Since 2018, BTH has been offering hospitality to people experiencing homelessness in the Duluth, MN region following discharge from the hospital for an acute medical condition. While guests stay with us, we work on housing and connections to supports in the community in hopes that they'll be in a better position when they leave our home.
Since 2018, BTH has been offering hospitality to people experiencing homelessness in the Duluth, MN region following discharge from the hospital for an acute medical condition. While guests stay with us, we work on housing and connections to supports in the community in hopes that they'll be in a better position when they leave our home. Visit our "News" page to read some recent coverage on how we're helping.
Alexia has been a leader in the nonprofit and public sectors for over a decade. She has a proven track record of leading statewide efforts that produce better public health and safety outcomes. She believes in person-centered solutions that are driven by collaborative efforts with priorities set by the people and for the people who are
Alexia has been a leader in the nonprofit and public sectors for over a decade. She has a proven track record of leading statewide efforts that produce better public health and safety outcomes. She believes in person-centered solutions that are driven by collaborative efforts with priorities set by the people and for the people who are intended to benefit from the work. Alexia has established and build positive, productive, and results-oriented relationships with state and national stakeholders including and not limited to; hospitals, educational systems, media, law enforcement, provider communities, counties, Tribal Nations, clinicians, legislators and individuals. She has championed the passage of multiple laws that include policy and appropriations. Additionally, she has worked to ensure that the State and multiple organizations have the resources necessary to support ongoing change efforts. Additionally, Alexia and is a woman in long-term recovery from the disease of addiction, is a proud mother, and believes that all problems have multiple solutions.
just.plain.kate: no bells, no whistles, just plain kate
Following a ten-year career in corporate graphic design, and a birthday present to herself that she’d explore any opportunity that prese
just.plain.kate: no bells, no whistles, just plain kate
Following a ten-year career in corporate graphic design, and a birthday present to herself that she’d explore any opportunity that presented itself for a year, Kate found herself helping to run the family hospitality house at L&F, and helping to build-up the L&F community with a few thousand muffins
during her few years on Jefferson Street. Now with a little over a decade working in and alongside homeless services in the Duluth area, she feels lucky to be at BTH where she can help make things a bit more fair for folks who just need a chance to heal. Kate has some degrees and certificates, and half of a blue ribbon from the MN State Fair in 1989 – all of which she’s proud of, but none of it makes a lick of difference for the folks staying at BTH. Kate and Kelly are people for people who need people.
Kelly is a Marine with years experience in construction, photographer, rise window washing, dairy farm hand, bicycle mechanic, shopkeeper, refurbisher of leather goods, poet and artis
Kelly is a Marine with years experience in construction, photographer, rise window washing, dairy farm hand, bicycle mechanic, shopkeeper, refurbisher of leather goods, poet and artist. With over ten years of hospitality experience.
Favorite quote. Peter morin-
The world would be better off
if people tried to become better.
And people would become better
if they stopped trying to become better off.
For when everybody tries to become
better off, nobody is better off.
But when everybody tries to become better,
everybody is better off.
Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Master of Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has worked as a registered nurse for over 10 years prim
Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Master of Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has worked as a registered nurse for over 10 years primarily in behavioral and community health.
When asked what is rewarding about her work Marie states, "As a nurse at BTH I have helped guests identify when their condition needs additional care and I have helped put their minds at ease when they are found to be healing as expected. "
Annalisa Peterson is an attorney and mediator by training and has focused most of her professional life in the area of communication and conflict resolution. She currently serves as the Ombudsperson for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Programs at Johns Hopkins University. She has served on the board of the Bob Tavani House for Medical Respite since 2021 and believes deeply in BTH's mission of offering hospitality and a safe place to heal after hospital discharge for those who need it in the Twin Ports community.
Dr. Mary “Daisy” Braaten is originally from Chicago. She attended the College of the Holy Cross, Trinity College in Dublin and Northwestern University Medical School. Her residency training was at West Suburban Family Medicine Residency at PCC Community Wellness Center on the West Side of Chicago. She completed the Cook County Faculty Development Fellowship while working at Primecare Community Wellness and the Women’s HIV Clinic at the Core Center in Chicago and served as the Medical Director of Primecare for 2 years.
When her husband completed his medical training, they moved to Minnesota where they raised their four children. Dr. Braaten practiced full-spectrum family medicine in Deer River for ten years. Since 2013 they have lived in Duluth. Dr. Braaten is core faculty at the University of Minnesota Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program and continues to do emergency room shifts in Deer River. She is the Faculty Lead for Community Involvement at the residency and staffs a half-day a week clinic at the CHUM shelter in Duluth. Dr. Braaten helps facilitate a monthly local Healthcare and Homelessness Committee meeting, bringing agencies together to improve communication and collaboration. She enjoys teaching all aspects of family medicine including inpatient care, obstetrics, and behavioral health.
