Forward Health is firmly rooted in the Deer River area. As an independent, community-focused non-profit organization, we’ve been committed to making an impact on our community’s health since 2012.

Our Mission

As we look into the future, our goal is to serve our community by identifying and responding to needs regarding the health and well-being of our residents. We consider it a privilege to be part of the community and look forward to working with and for the people of our area for many years to come.

New Name, Same Mission - Forward Health Foundation
Sheila Rae Maki

Sheila Rae Maki, Administrative Assistant

We’re Hiring!

Forward Health Foundation headquartered in Deer River, MN serves the overall wellness needs of the Deer River area communities as well as the special needs of Essentia Health- Deer River and its dedicated staff.   We are looking for a motivated, energetic, community-minded individual to fill the role of Executive Director.  The position offered will be .75-1.0 FTE. The successful candidate will be committed to service in our area communities, planning, networking, vigorous innovation, and integrity with a focus on teamwork and partnership.  

Minimum Qualifications Include:

  • Educational background in complementary areas (Bachelor’s degree preferred)
  • 3 Years or more of Executive Director, fundraising, sales or marketing experience
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Basic Accounting/Financial Understanding
  • Great Written and Verbal Communication Skills
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite of products and QuickBooks

If you feel you are the person to fill this vital and exciting role, please submit a letter of application along with your resume and salary requirements to: Forward Health Foundation Chairwoman Judy Dimich

Judy Dimich Forward Health Foundation Staff Placeholder Image
Judy Dimich, Board Chair Andy Shaw, Vice Chair
Gwenn Smith Beth Anderson
Gwenn Smith, Secretary/Treasurer Beth Anderson
Brad Box Forward Health Foundation Staff Placeholder Image
Brad Box Gerald Dederick
Forward Health Foundation Staff Placeholder Image Forward Health Foundation Staff Placeholder Image
Michael Fairbanks Jim Gorden
Staff Placeholder Michelle Newberg
Samantha Martin Michelle Newberg
Nikke Osse Forward Health Foundation Staff Placeholder Image
Nikki Osse Pam Thompson


We call the Deer River area home and are proud to serve the communities of Deer River, Ball Club, Inger, Bowstring & S. Lake.  Through our support of Essentia Health Clinics in Deer River, Grand Rapids, and Remer, we serve patients across Northern Minnesota and beyond.


We lead, support, and fund initiatives for health and wellness in our communities.

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Gifts to the Forward Health Foundation help support health and wellness in our communities. From groundbreaking new programs and projects to support of critical healthcare efforts, we can provide you with a variety of giving options.

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