Lisa Keegan, Board President
There is nothing more beautiful in this world to me than love. To truly love your brothers and sisters, you need to understand them as they are. Compassion and selflessness are traits that I believe all board members and staff of Creative Healing Connection possess. So, for me, joining the board was a natural fit. I am the daughter of an Airforce Veteran. Having been a child who grew up in many parts of the world was fascinating. I was fortunate to have experienced various cultures first-hand and to learn how to love so many different people. But this had its challenges too. Moving every 2-4 years, always having to make new friends, switching schools, the constant bomb threats, and my father being gone for long periods was difficult. I am proud of my father, who served in 3 wars, but I longed for him when he was away. Communicating with each other was not easy. The stress of not knowing if he was okay or if I would see him again was taxing on my well-being and my education. As a method to cope with my anxiety, I journaled, started volunteering, and got involved in the arts. I bring this up as it relates to the Creative Healing Connection’s mission, which is to “provide creative experiences using the arts and nature to promote healing and growth, develop a sense of community, connection and empowerment and growth.” Today I live in a small town with my husband and our four dogs. We have two beautiful adult children, Nikaio and Kenya. I work as a registered nurse at a small rural hospital where I have been since 1995. Caring for those when they are most vulnerable is an art, and I learn every day from my patients and their families. My journey thus far as a nurse has been one of the most incredible and humbling experiences of my life.
Wanda is a historian and member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars whose published works include: She Who Dreams. A Journey into Healing through Dreamwork (New World Library, 2003) and The Home Voices Speak Louder than the Drums: Dreams and the Imagination in Civil War Letters and Memoirs [McFarland Publishers, summer 2017]. She is a long-term breast cancer survivor who discovered a healing ally in her own vivid dreams. Wanda believes that in dreaming we receive powerful metaphors and imagery which can be used to enforce healing, provide visual imagery, and empower the mind, spirit, and body. She is a presenter/member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, trained in dream facilitation. She is a long term breast cancer survivor and advocate, a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s LEAD, a science-based institute and listed on the national Speaker’s Bureau for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. She is an advocate research grant proposal peer reviewer for the Breast Cancer Research Program sponsored by the Department of Defense. Wanda Burch and singer/songwriter Ron Burch offer programs on Civil War Parlor music, based on letters published in The Home Voices Speak Louder than the Drums.
Wanda Burch, Co-Leader
Bonnie Ohman, Board Trustee
An Adirondack native, Bonnie loves providing service and opportunities for women with chronic disease to find joy in everything we do as women in the Adirondacks.
After working in management and health care for 50 years, Bonnie retired in 2018 and has been able to devote her time to helping people realize their full potential through arts and healing and through government-entitled services for the individual. Living and working in Washington, DC for graduate school, opened up a whole new perspective on public policy and how it affects women, the elderly and the economically disadvantaged of this country. Working was definitely the most important aspect of Bonnie’s life for a long time, and now being retired, she has a new appreciation and joy in her heart for not only those around her, but now for her own health and self-care. Staying physically active and connected to her “tribe” is of the utmost in her life today and she couldn’t be happier. Bonnie is happily married to David Porter and they have two incredible dogs who provide more joy and laughter every single day than ever imagined. They live in Lake Clear and enjoy everything about being alive today.
Mackenzie Boushie, Board Trustee
Mackenzie is one of the newest members of the CHC Board. Mackenzie lives in Tupper Lake with her husband, Steve, their two daughters Madelyn (5) and Abigail (3), along with their two dogs Dallas and Skye. Mackenzie has her degree in Public Health with a focus in Program Planning in addition to over 7 years of Healthcare Management experience. Currently, she is working with the New York State Contact Tracing Initiative as a School Specialist for Franklin County. In her spare time, Mackenzie enjoys cooking, summer activities, and enjoying time with her family. Mackenzie is very enthusiastic to participate in CHC’s mission to provide creative experiences using the arts and nature to promote healing and growth, develop a sense of community, connection, empowerment and growth to all of its constituents.
Linda McClarigan, Board Trustee
Linda has been retired for over one year from Adirondack Health, Saranac Lake, New York, as the Chief Nursing Officer. She has over 40 years of nursing knowledge and experience, holding several senior executive positions over the course of her career. She holds a Masters degree in Health Care Management, a Bachelors of science in Nursing and is a board certified Nurse Executive. Linda lives in Duane, New York, a small town in the Adirondack Park with her husband Brian for over 30 years with a large variety of vegetable and flower gardens. They have five grown children and soon to be 12 grandchildren. Currently, Linda is enjoying retirement and her Master Gardener status by enjoying the outdoors, designing local gardens, selling perennials from their road side Potting Shed. She travels throughout the country with her husband and cat Vinny in their RV. Her other interests include basket weaving and finding volunteer opportunities that provide her joy in helping others.
Alexis Stephenson, Secretary
Alexis is currently finishing her BA in English with a Studio Art minor at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. With this she hopes to start a career in Content Design and Advertising. Being raised by a family of creators in the Adirondacks helped Alexis realize the benefits of art, music, and nature which inspired her to become part of Creative Healing Connections. As well, Alexis was the youngest board member on the Saranac Lake Central School District School Board starting when she was fourteen, which she feels will help her navigate being one of the newest members of Creative Healing Connections. In her free time Alexis enjoys skiing at Whiteface Mountain, playing with her two dogs, making jewelry and pottery with her mom, and writing short stories. She feels that her passion for nature and the arts will make her a good addition to this committee and looks forward to growing with its cause.
Patti Thompson, Treasurer
Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Patti moved to the North Country in 1990 to be close to her aging grandparents. She worked for the American Management Association in Saranac Lake for 24 years and then joined the Adirondack Health staff as a Financial Analyst. She is currently the Accounting Manager for the hospital. Patti has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Empire State College with a major in Accounting and a minor in Computer Science. She cares for her elderly mother and her two cats, Newmie and Smokie. While not being overly creative, Patti believes her strengths lie in her accounting background and feels she can best contribute to the mission of CHC by providing sound financial advice to the board. She joined the board in 2019 and looks forward to helping the women involved with CHC.