Jamie Conniff, MD, MPH (he/him) practices full-spectrum family medicine at the Min No Aya Win Clinic on the reservation of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He is Vice Speaker of the House on the Board of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians and previously co-chaired the MAFP’s Legislative Committee. He has particular interests in LGBTQ health, including gender-affirming care; addiction medicine; community health; and improving systems to reduce barriers to care. Previously Jamie taught at the University of Minnesota Duluth Family Medicine Residency, where he oversaw the residency program’s community health training and advocated within health systems to promote wellness and improve care for Duluth’s community of LGBTQ people, especially transgender and non-binary Duluthians. Jamie is currently a faculty member for Indian Country ECHO’s Trans & Gender-Affirming Care ECHO. He grew up and received his education in the Northeast, but then moved to Madison, Wisconsin for his post-graduate training, where he learned to provide gender-affirming care from amazing, pioneering mentors. He lives just outside of Duluth with his husband Carson and son Link.
Anthony W. Olson, PhD, PharmD is a Research Scientist at the Essentia Institute of Rural Health and adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy. He specializes in translational research on community-integrated, person-centered interventions that can improve the care experience and clinical outcomes of persons and communities, especially
those in underserved rural areas. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control Foundation, and the Health
Resources and Services Administration. Anthony has also served as an
Officer and Executive Committee member for the American Pharmacists
Association, Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science and Minnesota
Mary Rapps has a passion for health equity and population health improvement.
She is committed to improving the health of communities through innovation
and collaboration with community members, public health, health care and
service organizations. Mary served as Executive Director of Generations Health
Care Initiatives from 2018 through 2023 after servi ng over four years as a
Program Director. Mary brings over 21 years of Health Care Administration
experience to her current position. She earned a BAS in Community Health
Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and Masters Degree in
Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Cedar Savage, RN, MSN, PHN, CLC is currently employed as the Infectious Disease
American Indian Liaison for the Minnesota Department of Health. She is an enrolled member of
the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, North Dakota, but has lived her
entire life on the Fond du Lac reservation with her young children who are members.
A nurse by trade, she is passionate about health equity and advancing the health
outcomes of American Indian people. She attended the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community
College where she completed her Associate of Arts and Associate Degree in Nursing. She began
her career as a nurse at Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center where she was employed from 2015-
2018 and then began working for the Fond du Lac tribe. While at Fond du Lac she worked as a
clinic nurse as well as a Public Health Nurse. She finished her bachelor’s degree of Nursing at
the College of St. Scholastica in 2019 and later went on to finish her master’s degree of science
in Nursing Education at St. Catherine’s University in 2022.
Michael Strasser, MPA, (Masters Degree in Public Administration -
Healthcare Emphasis), UW Oshkosh; BA Psychology – Bethany
College, Lindsborg Kansas
Over 30 years of experience in a variety of Healthcare, Social Work
and Quality Improvement Positions including: Quality Improvement
Analyst, Hospital Case Management and Utilization Review,
Education Resource Center Department Manager, Case Manager,
Social Worker, Admissions Manager for a Psychiatric Hospital and
Project Manager for a research firm focusing on pharmaceutical trials.
Completed Lean Manufacturing Certificate Training with the
Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership in 2007 and over the
next 10 years implemented Lean Process Improvement Strategies at
the University of Wisconsin Health Partners, Watertown Regional
Medical Center. I continue to provide lean/ process improvement
consulting through the Orchid Consulting Group for a variety of clients
in healthcare and social service organizations.
Mike Swanoski recently retired from the University of Minnesota where he served as the Senior
Associate Dean for the College of Pharmacy on the Duluth campus. During his time with the University
of Minnesota he also served as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Associate Department Head. Prior
to joining and during his time with the University of Minnesota, he held various clinical positions
including as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and Long-Term Care Consultant. He is passionate about
understanding and addressing the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations.
Josh has been involved with The Bob Tavani House for Medical Respite since the beginning. Having received a M.Div and M.M.N.A from North Park University in Chicago, Josh now operates a custom wood studio under the name Glørud Design and occasionally works a day or two each week as a hospital chaplain at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.
Your donation can make a real difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Your generosity allows us to continue providing critical services and programs to those in need.
The mission of the Bob Tavani House for Medical Respite is to provide home-style hospitality for folks experiencing homelessness and an acute medical condition. While they’re here, our guests have a safe place to heal while we help them connect to people and services in the community to have positive supports when they transition out of BTH.
Your support enables us to keep the lights on, provides nutritious food for our guests, and allows us to cover guest needs, like over-the-counter medications not covered by insurance, and boots & shoes in tough to find sizes. We’re so very grateful for your support, and hope you’ll continue to follow our journey!
The Bob Tavani House for Medical Respite is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. EIN 86-3626016