Healing Winds Vermont Names New Executive Director and Charts Course Forward to Support Cancer Patients

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Healing Winds Vermont announces the appointment of Geri Ann Higgins as Executive Director of the organization. Healing Winds Vermont offers sailing excursions to cancer patients while they are battling the disease in an effort to provide some respite from the treatment and mental weight of what they are going through. The former Executive Director and founder to start a new national organization to serve other states.

Healing Winds Vermont

“Geri Ann will be a great steward of the original organization and champion for Vermont cancer patients’ healing by sailing.”

Healing Winds Vermont announces the appointment of Geri Ann Higgins as Executive Director of the organization. Healing Winds Vermont offers sailing excursions to cancer patients while they are battling the disease in an effort to provide some respite from the treatment and mental weight of what they are going through.

Higgins began work at Healing Winds Vermont on May 4. “In my first week I have spoken with volunteers and donors who are so passionate about Healing Winds Vermont, the mission, and those we serve,” said Geri Ann Higgins. Higgins is no stranger to the organization; she is a cancer survivor and in 2018 was a nominee who sailed with Healing Winds Vermont. “I can attest to the power of sailing on Lake Champlain from when I was going through my own cancer journey. I understand some of the challenges cancer can bring, and the need for moments of escape.”

With the COVID-19 crisis altering the start of operations of many Vermont marinas, Healing Winds Vermont is not delaying their work to get cancer patients out on Lake Champlain this summer. Work with volunteers that captain and lead the sails is underway, as is communication with people who have nominated someone for a sail to ensure smooth sailing as soon as it’s deemed safe by Vermont’s Department of Health and Governor Scott.

Healing Winds Vermont’s founder and past Executive Director, Suzanne Johnson, continues to further her vision and will be launching a national organization to establish chapters outside of Vermont. “We are excited to continue to carry forward Suzanne’s original vision and mission through Healing Winds Vermont, and look for ways to collaborate with Suzanne as she sets sail on this new adventure in the 49 other states,” explained Sylvia Oblak, board chair for Healing Winds Vermont. “Geri Ann will be a great steward of the original organization and champion for Vermont cancer patients’ healing by sailing.”

Healing Winds Vermont has been in operation for six years, and sailed with over 1800 cancer patients, their caregivers, and loved ones. For more information on Healing Winds Vermont or to nominate someone for a sail, please visit hwvt.org.

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Nicole Ravlin
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