregiver Coffees are informal gatherings open to anyone who offers care and support to an older adult. Participants encourage one another, share resources and discuss topics related to caregiving. Caregivers are welcome to ‘stop by’ for coffee, tea, and conversation whenever their schedules allow!
Caregiver Coffees are offered at 10:00am the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month at the Birch Grove Community Center, 9 Good Neighbor Hill in Tofte. Call Care Partners at 387-3788 to get connected.

Making a Difference

Thanks to your generosity, Care Partners was able support 109 senior  clients in 2021. We appreciate the wonderful volunteers and staff who hung in there in the changing conditions of the pandemic!

  • 32 Senior Rides clients received 140 rides and logged 14,491 miles!
  • 33 caregivers received coaching & support
  • 19 clients received care coordination/end-of-life care
  • 25 chore & 32 delivery clients received over 150 hours of assistance.
  • 15 clients received over 163 volunteer visits
  • 30 clients received 256 telephone reassurance calls
  • 58 volunteers donated over 1200 hours

Thank you to all who supported Care Partners in 2021!


  • Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • Federal Older Americans Act grant from the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging
  • Live Well at Home Grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Cook County Community Foundation
  • Cook County Public Health Fund
  • Head of the Lakes United Way
  • Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation
  • Northland Foundation
  • North Shore Health Care Foundation
  • Medica Foundation

Celebration Gifts in Honor of:

  • Care Partners staff
  • Cook County caregivers
  • Kay Grindland
  • Marnie Hovland
  • Jayne Johnson
  • Suzanne Sherman
  • Jennifer Trowbridge
  • Ruthanne Vos


Beth Abrahamson
Myrna & Steve Aldrich
Chel Anderson
Katie Anderson
Louise Anderson
Paulette Anholm

Gary & Mary Atwood
Treg & Denise Axtell
Sharon Rodning Bash
Linda Batchelor
Tracy Benson & Pete Kavanaugh
Yvonne Benson
Lee Bergstrom
Patsy & Bill Bernhjelm

Linda Blaine & John Ottis
Nora Bockovich
Roberta Bockovich
Kathryn & Ed Bolstad

Nikki Boostrom
John & Barb Bottger
Penny & Tom Bradovich

Sharon Brenner
William & Joan Burkhardt

Myron Bursheim
Pat Campanaro & Stan Tull
Mike Carlson
Jean Cochrane
Bobbie Collins
Tom & Dorothy Danielson
Suzanne Davies
Jenny Delfs & Jeff Kern

Anne Deneen
Shari & Jeff Denniston
Alicia Deschene
Lawrence Downing
Dan Edson

Joyce Elvestrom
Polly Erickson
Lois Eyinck
Karen Fehr
Dan & Diane Fitzgerald
Dennis Fitzpatrick & Maryl Skinner

Carrie Framsted
Anita Gavic
Nancy Giguere & Bruce Tyler
Glenn & Chelly Gilyard
Don & Gerry Grant
Judith Gregg

Karen Halbersleben & Jack Miller
Carol & Peter Harris

Ranna Hansen LeVoir
George Harrelson
David & Cathy Hawkinson
Emma Heath
Howard & Bonnie Gay Hedstrom
Barb Heideman & Duane Hasegawa
Joyce Heiskari
Carolyn Hollstadt
Peggy Hopf
William & Mary Lou Huron
Jay Hutchinson
Nancy Jewett
Beverly Johnson
Erik Johnson

Ethel Johnson
Jayne & Rick Johnson

Marlys Johnson & Bob Nesheim
Nancy Johnston
Robert & Ann Karrick
Beth & Art Kidd

Breana King
Karen Kobey
Nancy Koloski
Carla LaPointe
Mike & Kathy Lande

Evelyn Larsen
Nancy & Jeff Larson

Jerry & Joan Lilja
Layne & Rolf Lindquist
Jane Ljungkull
Jean Ljungkull
Donna & Orvis Lunke
Bill Lurton

Diane Marsyla
Robert Mattson

Ronald McClellan
Jack & Sandy McHugh
Marnie McMillan
Judy & Terry Meath
Jackie Meyers

Betty Michaud
Marilyn Morris

Norman & Printha Moe
Helen Muth & David Quick
Hyla & Arnold Napadensky
Yafa Napadensky & Bob Shannon
Karen Neal
Patrick Neal
Ingo Nelson
Paulette Nelson

Randi & Rick Nelson
Sue Nordman
Cameron & Chris Norman
Kathleen O’Neill
Ruthann Ohlsen
Lon Olsen
Grand Parcells
Phyllis Parker
Diane & Floyd Pearson
Joyce & Chuck Petek
Mark & Mary Peterson
Steven Pincus & Michelle Strangis
Annie Possis

Karen Ranning
Tom & Ann Rider

Sandra Riley
Donald Ring

Rena Rogers & Mary Sorenson
Mary & Mary Routh
Susan Roy
Ann Russ
Michael Sampson & Cathy Nevers

Mary & Doug Sanders
Carolyn & Milan Schmidt
Dolly & Bill Schnell

Matt & Anne Schuerger
Maria Sheehan
Rhonda & Chuck Silence

Alyssa Silvers
Liz Sivertson
Randy Sjogren
Fred & Fran Smith
Nancy Starr & Steven Nielsen
Lois Steven & Wayne Force
Todd Stivland
Sally Suck
Kathy Sullivan
Lynne Sullivane
Kaye & Marc Tavernier
Michael Valentini
Mary Vos
Linda Walker

Frithjof Wannebo
Suzanne Weber
Karin & Craig Westgate
Ken & Donna Wielinski

Patty Wilson
Susan Wolff
Kimber Wraalstad
Pamela Zalesky
Patricia Zankman


Ruby Anderson
Darrellyn Barrett
Bobbie Bockovich
Sherry Cesarek
Fred Derewenko

Bernie Gestel
Enid Grindland
Frank & Mary Alice Hansen

Robert Haring
Gloria Hutchinson

Joyce Krueger
Don LaPointe
Hantz Larsen
Kenneth Lind
Robert Marsyla
Walt McCarthy
Ham Muus

Thomas Nelson
Judy Norvell
Brad Ranning

Phyllis Wassall Ring
Ellen Stubbs

Stanley Suck

photo: Mark Tessier

Care Partners Staff

Kay Grindland
Executive Director

Marnie Hovland, RN
Care Coordinator

Christie John

Martha Olson
Senior Services

Jenny Delfs, MD
Medical Director

Care Partners Board of Directors

Jayne Johnson,

Jack McHugh

Bob Karrick

Nancy Larson

Kathy Reeves

Carolyn Schmidt

Nancy Starr